At the crossroads of the Alpilles, the Montagnette and the Camargue, Tarascon has all the features of a Provençal city.
Built on the banks of the Rhône in the heart of the golden triangle of Nîmes, Arles and Avignon, Tarascon is the emblematic seat of the Counts of Provence and also the encounter between history, architecture, nature and legends.
From festivals to fêtes, exhibitions to concerts, in all seasons Tarascon's heart beats with its passion for the arts and performances.
Panorama of Tarascon, view from the Castle
The Castle in Tarascon along the Rhône River
Souleiado Museum in Tarascon
Saint Gabriel Chapel, Tarascon
- Starting at the magnificent Château du Roi René, once the castle of the Angevin Counts then a prison and, since 1840, a historic monument, come stroll the medieval streets in the historic centre and discover the heritage:
- The Sainte-Marthe Royal Collegiate Church
According to legend, in 48AD Saint Martha came to this city and tamed the fearsome creature, the Tarasque, that had been terrorizing the people. A good number of pilgrims still come to the Sainte-Marthe Collegiate Church, in which you can see her crypt as well as the organ and the superb collection of works by the great masters.
- The 17th century Town Hall, listed as a historic monument, houses the beautiful council room (Salle des Consuls) open to the public. Nearby are the old market square and the Chapel of the Perseverance.
- The Cordeliers Cloisters with their vaulted galleries house cultural and artistic exhibitions as well as the Espace Tartarin and cabinet of curiosities, which bring back to live the writer Alphonse Daudet's famous character.
- The Tarasque's Lair and effigy of the famous monster can be seen beneath the arcades on the Rue des Halles.
- The private town mansions and bourgeois homes reflect the splendour of the 17th century and the way of life of Tarascon families: the Hôtel de Laudun on Place Branly, the Hôtel Clerc de Mollières on Rue du Progrès and the Hôtel de Sade-Cadillan on Place Fraga.
- The Souleïado Museum pays homage to the textile tradition of Provence. A collection of sample boards from the 18th century is still used today for the creation of new models. Laid out in a 15th century building, it houses since 2010 the Prémontrés Abbey's Ciergerie or candle-making workshop, one of the last in France. Obliged to leave the Saint-Michel de Frigolet Abbey in 1903, the monks continue to make candles and tapers using 15th century techniques, of which the secret is preciously guarded.
- Don't hesitate to make a short trip to the Saint-Michel de Frigolet Abbey along the route de Boulbon.
- To the southeast of Tarascon, near Saint-Etienne-du-Grès, the 12th century Saint-Gabriel Chapel is a magnificent example of Provençal Romanesque architecture.
Tarascon also lets you escape into nature.
Hike, cycle or horseback ride along the many marked trails leading through a quality environment in the heart of a generous countryside. Beneath the Provençal sun, discover the abundance of multi-facetted flora and fauna.