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 Home > Itinerary >  Yachts & Small Ships > The Cote dAzure & Provence > Land Arrangements

 

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Golf Courses

Barbaroux
Cannes Mougins
Four Seasons - Le Chateau
Fregate
Gassin Golf and Country Club
Nimes - Campagne

Excursions

Aix en Provence
Arles
Cannes
Mougins and Grasse
St Tropez
St-Maximin la Ste Baume

Hotels
SeaDream 1

Yachts
Christina O
M Y Diane
M Y Galaxie
M Y Nanou
M Y Ocean Victory
M Y Serendipidy Blue

Arles

Region: Provence - Bouches du Rhone
Monuments: Les Arenes-the Roman Amphitheatre - Theatre Antique - Place dl la Republique

Arles was established by the Greeks as early as the 6th century BC. The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseille) further along the coast.

Its chance came in 40 BC, when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia made the mistake of backing Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward.

The city reached its peak during the 4th and 5th centuries, when it was frequently used as headquarters for Roman Emperors during military campaigns. It became a favourite city of Emperor Constantine the Great, who built baths there, substantial remains of which are still standing.

Arles was badly affected by the invasion of Provence by the Muslim Saracens and the Franks, who took control of the region in the 6th century. The town regained political and economic prominence in the 12th century, with the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick Barbarossa traveling there in 1178 for his coronation. Arles joined the county of Provence in 1239 but suffered its prominence being eclipsed once more by Marseille. In 1378, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ceded the remnants of the Kingdom of Arles to the Dauphin of France (later King Charles VI of France) and the Kingdom ceased to exist even on paper.

Arles remained economically important for many years as a major port on the Rhône. The arrival of the railway in the 19th century eventually killed off much of the river trade, leading to the town becoming something of a backwater.

This made it an attractive destination for the painter Vincent van Gogh, who arrived there in 1888. He was fascinated by the Provençal landscapes, producing over 300 paintings and drawings during his time in Arles. Many of his most famous paintings were completed there, including the Night Cafe, the Yellow Room, Starry Night, and L'Arlesienne. Paul Gauguin visited van Gogh in Arles. However, van Gogh's mental health deteriorated and he became alarmingly eccentric, culminating in the infamous ear-severing incident in December 1888. The concerned Arlesians circulated a petition the following February demanding that van Gogh be confined. In May 1889 he took the hint and left Arles for the asylum at nearby St-Rémy-de-Provence.

 

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