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Place du Forum

Historic site and monument, Historic patrimony, Historic district in Arles
  • This Place, in the heart of town, has always symbolised meetings and exchanges. In Antiquity the square was next to the main forum (late 1st century BC), and the economic and political centre of the Roman administration; in the Middle Ages it became the main centre for commercial transactions. It is now known as one of the most social areas in town. Locals and tourists rub shoulders under the patronage of a number of well-known figures such as Vincent Van Gogh and Frédéric Mistral.
    On the...
    This Place, in the heart of town, has always symbolised meetings and exchanges. In Antiquity the square was next to the main forum (late 1st century BC), and the economic and political centre of the Roman administration; in the Middle Ages it became the main centre for commercial transactions. It is now known as one of the most social areas in town. Locals and tourists rub shoulders under the patronage of a number of well-known figures such as Vincent Van Gogh and Frédéric Mistral.
    On the Place du Forum, the solitary painter Vincent Van Gogh began or completed his journey amidst the night-owls. He put his easel down there one evening in 1888.
    Towns can be beautiful at night. Vincent Van Gogh found Arles beautiful, as he did the intense colours of the countryside in spring ('this yellow sea') and the deep sky during the day.
    He stayed on Place Lamartine, but travelled throughout the town during his short stay. The night-life took place in the cafes and cabarets, where he met the few acquaintances we know about.
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