Arles was one of the prettiest cities in our short trip to Provence last September. The first thing we noticed were the photographs posted up on the walls around the city. To be honest, at first, we didn’t really understand the purpose of these photographs but as we kept seeing those interesting photos almost everywhere in the city we realized they were part of the Rencontres d’Arles, previously named as the International Photography Meetings of Arles, held every summer. These meetings, which have been organized since 1970 attracted numerous photographers both amateur and professional to Arles. Lots of famous photographers have been discovered during these meetings.
Arles is the largest city in France with an area of 758km² in the region of Bouches-du-Rhone. Arles, which used to be the settlement of Greek colonies, was one of the most important cities of “Gaul”, a Roman colony founded by Julius Cesar. With the precious Roman historical monuments, Arles was included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1981. The arena, amphitheatre and the Roman Baths are among those ancient monuments that are worth visiting.
Arles was also home to Van Gogh between 1888 and 1889. He lived there with another famous painter Gauguin and painted more than 300 paintings while he was there. If you are interested in art, you must visit The Foundation Vincent Van Gogh in the centre of the city.
Another museum to visit is the Reattu Museum named after the painter Jacques Reattu who was born in Arles in 1760. You can visit this museum near Rhone after a nice wail along the river.