We found this viewpoint by accident when we wandered uphill away from the main square - Place du Massillon. During very hot weather this shaded terrace on Casteou Hill is a splendid place to look down on the rooftops of the old town and below to the new town which sprawls all around so that you can take in the airport and the mediteranean beyond....more
Place Massillon is right at the very heart of the old town and is named after Jean Baptiste Massillon who was born in Hyeres in1663, the son of a notary in the Royal service. He entered the Church while still a young man and soon became famous as an orator and writer. In 1717 he was appointed Bishop of Clermont and remained there until his death 25...more
Rue Portalet is the main access to the heart of the old city, Place Massillon. It links Place du Portalet and Avenue du Général de Gaulle, outside the city walls, to Place Massillon, inside. It is a pedestrians only area, which allows the shops to overflow on the street.Under "shoping", I have built a tip on a close up on a shop selling Savon de...more
From Villa Noailles and Parc Saint Bernard, the landscape on the old city is stunning. In the center of the photo, Collégiale Saint Paul is seen almost as a bird's view, with the houses standing tightly around. In the far background, the Îles d'Hyères (page to come) with Porquerolles, Port Cros and Le Levant.more
You can reach Villa Noailles from the city, either by foot or you can drive. From Place Clémenceau, you follow the Cours de Strasbourg until the "Police Municipale" (city police). After that point, the itinerary is signposted. The entrance is shown on the photo.You can visit freely the park (Parc St. Bernard), the cubist garden and the outside of...more
The triangular garden, also called cubist garden, has been drawn by Gabriel Guévrékian. It is embedded between walls and is the first thing that you see when you arrive to the villa, standing like de bow of a ship.It has two box trees, pruned as bowls at one end. The main part of the garden is composed of square elements, about 50cmx50cm that are...more
Clos Saint Bernard, now called Villa de Noailles is a superb estate that Mallet-Stevens, an architect who, together with Le Corbusier, was considered during the 20s as a leader of modern architecture, began to build in 1923 for Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles, a wealthy couple of aristocrats that acted as patrons of many artists. They hosted...more
In front of the main entrance into the castle, a wide space has been arranged. It is possible to park, if you had chosen to drive to the castle. From this terrace, there is a wide view on the Eastern part of the city (left on the photo). In the background, on the right and center, the sea. In the far background (left), the peninsula with the castle...more
The Château d'Hyères (Castle) was built on top of a hill that overhangs the old city, with a cliff on the West. That was undoubtedly a fine place to build a stronghold. The first fortress seems to have been built in the XIth by the Lords of Fos. For several centuries, there was a rivalry and several wars between the House of Barcelone and the Count...more
When you look at a map of the city of Hyères such as the one you can get at the Tourist office, you will see numerous "rue" in the upper old town. Do not be fooled by these names and do not try to drive them. You should walk and have good walking shoes as you can guess from the photos given here. When the name is translated into Provençal, it is...more
Couvent Sainte Claire was built in the XVIIth and mostly put down during the Revolution. Instead, Castel Sainte Claire was built after 1849 in a neo-Romanesque style by Olivier Voutier (1796-1877), a sailor and archeologist that discovered the famous Venus of Milo (now in Le Louvre).Castel Sainte Claire was inhabited from 1927 until her death in...more
There remains very few of the entrance into the second city wall named Porte des Princes (Princes gate). Only this gothic arch remains and it is in such a bad condition that I am surprised that it is not considered a threat for the passerbys! My opinion is that it would be advisable to avoid passing underneath on a Mistral (strong Northerly wind)...more
A stone embedded in the side of the church bears the following engraving Ci-gît l'Enfant sans sepulture, ROBERTUS…ATUS, que son père a enseveli dans le roc.Here lies the unburied child, ROBERTUS…ATUS, that his father has buried in the roc.This carving must refer to a recurrent legend in several parts of the Mediterranean world of a child being...more
Collégiale Saint Paul stands on a small promontory and can be seen from almost everywhere in the old city . It was first mentioned in 1182 in an act from Alphonse 1st, count of Provence. In 1427, bishop Nicolas Draconis of Toulon makes Hyères his usual residence. In 1572, it becomes a "Collegiale" ie a church with a college of canons. It was most...more
When walking down rue Sainte Claire, one of the first houses, with a sunny reddish-brownish coating has obviously been built on the remains of a ruined older house, using some of the elements. What was obviously the main entrance with an elegant stone arch, has been walled and is now a window. Smaller windows, at the first level, were also kept...more
A Renaissance style house (also called villa Aissous-Mériem) stands over the Porte Saint Paul (Saint Paul's gate) which opens across the second city wall and leads to Rue Paradis (Paradise street) and rue Barbacane (Barbacane street). It has a nice corbelled pepperbox turret standing at its corner. The house is currently inhabited and cannot be...more
Jean-Baptiste MASSILLON (1663-1742) was born in Hyères and the second photo shows his birthplace, 7 rue Rabaton. He became a priest in 1692 and in 1699 the predicator of King Louis XIVth. In 1717, he became bishop of Clermont, where he died in 1742. He is considered as one the brightest predicators of the XVIth and one of the best stylist in French...more
94 Boulevard de la Pinede, La Capte, Hyeres, 83400, France
Good for: Couples
45 Avenue Edith Cawell, Hyeres les Palmiers, Hyeres, 83400, France
Good for: Business
8, Avenue de la Mediterranee, Hyeres Plage, Hyeres, 83400, France
Good for: Business
For the past 9 years, this "indie" festival is held in this city. Being my first time on the city and at this festival, I was nicely surprised not only how well it is organized but also by its location (close to the sea).
I went to the one on the hippodrome to see the performances of 3 British bands: Splashh, Peter Hook & The Light and The Horrors. I wasn't disappointed. The sound was great and the bands were awesome.
Food & beverages: 1€ for a small bottle of mineral water, 3€ for a hot dog... I thought it was a little expensive...
Free parking (smoking isn't allowed in the parking area)
Dress Code: When the crowd gets agitated, a cloud of dust follows and it annoys the hell of out of you. I only realized later that my sunglasses were full of dust. My yellow shoes were no longer yellow and more likely light brownish(full of dirt)... I'm glad I wore a pair of jeans (the legs were full of dirt as well) instead of a pair of shorts or a skirt/dress.
Soap has been produced in Marseille since the Crusades. In the XVIth, the Savon de Marseille was already popular and sold far away in Western Europe. Before WW1, Marseille produced 180,000 tons of soap, in 1938, 120,000 tons of 600 grams cubes of soap. After WWII, the production decreased sharply in favor of fancy cakes of soap and there remains now only two plants.
However, Savon de Marseille is coming back as a "natural" product, made in small quantities with a lot of care. Besides the traditional product, soaps added with various natural oils are produced. You can see here cakes with lavender, with vervain, with rose petals and there are others.
Miscellaneous: The Office de Tourisme de Hyères Les Palmiers stands 3, Avenue Ambroise Thomas. You can get maps of the city and any information about the visits of the various parts of the city. They give excellent maps with the advisable itineraries to visit the various parts of the city.
Île de Porquerolles is not really an off the beaten path destination but as it is outside of the town (though administratively a part of Hyères), I have chosen to put here a brief presentation of Porquerolles. I will build a separate page on this island (to come).Porquerolles is the largest and the western most of the group of the Îles d'Hyères. It...more
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An amazing sculpture stands in front of the Casino. It is called "Le Poisson batailleur annonceur de metamorphoses" and was ordered by the city to the sculptor Richard Texier for the celebration of the beginning of the 3rd millenary. It was inaugurated on December 23rd 2000.more
Towards the top of Avenue Victor Hugo, not far from Avenue des Îles d'Or, there stands a church that bears on top of the entrance "DOM sub invocatione Matris misericordiae et sp Francisci". This is obviously a Franciscan Catholic church and it must have been built in Godillot's time but I have not found any information about it.more