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Wow! If you have a chance, come here and have a look at the elaborate fountains.
The funny thing here, is the Palais Longchamp, IS NOT A PALACE!
It is an elaborate monument showcasing the importance of water to Marseille.
Ever since the city was founded by the Greeks as a trading port in 600 BC, finding enough water has been a problem. With an average of only two days of rain a month in the midsummer, drought has been a real problem for the city.
After a series of cholera epidemics, a canal was built and linked the city to the river Durance. This provided a national waterway network of 80kms long, including 17kms of underground tunnels and 18 aqueducts, which took a total of 15 years to build.
It was opened in 1849, and remained Marseille's principal source of water until 1970. It was then decided a monument should be built in memory of this huge achievement, and so Palais Longchamp was conceived.
The architect of Notre Dame de la Garde, designed this magnificent large fountain/waterfall/water tower that is embellished with colonnades, staircases, pavilions and a triumphal arch, lavishly decorated with sculptures of nymphs, stalactites, lions, tigers, dolphins and Camargue bulls. It's beautiful! I especially liked how the moss had grown and the water flowed over it, plus the big Bulls overlooking the city.
The Palace houses the Museum of Fine Arts in the left wing, and the Natural History Museum in its right wing. The palace gardens also had a zoo until 1987. It is now home to the Marseille Observatory .
Address: Boulevard du Jardin Zoologique, 13004 Marseille
Directions: Metro line 1 - Station Five Avenues
Tram stop Longchamp
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A warm winter morning and a trip to the parc. Expected to see the palais de lonchamp in all it's glory but, unfortunately, under repair and covered in scaffolding. Did enjoy a wander around the park instead - lovely!
Directions: Tram #2 to Longchamp
The "Palais Longchamps" is a quiet public garden in the center of Marseille. It dates from the Mid XIX th Century, when Marseille erected a canal from the Durance river to downtown Marseille. it was such an event, that public authorities decidec to erect a gorgeous fountain.
The fountain is really beautiful and figures the Durance river surrounded by two statues sylbolizing the wheat and the vine, symbols of prosperity.
It's a good place to have a picnic in this lovely public garden.
Address: Boulevard du Jardin Zoologique - 13004 Marseille
Directions: Metro line 1 - Sation "Cinq avenues - Longchamps"
Palais Longchamp is a good place to go for walks and a take in a little culture. You can also visit the Musée Grobet Labadié, the Musée des Beaux Arts and the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle - the natural history museum which used to be a zoo (since its closure, it has been converted into a park).
This imposing edifice was built on Longchamp plateau to commemorate the arrival of the Durance canal water in Marseille.
The first stone of this monumental water tower was laid by the Duke of Orleans in 1839.
A masterly example of Second Empire architecture, it was designed by Espérandieu.
The works lasted 20 years.
Joined together by a colonade the 2 wings of the Palace house the Natural History and Fine Arts Museums.
Palais Longchamp offers the visitor pleasant strolls in its gardens with water jets and waterfalls.
Palais and Park are easy to be reached by Métro.
Address: Boulevard Longchamp
Phone: 33(0)4 91 13 89 00
This monumental water tower was built on Longchamp Plateau to commerate the building of the Durance Canal in Marseilles. The monument is joined together by a colonnade with the two wings of the Palace housing the Natural History and Fine Arts Museums.
In the 19th Century when fresh water was not available, engineers constructed a viaduct to bring in water from another place. As part of the celebrations this Palais was built. There is a fountain which hides the fact that it is actually a water tower.
Address: Metro - Cinq Avenue Longchamp.
Not a true palace, this fine structure houses two museums, very pleasant gardens, and a few remnants of ancient Marseille. Designed by Esperandieu (who also designed Notre Dame de la Garde).
Address: 13004 Marseille
Directions: At the north end of la Canebiere. Points of contact are for la Musee des Beaux-arts, inside the palace.
Phone: 04 91 14 59 30
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