Arles! part 2

Looking back over my photos from Arles it appears we had a pretty jam packed day.  We started at Les Arenes, the Roman amphitheatre constructed in the first century AD.  In its hay day Les Arenes held 20,000 spectators, as it stands now, minus the third tier, they estimate 10,000 people could comfortably be seated in here.
Les ArenessignagearchBizarrely the amphitheatre was turned into a mini town in the Middle Ages when over 200 dwellings and three churches were built in here.  Now it’s restored to its original purpose – as a magnificent backdrop for french bullfighting and affording some lovely views over the city itself.
viewDan and I then headed over to Musee Reattu which is so beautiful and understated I am tempted to call it a hidden gem (if it weren’t in every guidebook).Curt Asker - Sans Titre 1988I can’t rave about this Museum enough.  Its set in a fifteenth century priory and has a super permanent collection including 57 ink and crayon sketches by Picasso and an awesome room full of Christian Lacroix sketches. I love this ones face, suitably fashionably bored despite the amazing outfit – CLX2 Christian LacroixIt was fun to see that something can look like this on the outside – Musee Reattuand have works like this on the inside – BAYA - Grande Frise 1949As well as going to the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh Arles, we also visited the Cryptoportiques.  Basically an enormous, dark, slightly damp underground gallery space. Nobody knows what the Cryptoportiques were originally built for but accessing them via a steep staircase in the Hotel de Ville makes a fun way to spend half an hour.  One final piece of information – should you ever find yourself in Arles, make it your mission to find Patisserie du Forum (4 rue de la Liberte) without doubt the best pain au chocolat I’ve ever had.

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