Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Arles and Van Gogh - Day 9

After our breakfast in the Ibis, we moved south to Arles, made famous by the paintings of Van Gogh. Our first stop in Arles was at the Republic Square with the Obelisk in front of the Hotel de Ville, the town hall.

On one side is the St. Trophime Church with an interesting portal showing the Judgement Day. Alas, everybody seems to be showing sad faces.

The church inside is badly lit but there are also many attractive decorations.

We had our first encounter with Van Gogh at the Night Cafe on our way to the Roman amphitheatre.

Along the way there were other colourful buildings.

The amphitheatre was rather imposing.

Nice view of the streets below from the amphitheatre.

We then walked through some remnants of an ancient wall and joined the open-air market below. This market operates on Wednesdays.

There were all sorts of vegetables and fruits,

all kinds of food,

and other merchandise.

Some historical artifacts along the way.

Further down the road, it became a flea market.

More old buildings leading back to the Republic Square.

We then wandered in the nostalgic streets of Arles,

before finally arriving at the picturesque Espace Van Gogh, the former hospital where Van Gogh stayed after cutting off part of his ear. Here he painted the courtyard as the Jardin de l'Hotel Dieu. The beautiful courtyard looks just like what Van Gogh painted.

This is the most colourful garden in France that I saw and one can imagine Van Gogh recovering inside one of the rooms or painting by the side of his easel in the courtyard.