Tarascon

french commune
nomcommune=Tarascon
Tarascon Castle on the Rhône River
région=Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
département=Bouches-du-Rhône
arrondissement= Arles
canton= Tarascon (chief town)
insee=13108
cp=13150
maire= Charles Fabre
mandat= 2008-2014
intercomm=Communauté d'agglomération
Arles-Crau-Camargue
-Montagnette

longitude=4.66027777778
latitude=43.8058333333
alt moy=17 m
alt mini= 3 m
alt maxi= 200 m
hectares=7,397
km²=73.97
sans=12,668
date-sans=1999
dens= 171
date-dens=1999
Tarascon, sometimes referred to as Tarascon-sur-Rhône, is a town and commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône "département", in the south of France.

Geography

Tarascon is located 23 km south of Avignon and 20 km north of Arles, on the left (east) bank of the Rhône River. On the other side is the similarly sized town of Beaucaire in the "département" of Gard, "région" of Languedoc-Roussillon. Directly opposite each other and connected by several bridges, Beaucaire and Tarascon effectively constitute one town.

Hamlets located on the territory of the commune include:
* Lansac
* Saint-Gabriel (ancient "Ernaginum")

Culture

A mythological monster, the Tarasque, is said to have lived there at the beginning of the 1st century. It was purportedly tamed by Martha in 48 AD. See Tarasque for the whole story and more pictures.

The novel "Tartarin de Tarascon" (1872) and its two sequels "Tartarin sur les Alpes" (1885) and "Port-Tarascon" (1890), by Alphonse Daudet, were set here.

Since 1985, there has been a small museum in the town, dedicated to the fictional character Tartarin.

A festival is held every year on the last Sunday of June to remember Tartarin and the Tarasque.

Highlights

The Collegiate Church

"Église collégiale Ste Marthe" (St Martha's Collegiate Church) is where, according to a local tradition, the biblical figure Martha is buried. The church was built half-Romanesque in the 12th century and half-Gothic in the 14th century. The crypt dates from the 3rd century.

The medieval castle

The construction of the current castle of Tarascon was started in 1401 by Louis II of Anjou, after the previous castle was destroyed. The construction was continued by his first son, Louis III of Anjou, and was completed in 1449 by his second son, René I of Naples. Thus, the castle is often referred to as "le château du roi René" ("King René's castle").

It was turned into a military prison in the 17th century, until its acquisition by the state in 1932.

It stands right on the banks of the Rhône opposite Beaucaire Castle, and near the Collegiate Church of St Martha. (Coord|43|48|22|N|4|39|18|E|region:FR-A_type:landmark|display=inline)

Other highlights include

* Historical town centre, including the "rue des Halles" and its arcades
* "Hôtel de Ville" (Town Hall) (1648)
* "Cloître des Cordeliers", 16th century cloister
* Three city gates remain from the former city wall: "Portail St. Jean", "Porte de la Condamine" and "Porte Jarnègues".
* Saint-Jacques Church (1740)
* Saint-Michel de Frigolet abbey

Administration

Transportation

Tarascon is served by a train station and several buses.

The GR 6 footpath runs through Tarascon.

Miscellaneous

Famous residents

* Ricau de Tarascon, Provençal knight and troubadour
* Esprit Fléchier (1632-1710), preacher and author, Bishop of Nîmes from 1687, spent his early years in Tarascon
* Jean Gilles (1668-1705), composer, was born in Tarascon
* Joseph Roumanille (1818-1891), poet and one of the founders of Félibrige, studied and worked there from 1834 to 1839.

Twin towns

*flagicon|Israel Beit She'an, Israel
*flagicon|Germany Elmshorn, Germany - since 1987
*flagicon|Spain Fraga, Spain
*flagicon|Italy Neviano degli Arduini, Italy
*flagicon|Switzerland Porrentruy, Switzerland

ee also

* Treaty of Tarascon (1291)

External links

* [http://www.tarascon.org/ Official city website]
* [http://www.culture.gouv.fr/public/mistral/merimee_fr?ACTION=CHERCHER&FIELD_1=INSEE&VALUE_1=13108 Ministry of Culture database entries for Tarascon] fr icon
* [http://membres.lycos.fr/tarascon/1/Histoire.htm Detailed history (click on blue links for details)] fr icon
* [http://www.casteland.com/pfr/chateau/paca/brhone/tarascon/tarascon_hist.htm History and pictures of the castle] fr icon
* [http://frederic.chapelet.free.fr/tarascon.htm Webpage about the organ in St Martha Church] fr icon
* [http://www.claudetravels.altervista.org/VdR/Tarascon/gal.html Pictures of the castle and church]
* [http://membres.lycos.fr/tarascon/1/Visite/Visite.htm More pictures of the town]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Tarascon —   [taras kɔ̃], Stadt im Département Bouches du Rhône, Südfrankreich, an der unteren Rhône gegenüber von Beaucaire, 10 800 Einwohner; Papier und Kartonagenindustrie, Herstellung von Kunststoffwaren. Im Umland Obst , Gemüse und Weinbau.   Stadtbild …   Universal-Lexikon

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