french commune
Tarascon Castle on the Rhône River
région=Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
arrondissement= Arles
canton= Tarascon (chief town)
maire= Charles Fabre
mandat= 2008-2014
intercomm=Communauté d'agglomération

alt moy=17 m
alt mini= 3 m
alt maxi= 200 m
dens= 171
Tarascon, sometimes referred to as Tarascon-sur-Rhône, is a town and commune in the Bouches-du-Rhône "département", in the south of France.


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")


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.


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



Tarascon is served by a train station and several buses.

The GR 6 footpath runs through Tarascon.


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]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Tarascon — Tarascon …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • TARASCON — TARASCON, town in S. France, south of Avignon. The earliest evidence of Jews in Tarascon is a fragment of a Hebrew inscription dating from 1193, probably from a tombstone, encased in the St. Gabriel Tower. The oldest written document concerning… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Tarascon — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Para otros usos de este término, véase Tarascon (desambiguación). Tarascon País …   Wikipedia Español

  • tarascon — TARASCON, ville de Provence, assise és confins d icelle sur le rosne vis à vis de Beaucaire, ville faisant à l opposite un limite du pays de Languedoc, icelles deux villes separées par ladite riviere de Rosne courant entre deux, dont est le… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • 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

  • Tarascon — (fr., spr. Taraskong), 1) T. sur Rhône, Stadt im Arrondissement Arles des französischen Departements Rhonemündungen, an der Rhône u. der Eisenbahn von Lyon nach Marseille; liegenden Beaucaire verbunden; hat festes Schloß, mehre Kirchen (St.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Tarascon — (spr. skóng), 1) (T. sur Ariège) Stadt im franz. Depart. Ariège, Arrond. Foix, 480 m ü. M., am Ariège und an der Südbahn, hat Reste eines Schlosses (13. Jahrh.), eine Kirche aus dem 17. Jahrh., Eisenbergbau, Hochöfen, Gipsbrüche und (1901) 1136… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Tarascon — Tarascon, franz. Stadt im Depart. der Rhonemündungen, an der Rhone, Beaucaire gegenüber, mit welchem es durch eine Hängebrücke verbunden ist, hat 12500 E., lebhafte Industrie in Seide u. Baumwolle. – T. sur Arriège, Stadt im Depart. Arriège, hat… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • tarascón — sustantivo masculino 1. Uso/registro: restringido en Chile. Origen: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Uruguay. Tarascada, mordedura grande …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • tarascón — (De tarasca1). m. Arg.), Bol.), Chile, Perú y Ur. mordedura …   Diccionario de la lengua española

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.