The Château de Tarascon is in a remarkable state of conservation, thanks to the restoration work carried out by the architects of the historical monuments. It is one of the most magnificent medieval castles in France. Built at the beginning of the 15th century on a rocky islet, this monument is made up of two distinct parts: to the north, a farmyard dedicated to the staff and soldiers, and to the south, the dwelling. Its location on the banks of the Rhône was strategic, as it served as a monumental sentinel controlling the political border. The terrace of the Château de Tarascon offers a panoramic view of the river, the Alpilles and the Montagnette.
In the 13th century, a first castle stood on the present site of the Château de Tarascon. It was rebuilt by the two Dukes of Anjou between 1400 and 1435 with the help of the architect Jean Robert. The materials used for the construction of the building were taken from quarries in Beaucaire. King René I, heir to the county of Provence, made some modifications to the building between 1447 and 1449 with the help of Jean Serocourt and Regnault de Serocourt in order to make the castle more habitable. In the main courtyard, he had a niche built to display his bust and that of Queen Jeanne de Laval. During his many stays, he organized prestigious parties and made the castle a privileged meeting place. After his death, the monument was used only occasionally.
The Château de Tarascon would be used very early as a place of detention. Already in 1480, a Catalan prisoner, supporter of the King of Aragon, enemy of King René I, was locked up in the dungeons. On the wall, he engraved representations of warships, merchant ships, but also religious and secular motifs. From the 17th century until 1926, when the prison was definitively closed, the prison function was accentuated, and modifications were made to transform the rooms into collective or individual dungeons. During the French Revolution, Robespierre’s supporters were executed there.
The damage caused by the transformation of the castle into a prison would be repaired by the architects of the Historical Monuments from 1932. The partitions in the rooms were removed and the windows were reopened. From 1940 to 1980, the numerous restoration works allowed the Château de Tarascon to regain the look it had in the time of the Dukes of Anjou.References:
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens. It was built in 161 AD by the Athenian magnate Herodes Atticus in memory of his wife, Aspasia Annia Regilla. It was originally a steep-sloped theater with a three-story stone front wall and a wooden roof made of expensive cedar of Lebanon timber. It was used as a venue for music concerts with a capacity of 5,000. It lasted intact until it was destroyed and left in ruins by the Heruli in 267 AD.
The audience stands and the orchestra (stage) were restored using Pentelic marble in the 1950s. Since then it has been the main venue of the Athens Festival, which runs from May through October each year, featuring a variety of acclaimed Greek as well as International performances.