Lonschan Palace in Marseille
Lonshan Palace – an architectural hymn to fresh water in Marseille. It’s impossible not to be enthusiastic, a visit to the Lonshan Palace complex should be included in your program during a trip to Marseille. The decoration of the complex was a ten-meter cascading fountain in front of the Chateau d’Eau Palace. This is one of the ten most beautiful fountains in the world. In the castle park at the observatory, intergalactic spaces are explored by the largest telescopes in the world. Here you can see the collection of instruments of ancient astronomers. Museums occupy two parts of the building: on one side of the palace the Museum of Fine Arts receives visitors, the other side is occupied by the Museum of Natural History. The first introduces the works of Italian and French sculptors and painters of the 16-19th centuries. The second museum presents a collection of items from prehistoric times, as well as osteological and zoological expositions. The museum has a separate room for exploring the history of Provence. The Zoological Garden is located behind the castle, but the animals are no longer there. At the zoo site, several old pavilions have been preserved. The garden itself was decorated with figures, colored and, sometimes, funny. Century elms, plane trees and oaks create a shadow in the Lonshan castle complex. For children, entertainment is provided on slides and swings. Voyage to Lonshan Palace will combine several tourist moments at once: admiring the architecture of the castle, the noisy flow of water along the cascades of the fountain, visiting two museums and a walk along shady and picturesque alleys. How to get to one of the most beautiful fountains in the world If you are already in Marseille, then spend a few hours of your time traveling to the Lonschain Palace. This is best done on the subway. Just a few stops, and when you get off at Cinq Avenues Longchamp subway station, you will be there. Of course, you can get by taxi, but this makes little sense, given the convenience of the Marseille metro. The cost of a visit to Lonshan Palace Visiting Lonshan Palace is completely free, but you will have to pay entrance fees to museums. Entrance to the Museum of Fine Arts is free every month on the first Sunday, for the remaining days – for 5 euros. Ticket to the Museum of Natural History – 8 euros. Time for admiring the beauties of Lonshan Castle (opening hours) The palace complex receives visitors in the summer from 11:00 to 18:00. The rest of the year – from 10:00 to 17:00. Museums are happy to receive guests daily from 10 to 18 hours. Monday is a day off. A worthy place worthy of long walks (time planning) When you get to the palace grounds, then, having seen the scale and grandeur of the luxurious complex, the atmosphere of magically flowing water and the unique architectural finds in the palace building will bewitch you for a long time. For some time you will want to stay near the water (if the water element does not annoy you with its “loud conversation”). Do not forget about the interesting museums in the palace. In general, half a day will be enough for an excursion to Lonshan Palace. 5-6 hours is enough to inspect and evaluate all the elements of the complex, while glancing at the museums. The history of the Water Palace Paradoxical as it may sound, but Marseille, standing on the seashore, for many centuries so needed fresh water. The cost of water in dry times reached the price of silk. The year 1835 kills tens of thousands of people in connection with the cholera epidemic. Without a plumbing system, a city would disappear from the face of the earth. The authorities of Marseille are collecting the necessary funds for the construction of a 53-kilometer canal from the Durance river to the city. Only in 1850 the canal began to function. In 1839, the idea came up of hiding a water tower behind a palace. In the fall of the same year, the Duke of Orleans laid the first stone in a new building, which later becomes a kind of ode to fresh water. The planned palace complex has been under construction for about 30 years. Henri-Jacques Esperadier, a venerable architect, led a grandiose project. The central place in the complex is reserved for the cascading fountain “Chateau d’Eau”, which is a symbolic sculptural group created by the talented Jules Cavallier. Four Camargue bulls pull a chariot. It is ruled by a tall woman personifying the Durance River. Next to the woman are two more beautiful ladies. They symbolize grapes and wheat. Behind them are two kids holding ears and bunches. The composition embodies joy, fertility and hope. From the fountain, water flows into the middle basin, and then into pipes underground. Of these, the water stream flows into 12 small fountains located along the waterfall, then flows down the steps into a pond in front of the castle. Behind the fountain there is a grotto-arch with images of birds, nymphs and flowers. On the arch vault, in front, is the coat of arms of Marseille, which is encircled by two mermaids. Two portals, decorated by the animalist Antoine-Louis Bari, diverge from the arch. Like two wings, Corinthian colonnades in the form of a semicircle extend from the portals. Zodiac signs designed by Gilbert decorated the frieze above the columns. On both sides of the palace museums “settled”, the interior of which is different from each other.