Arles, capital of culture

Founded in 46 B.C. by Julius Caesar, Arles certainly deserves its nickname, the “little Rome of the Gauls”. Lying between the banks of the Rhone, the plain of La Crau, the Camargue and the Alpilles, this majestic town plays host to a plethora of architectural treasures.

Arles boasts one of France’s richest collections of monuments dating back to the Age of Antiquity, several of them listed in UNESCO’s World Heritage.

The most well-known is the Roman amphitheatre, usually referred to as “Les Arènes”. Built around 90 A.D., it could accommodate around 21,000 spectators on its tiered terraces. Today, many concerts and shows are staged here. As for culture, Arles brims with energy under the guidance of its well-known Mayor, Patrick de Carolis. Arles has been a source of inspiration for artists such as Vincent Van Gogh and, more recently, designers such as Christian Lacroix.

Here, the Actes Sud publishing house, the festival “Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie”, and Maja Hoffmann’s Luma Foundation launched in 2021 in a futuristic pavilion signed Frank Gehry all prove the international popularity of the capital of the Camargue.Sotheby’s International Realty Arles was inaugurated in April, 2022, on the Place de la Mairie. Dedicated to sales and seasonal rentals, this agency with expertise in high-end properties covers the entire region around Arles from the Alpilles to the Camargue.

“The sales we handle involve both year-round and holiday residences for a French and international clientele, drawn by the Arlesian lifestyle and the commune’s cultural liveliness,” says Agency Manager Nathalie Chabert.

Following the enthusiasm of the past few years, characterised by strong demand for all kinds of properties, supply has become scarce with prices on the rise.

To target a lovely stone Provençal “mas”, one henceforth needs a budget between 1 and 2 million euros. The city is also experiencing a remarkable phase of renewal : Arles is a first-rate cultural and artistic destination, attracting many French and foreign visitors. The town centre is the most sought-after location. Authentic, noble houses and mansions which have conserved their charm, benefitting from terraces and/or inner courtyards, post prices here from 1 to 1.5 million euros. By way of example, Nathalie Chabert mentions a tastefully renovated old house of 213 m2 with four bedrooms. Boasting a generous terrace further enhanced by a lap pool, it is on offer at 985,000 €.

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