Please be assured that our travels during the Corona Virus pandemic have been suspended. We are currently safe and healthy within the United States, close to part of our family. What you will be reading in the following blog post occurred several months ago.
While visiting any particular location, we tend to see three to five attractions within a day. In order to provide proper attention to each of those sites , we post one at a time. Thus, the time lag. Since we will be self-quarantining during the Covid-19 outbreak, this will be an opportunity to catch up, a bit, on our postings.
Thank you all for for your interest in our travels and please stay safe. We’ve enjoyed reading your comments and questions about our travels at our email address.
Carl and Lorraine Aveni.
PALAIS LONGCHAMPS- Built over a thirty year period (1839 to 1869), the Palais Longchamps is not a palace at all, but rather a monument to water. Its existence was to celebrate the construction of a fifty mile long canal (which included over ten miles of underground tunnels) designed to bring much needed water to Marseilles from the Durance River. The elaborate “Chateau d’’Eau” (“Water Castle”) fountain in the center of the structure, unites the east wing’s Museum of Fine arts with the west wing’s Museum of Natural History.
The water from the fountain flows into an artificial basin; draining through underground pipes to a waterfall-like structure, created by twelve ornate bronze small fountains, finally into a second, larger pond. Situated next to the palace is the Longchamps Park, opened in 1869, at the same time as the palace. This glorious green space originally contained a zoo, which was eventually closed in 1987 because of the public’s dissatisfaction with traditional zoos. Many of the zoo’s elaborate buildings still exist, having been re-purposed for other uses. Colorful ceramic statues of the zoo’s former animals dot the park.
The Museum of Natural History focuses on pre-history and evolution of France’s flora and fauna, while the Museum of Fine Arts depicts works between 1644 through 1982. What a fantastic visit to the park and palace! We had a great time.