Friday, 9 April 2021

What Is LongChamp?

 LongChamp, or more precisely Palais Longchamp is a monument in the 4th arrondissement of Marseille, France. It is truly a magnificent piece of architecture! 

Longchamp Marseille France

Origins of Longchamp

Today, the LongChamp houses the Musee de beaux-arts, and the Museum d'histoire naturelle de Marseille, however, this is only it's modern use.

Longchamp was originally Palais Longchamp and was built to celebrate the construction of the Canal de Marseille which was built to transport water from  the Durance River to Marseille.

The foundation stones were laid on 15th November 1839 by Duke of Orleans. However, as with a building of this intricacy, the Palais Longchamp took some 30 years to complete. 

You may wonder who was responsible for such a magnificent design? Well, the architect who was responsible was Henri-Jacques Esperandieu, who centred his design on the water fountain named chateau d'eau, as you can see in the photo below:

Chateau D'eau Palais Longchamp

Uses For The Grounds

As mentioned previously, the Palais Longchamp serves Musee's and museums today, a vital addition to local culture and tourism. We have a guide to local businesses which contains many similar establishments as well as more routine trades and services such as even local window cleaners. However, the Palais also has a couple of uses that you may not be familiar with, what other uses have existed here?

One of the foremost ways that the grounds of the Palais have been used centres around Longchamp Park. This park was opened in 1869, the same year as construction of the Palais was completed. Longchamp Park has been a popular part of the grounds, even hosting a zoo from 1898 to 1987, when, because of public outcry, the zoo was closed. The reason? The public's perception of traditional views had changed with the times, and their image went from public curiosity and support, to antipathy, or even hostility. As such, the Palais moved with the times, and the zoo was shut.

Something that has survived public sentiment, and still survives today is the Jardin du Plateau. Whilst you may not have heard of this, the Jardin du Plateau includes a magnificent English Landscape Garden, which has, as some it's features, winding alleys and trees of note such as a 150 year old Plane Tree, and two trees that are 120 years old: an Oak, and a Siberian elm.

Learn More About LongChamp

To contact for a tour, arrange a visit, or just find more information, consider using:


phone +33 4 91 14 5950

I hope that you will take time to visit and discover all that Palais Longchamp has to offer!

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