Longchamp Palace

The Palais Longchamp is a monument in the 4th arrondissement of Marseille , France . It houses the city’s Museum of Fine Arts and Natural History Museum . The surrounding park (The Longchamp Park ) is listed by the French Ministry of Culture as one of the Notable Gardens of France .


The Palais Longchamp was created to celebrate the construction of the Marseille Canal , which was built to bring water from the Durance River to Marseille. Although the foundation was developed by the Duke of Orleans on November 15, 1839, the building took 30 years to complete, partly because of the enormous expense and partly because of local difficulties. Designed by the architect Henry Esperandieu, the building was centered on the structure and elaborate fountain Known As the water tower ( “water castle”).


The Longchamp Palace has three main parts:

  • The water tower
  • The east wing, which houses the Museum of Fine Arts
  • The west wing, which houses the Museum of Natural History

The park

Longchamp Park was opened in 1869, at the same time as the palace; in addition, the art and natural-history collections, which had been housed elsewhere, moved into the palace at this time. The park also contained a zoo, which was run by the city from 1898 until 1987, when, because of public disaffection with traditional zoos, it was closed.

At the summit of the fountain are a representation of the Durance flanked by one who represents grapes / vines and one who represents wheat / fertility. Behind the women, in the central structure of the palace, is a manmade stone grotto decorated with carved stalactites and nymphs . From beneath the three women and the bulls, water flows into a secondary basin, and then into an artificial pond. The water drains out of the pond into underground pipes, from which it emerges in a waterfall-like structure, and in twelve ornate bronze fountains lined alongside it, flowing into a second, larger pond.

The central feature of the garden behind the palace is a classic garden to the French , qui est Known As the tray Garden . The garden includes aussi year English landscape garden , with winding alleys And Many notable trees, comprenant un 150-year-old plane tree and an oak and a Siberian elm That Both are 120 years old.

The area that was occupied by the nineteenth-century zoo still contains many of its picturesque buildings in fantastic styles, including oriental pavilions for the giraffe and elephant , cages ornamented with Turkish tiles, and bear cages and seal dens decorated with rocaille , or rock- work.

In popular culture

The music video of Soprano’s single, “They Do not Know Us” was filmed at Palais Longchamp in 2014.


  • Garden of the Plateau of the Longchamp Park

  • Former giraffe pavilion in the Longchamp Park

  • The fountain’s secondary basin

  • The water tower viewed from the balcony, looking towards the first pond

Sources and quotes

  • Page from the website of the Committee of Parks and Gardens

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