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Dive into the heart of town life as it once was and how it is today with a visit to the town hall and explore the Salle des Consuls (consul room) and its period furniture.
► Town Hall
Tarascon’s town hall is a listed monument designed by Brother Trinitaire Darmin in 1648 to house the community’s documents in case of danger and it has barely changed since. It was worked on until 1670 and it wasn’t until the 17th century that the superb woodwork that you can still see today in the Salle des Consuls was fitted. This room, furnished with beautiful paintings, is now used for weddings and community functions. The town’s 15th century coat of arms depicting the château and the Tarasque is carved into the entrance.
Its Louis XIII façade is dedicated to Martha and is a sculpture of Louis le Mâle flooring the Tarasque. The Latin inscription is a reminder of the consular dedication: "The year 1648 and the 6th year of Louis XIV’s reign and the regency of his pious mother to the glory of God, our host and of the Virgin Mary, our hostess, this building, whose enclosure was too narrow, has been extended and reconstructed to better suit the needs of public affairs and the town’s ornament.”
Hôtel de Ville - Place du Marché
13 150 Tarascon
Contact: 04 90 91 00 07
8:00 to noon and 13:30 to 17:00 Monday to Friday (Friday closing time: 16:30)
► The former Place du Marché
Vegetables were sold on Place du Marché and the square took on real importance during the 17th century thanks to the building of the town hall, which was once the edge of the town’s old Jewish area (Rue du Château).
►The former nun’s Chapel of the Refuge: the Persévérance - Rue Proudhon (between no. 8 and no.10) (no admission to the interior)
The Chapel of the Persévérance perpetuates the memory of an establishment founded in 1677 by the nuns of Notre Dame du Refuge, an order founded in Nancy by Marie Isabelle de la Croix following Saint Augustine’s rule. Notre Dame du Refuge titulature is related to the story of Saint Mary of Egypt, who sought refuge in the desert to purge her sins and whose cult was popular in the Middle Ages.
The house of Tarascon welcomed women wishing to do penance or sent there by the archbishop to make their lives honest and for some of them to be accepted into the religious order. But it soon had moral and financial setbacks and after the Revolution, the chapel was returned to the cult and kept its name, Refuge, until 1833 from which time Sunday school meetings were held here and described as perseverance.
Its façade is typically baroque with a recess flanked by two vases at the heart of a triangular pediment framed with pilasters on top of an entrance door with Corinthian capitals.