Toulon travel guide, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, France

Toulon is a city on the French Riviera and a large port on the Mediterranean coast, with a major naval base. Located in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Toulon is the capital of the Var department. Toulon is the fourth-largest French city on the Mediterranean coast after Marseille, Nice and Montpellier.

Toulon is an important centre for naval construction, fishing, wine making, and the manufacture of aeronautical equipment, armaments, maps, paper, tobacco, printing, shoes, and electronic equipment. Located between the sea and the mountains, the economic capital of the Var, Toulon benefits from many natural assets. The naval base (largest French military port), commerce, administrations (public or private), tourism and research.

Toulon is mainly a military port. This comes from its geography: the port is protected by a harbor and overhung by a mountain which allowed observation. All these strengths gave it a strategic position. The military port of Toulon is the major naval centre on France’s Mediterranean coast, home of the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and her battle group. The French Mediterranean Fleet is based in Toulon.

The city has a university (faculty of sciences and techniques, faculty of letters and human sciences, faculty of economic sciences and management, faculty of sciences of information and the communication (Ingémédia), faculty of law, Staps, IUT, IAE), from higher education centers: preparatory classes for the grandes écoles of Dumont-d’Urville and Rouvière high schools, Higher Institute of Electronics and Digital Technology (ISEN Toulon), SeaTech engineering school, Kedge Business business school School, etc. Toulon also has an opera house, a national regional conservatory, several museums, concert halls (Palais Neptune 5 and Zénith-Omega) and a theater labeled ” national scene “: the Liberté theater.

The history of Toulon dates back 3000 years. The Ligures settled here because of exceptional conditions. During the Middle Ages, Provence was under the coup of lords, before being integrated into the French Kingdom in 1482. During the 18th century, Toulon became an important military port for France, were boats and sails were being built. A famous convict prison was built. During the French Revolution, Toulon gave support to the monarchy, but Bonaparte (later known as Napoleon I) took back the town. During World War II, Toulon was invaded on November 27, 1942. The seamen scuttled all the boats so that the Nazis couldn’t use them. The town was freed by the Allied Forces on August 25, 1944.

The first military port of France was not considered until very recently as a tourist destination, but rather as a city of passage for tourists from Marseille and Aix who go to Italy and Corsica by ferry. Indeed, most of Toulon harbor was occupied and is still occupied by the military port. However, wedged between a magnificent harbor and the surrounding hills where one can enjoy an exceptional panorama, Toulon somehow manages to attract many visitors. From 1834, the city welcomed many artists such as Joseph Méry who fell in love with the city. In the second half of the 19th century, Toulon changed its face and its tourist activity too. Indeed, the enlargement of Toulon, signed by the decree of 1852, the arrival of the railway with the completion of the construction of the Toulon station in 1859 and the creation of a new city called the “Haute Ville” Give another dimension to Toulon.

Today and for almost a century, the capital of Var has seen its image improve significantly. The city is still not identified as a tourist city, but relies on the renovation of buildings in the “lower town”, the renovation of the existing hotel park. Facing the Mediterranean, Toulon is also fully in line with its maritime vocation with the reception of cruise passengers throughout the year (the city welcomed 225,000 cruise passengers for 112 stopovers in 2011 compared to 70,000 cruise passengers for 63 stopovers in 2008).

In addition, in July 2007, the city organized for the first time in the Mediterranean a stage of the Tall Ships’ Races(tall ships race). Nearly 970,000 visitors were able to discover around forty boats of 15 different nationalities, free and popular events throughout the territory. After the immense success encountered, a second edition took place in 2013, attracting more participants than the previous edition. The city has pleasant and shaded beaches a short distance from the city center, easily accessible by bus, like the four artificial coves built by adding sand and dikes to the Mourillon district, with restaurants, deckchairs for rent, or games for children. children.

Further east, a sailing school. Other beaches, such as those of Sablettes or Saint-Mandrier, are directly accessible by the harbor service at the urban rate. Since 2009, the city has been awarded each year for the quality of its bathing water, by winning the Blue Flag of Europe.

The tip of the Royal Tower shelters two small beaches watched in summer: Pipady and Miter. These beaches were once reserved for military families and were opened to the public in the 2000s. All along the coastal path, there are coves, some of which are frequented by naturists from time to time.


The Old Town
The old town of Toulon, the historic centre between the port, the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the Cours Lafayette, is a pedestrian area with narrow streets, small squares and many fountains. Toulon Cathedral is there. The area is also home of the celebrated Provençal market, which takes place every morning on the Cours Lafayette and features local products. The old town decayed in the 1980s and 1990s, but recently many of the fountains and squares have been restored and many new shops have opened.

The Upper Town of Georges-Eugène Haussmann
The upper town, between the Boulevard de Strasbourg and the railway station, was built in the mid-19th century under Louis Napoleon. The project was begun by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, who was prefect of the Var in 1849. Improvements to the neighbourhood included the Toulon Opera, the Place de la Liberté, the Grand Hôtel, the Gardens of Alexander I, the Chalucet Hospital, the Palais de Justice, the train station, and the building now occupied by Galeries Lafayette, among others. Haussmann went on to use the same style on a much grander scale in the rebuilding of central Paris.

The Harbour and Arsenal
Toulon harbour is one of the best natural anchorages on the Mediterranean and one of the largest harbours in Europe. A naval arsenal and shipyard was built in 1599, and a small sheltered harbour, the Veille Darse, was built in 1604–1610 to protect ships from the wind and sea. The shipyard was greatly enlarged by Cardinal Richelieu, who wished to make France a Mediterranean naval power. Further additions were made by Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Vauban.

Le Mourillon
Le Mourillon is a small seaside neighbourhood to the east of Toulon, near the entrance of the harbour. It was once a fishing village, and then became the home of many of the officers of the French fleet. Mourillon has a small fishing port, next to a 16th-century fort, Fort Saint Louis, which was reconstructed by Vauban.[14] In the 1970s the city of Toulon built a series of sheltered sandy beaches in Mourillon, which today are very popular with the Toulonais and naval families. The Museum of Asian Art is in a house on the waterfront near Fort St. Louis.

Mount Faron
Mount Faron (584 metres (1,916 feet)) dominates the city of Toulon. The top can be reached by cable car from Toulon or by a narrow, terrifying road that ascends from the west side and descends on the east side. The road is one of the most challenging stages of the annual Paris–Nice and Tour Méditerranéen bicycle races.

At the top of Mount Faron is a memorial dedicated to the 1944 Allied landings in Provence (Operation Dragoon), and to the liberation of Toulon.

Vauban’s fortifications
Beginning in 1678, Vauban constructed an elaborate system of fortifications around Toulon. Some parts, such as the section that once ran along the present-day Boulevard de Strasbourg, were removed in the mid-19th century so the city could be enlarged, but other parts remain.[15] One part that can be visited is the Porte d’Italie, one of the old city gates. Napoleon Bonaparte departed on his triumphant Italian campaign from this gate in 1796.

Heritage and monuments of Toulon
Toulon has a rich and diversified heritage taken into account in the objectives of the local urban planning plan. The city lists twenty-one historic monuments, of which 7 are classified and 14 registered in the inventory of historic monuments. They are often found in the city center of Toulon. Although Toulon suffered from the ravages of the Second World War, the Toulon heritage nonetheless reflects the architectural development of the city and artistic trends through the centuries. Provence, the historic presence of the navy, religion are the three main inspirations of these monuments that we invite you to discover, alone or guided.

The Navigation Engineering statue
The Toulon know more this statue as the “Cuverville”, so named because the later part of his anatomy facing the city… This bronze work of Louis-Joseph Daumas points his left index finger in the direction of the sea and was inaugurated on May 1, 1847 in honor of King Louis-Philippe.

Les Atlantes by Pierre Puget
On the modern facade of the town hall of honor is the surviving door of the old town hall destroyed, along with the rest of the port, in 1944. This door of 1657, work of the Marseilles sculptor Pierre Puget, represents two allegories (strength and fatigue) that support the balcony of honor. Listed as a historic monument.

The Monumental Gate of the Arsenal
This 18th century door is nowadays the entrance door to the National Maritime Museum. Four Greek columns support the pediment. On the left, the statue of Mars, god of war, and on the right Minerva, goddess of intelligence and strategy.

The Clock Tower or Square Tower
Within the confines of the naval base, but visible from the main entrance. It was built on stilts from 1772 to 1775 and served as a lookout. The bell enclosed in its bell-tower and the clock announced the hours of beginning and end of work.

The Sculpture Boat
This monumental work is a faithful reproduction of the bow of an 18th century royal ship. The original figurehead, representing Neptune, Roman god of the sea, can be found in the National Maritime Museum.

The Monumental Gate of the Former Jesuit Seminary
This door, made in 1689, is today used as a decoration for the building of the former Corderie de l’Arsenal. On the escutcheon framed by two children appeared fleur-de-lis which were erased during the Revolution.

Corderie building (Historical Defense Service)
This 400 meter long building, designed by Vauban, was originally used for the manufacture of sailboat ropes. Inside the rope factory, the arches supported by two rows of square stone pillars can be discovered in the library of the Historical Defense Service, the only public place in the rope factory.

Saint-Louis church
Completed on the eve of the Revolution, this neoclassical church first served as a Temple for the worship of Reason and the Supreme Being. Magnificent dome with lantern above the altar.

Toulon cathedral is over 900 years old. It is characterized by a curious mixture of style, due to the 17th century expansion of the 11th century Romanesque church: classic facade with Baroque details, massive bell tower (1740) surmounted by a splendid Provencal bell-tower in wrought iron. The interior, which has been redesigned several times, retains a Gothic unit with a cross of simple warheads. Baroque altar in marble and stucco made by Christophe Veyrier, nephew and pupil of Pierre Puget. Listed historic monument.

The Saint-François-de-Paule church
This church was built in the 17th century to serve as a chapel for the Récollets convent then adjoining. It is, with its curved and counter-curved facade, typical of the Baroque churches of this period in Eastern Provence. Very beautiful 18th century high altar in polychrome marble, choir, woodwork and pulpit in Sénéquier walnut.

Freedom Square
This large square in the Haussmann district is at the heart of Toulon life: cinemas, Liberty theater, cafes and restaurants, department stores… In its center stands the Federation Fountain (1889) made by the Allar brothers. Note also the magnificent facade of the Grand Hotel (1869) which hosts the new Liberté theater.

Place Puget
It is the former main square of Toulon. It was built on the site of what was then the grain hall. This picturesque Provençal square, nestled in the shade of large hundred-year-old plane trees, owes its charm to the “Fountain of the Three Dolphins” (work by Toscat and Chatel, 1780) covered with exuberant vegetation. The numerous cafes that surround it allow Toulonnais as well as their visitors to admire it while tasting during the hot summer days the freshness of this amazing hanging garden.

The ball
This cannonball embedded in the facade of a house evokes the memory of the siege established by the English in 1793 before the city was liberated by Bonaparte.

Jules Muraire dit Raimu
The most Toulonese Toulonnais, famous hero of Marcel Pagnol’s “Trilogy”, is still present in his hometown (he was born at number 6 in rue Anatole France). Monuments in his honor are to be discovered (access on one level): his bust, place des Trois Dauphins, a monumental painting and his full-length statue (work by Louis Arride) theater place as well as the sculpture of the “part of Cards », Place Raimu, reproduction of a famous scene from the film« Marius »(first part of the Pagnol trilogy), represents César (on the left) and Panisse (on the right). Access on one level.

The Porte d’Italie
Heart of town, Place Armand Vallé.
It is one of the last vestiges, with the ramparts of the Lices districts, of the fortified belt of the city. The Porte d’Italie, opened in 1791 on Vauban’s plans, is a very fine example of a strong city gate. It was this route that Bonaparte used to set out for the Italian campaign.

The Royal Tower
Acquired by the City in October 2006, the “big tower” is steeped in history. Its construction began in 1514 on the orders of Louis XII to be completed in 1524 and it was the first defense work erected on the edge of the harbor. Occupied in 1942 by the Germans who had installed anti-aircraft parts there, it was almost destroyed by American bombing.

Fort Saint-Louis
This tower built in 1696 on the orders of Vauban was first called “Tour des Vignettes”. It was responsible, by its strategic position at the entrance of the harbor, to prevent any enemy presence. It experienced its heyday in 1707 during the siege of Toulon by the ships of the Anglo-Spanish coalition during the wars of succession to the Spanish throne to which King Louis XIV claimed. Completely destroyed, it was rebuilt in its original form and renamed “Fort Saint-Louis”. Its conflagration is celebrated today on August 15 by a magnificent fireworks display.

The fountains
If Toulon was once called the city of fountains, it is no coincidence: it owes its name to Telo, the Celto-Ligure goddess of gushing sources. There are no less than fifty fountains throughout the town: basket fountains, Pigne, Commissariat, Tambourine for the oldest but also fountains of the Globe, Fishmonger or Mulberry for the most recent… All have a story to whisper to us.

Mayol stadium
The early XX th century, the singer Félix Mayol stadium offers the rugby team. To thank him, the team’s emblem became the sprig of lily of the valley that Félix Mayol used to wear in his buttonhole. The stadium, emblematic of the Toulon rugby team RCT, double European champion and Top 14 champion in 2014, has the distinction of being in the city center. The atmosphere on the match days reveals Toulon’s love for their team and an unconditional fervor for rugby.

Places of Worship
Different cults are present in Toulon; the main one is that of the Catholic Church, including places of worship depend on the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon led by M Dominique Rey, whose diocese is located avenue of Elisa. Toulon hosts a community ” Fraternité Saint-Pie-X ” with the Sainte-Philomène church (in Mourillon). After the Catholic Church, the Reformed Church is historically important with its main temple on rue Victor-Clappier in the city center. There are also small evangelical communities. The Orthodox ChurchGreek is present rue Marius-Andrieu in Bon Rencontre, and the Russian Orthodox Church in Siblas. A small French Orthodox community exists in Aguillon. The Jewish worship has a synagogue on avenue Lazare-Carnot in Saint-Roch and the Muslim worship takes place at the En-Nour mosque, rue Vincent-Courdouan, and in the prayer hall, boulevard Ferdinand-de- Lesseps. The Buddhist and Confucian bought small private places.

Thus, the city hosts a significant number of religious buildings. The Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds Toulon which was built in the XI century under the leadership of the Count of Provence, Boson Gilbert, who wanted to build a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Listed as a historic monument by decree of November 16, 1949, then classified by decree of November 14, 1997, it has been since 1957 the cathedral of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon, grouping the dioceses of Toulon and Fréjus. In 1707, Monsignor Armand-Louis Bonnin de Chalucet decided to build a new church on Place d’Armes to serve the western part of the city in honor of Saint Louis, King of France. It was destroyed and rebuilt on the expropriated land of the Capuchin convent. Completed on the eve of the French Revolution in 1788, the Greco-Roman-inspired building is the major example of neoclassical religious architecture in France. The Saint-François-de-Paule church, located at the bottom of the Cours Lafayette and a stone’s throw from the port of Toulon, is a
Catholic church erected in 1744 on the site of the old royal castle, Casteou de la Mar, for serve as a chapel at the adjacent Récollets convent. Named thus according to the wish of the parishioners, the place is largely inspired by the Roman and Piedmontese baroque, thus comprising a nave of modest size and side chapels.

Religious buildings: Notre-Dame-de-la-Seds Toulon (end XII century), co-cathedral of the diocese of Fréjus-Toulon (the diocese is located in Toulon, district Beaulieu);

the Saint-François-de-Paule church (1744);
the Saint-Louis church;
the church and the former Sainte-Philomène convent in Mourillon;
the church of Saint-Jean-Bosco;
the Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue church;
the church of Saint-Pie X;
the Saint-Paul church;
the Church of the Sacred Heart;
the Saint-Flavien church;
the church of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul; the organs of religious buildings.
Sainte-Thérèse de Valbertrand chapel;
the Notre-Dame-du-Cap-Falcon chapel.

Monuments and tourist places
Fortifications and military structures: the Royal Tower (1514), an old fortress for the defense of the harbor then a prison until the Second World War;

Fort Lamalgue;
Fort Saint-Antoine;
Fort Saint-Louis;
old fort of Pomets;
Beaumont tower (memorial museum of the landing in Provence, inaugurated in 1964 by General De Gaulle);
fort of Croix-Faron;
Fort Faron.

the door of the Arsenal;
the Porte d’Italie;
the door of the Jesuit seminary today on the east pavilion of Corderie.

Statues and Memorials:
statue in honor of Raimu, Provencal actor from the early XX century;
Heinrich Heine enthroned discreetly under the shade of the garden of acclimatization at Mourillon after an incredible journey: commissioned by Empress Sissi, fervent admirer of Heine, this statue of the Danish sculptor Louis Hasselriis arrives at his property in Corfu, the Achilleion in 1892; in 1907 the emperor William IIwho abhors Heine, the “worst bastard of all German poets”, redeems the Achilleion and immediately gets rid of the statue. Heinrich Julius Campe, son of the poet’s publisher, bought it to settle in Hamburg, but she was the victim of anti-Semitic acts and then of the Nazis. In 1939, a Campe girl had the statue transferred to Toulon, where she was believed to be lost after the Allied bombings. Finally, the work was set up in 1956;
François Fabié;
statue of the Engineering of Navigation, square of the Port (bronze statue, called in popular parlance “Cul-vers-Ville”, because it turns its back on Toulonnais);
monument of Federation, a fountain in the Place de la Liberté, ideally depicting the departure of the Statue of Liberty from Toulon to New York on the frigate Isère;
the FNRS 3 bathyscaphe, esplanade of the Royal Tower;
the national monument in memory of the Submariners;
the Toulon sailors and soldiers monument;
the war memorial of 1914-1918;
the stele of 1793;
the stele to the Armenians.

Administrative and cultural buildings: the maritime prefecture;

the administrative court;
port hotel;
Toulon opera, the largest opera-theater in the provinces.

Other types of heritage: clock tower or “square tower”, in the enclosure of the arsenal (second half XVIII century), formerly on stilts. Very damaged during the bombings of the Second World War, its campanile was rebuilt in the early 1950s;

the bandstand at Square Alexandre- I;
the municipal halls, known as Halles Raspail;
the trompe-l’oeil of rue de la Glacière;
door lintels;
the house of the Heads;
invitation to travel;
sculpture with balls;
rope of the arsenal of Vauban (XVII century) forming the northern part of the enclosure Arsenal.

Parks, gardens and squares
Honored with Three Flowers in the competition of flowered towns and villages, Toulon has around twenty gardens and small parks. The Alexandre-garden I located in the heart of town, is the Toulon garden oldest to have been built and that since 1852. The garden Las, classified ” sensitive natural area ” and ” remarkable garden ” houses the museum. The city has a unique specimen of a tree, a strangler fig, a cutting from Place Georges Tainturier, in Compiègne. The garden of the Royal Tower, inaugurated in 2008, is the most important park created in Toulon in the 2000s.

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Located at the foot of a high limestone formation holding rainwater, Toulon has been dubbed the XVIII and XIX centuries, city fountains. The water sources of the town were quickly captured by the Romans, who saw public fountains bloom on its territory, thanks in particular to the work of great sculptors working for the Royal Navy. Today, the city has 83 fountains, the majority being located in Old Toulon, giving the squares an oasis-like appearance when the summer period sets in. There are buffet fountains, candlestick fountains, and even wash fountains, testimony to the evolution of taste, history and art,, the basket fountain, the virgin fountain, the fountain at the Jean-Vitel roundabout, the fountain at Place Saint-Vincent, the fountain at Dolphin, the fountain at Place Camille-Ledeau, the fountain of the Vieux-Palais, or the fountain of the place Paul-Comte.

The Toulon tourist office offers a two-hour circuit to explore old Toulon and the many fountains that have earned it this nickname. In addition, André Jean Tardy, a former chief engineer of the city who led the water and sanitation management for several years, offers after 25 years of research work in a book called Fontaines toulonnaises, a richly illustrated study period documents of all the fountains existing or having existed in Toulon.

Cultural spaces
The cultural offer of the city has been growing since the 2000s and the town has been trying since then to develop this activity. For example, the national label of the Regional Conservatory, or the National Center for Creation and Contemporary Dance of Chateauvallon.

Throughout your journey in the city center, the heritage of Toulon and the museums bear witness to the history of Toulon, and reveal collections from the most classic to the most contemporary, passing through the temple of Toulon rugby: the Mayol stadium.

Created at the end of the First Empire and opened to the public in 1814, the National Maritime Museum of Toulon (one of the five annexes of the National Maritime Museum which is located in Paris at the Palais de Chaillot) has been installed since 1981 on Place Monsenergue, next to the clock tower of the arsenal and notably presents a very important collection of models of boats and galleys.

Toulon Art Museum
Inaugurated in 1888, the art museum exhibits paintings from the Flemish, Dutch, Italian and French (XVI - XVIII centuries) and a fund of XIX century displaying works of painters Provencal landscape as Toulon Vincent Courdouan.

Built in 1887 in the Italian Renaissance style (architect Gaudensi Allar), the Toulon Art Museum brings together collections of ancient, modern and contemporary art. The ancient and modern heritage concerns painting in Provence from the 17th to the beginning of the 20th century. If most of the collections are made up of Provençal landscapes from the 1850s (Guigou, Aiguier, Courdouan, Ziem…), the Fauves de Provence (Camoin, Chabaud, Verdilhan…), and the Symbolists are not forgotten. The contemporary collection (from the 1960s to the present day) occupies an important place. New Realism (Arman, César, Christo, Klein, Raysse…), Minimal Art (Don Judd, Sol Lewitt…), Support-Surface (Cane, Dezeuze, Viallat…) rub shoulders with other mobilities (Arnal, Chacallis, Télémaque, Buren…) and a large collection of photographs (Cartier-Bresson, Faucon…).

National Maritime Museum
A true memory of the Arsenal, the National Maritime Museum in Toulon recalls the place of the Navy in this war port and illustrates it with an exceptional collection of boat models. This art and history museum also evokes the maritime life in Toulon XVIII th century to today, the history of the arsenal, shipbuilding, galleys and the galleys and the evolution of the boats in the Mediterranean XVII th century to the present through models, relief maps, paintings, sculptures and navigation instruments.

The Var departmental museum
The new natural history museum where visitors can see collections of mineralogy, fossils and naturalized animals, as well as reconstructions of dinosaurs and prehistoric men, is located in the Jonquet district, in the Jardin du Las, a ” sensitive natural space ” and ” remarkable garden “. It is classified museum of France, like the museum of the Marine and the art museum (boulevard Leclerc). The Beaumont tower erected in 1845 at Mont Faron hosts the landing memorial in Provence. This is inaugurated on August 15, 1964by General de Gaulle to celebrate the 20 anniversary of the landing of Provence. The museum devotes a detailed exhibition on the progress of military operations in Provence, with numerous maps, period photographs, models, mannequins and military vehicles.

The Museum’s collections cover the main naturalist disciplines: entomology, botany, malacology, ornithology, mammalogy, mineralogy and paleontology. Emphasis was placed on the presentation to the public of regional fauna (mammals and birds), mineralogy as well as paleontology: paleoenvironments of Canjuers in the Jurassic and reconstruction, life-size, of the Variraptor, dinosaur of the end of the Secondary discovered in the Var. Scientific library accessible to naturalists and researchers (by appointment).

History Museum of Toulon and its region
The Museum of Old Toulon. Founded in 1912, the Society of Friends of Old Toulon and its region is an association that manages the Museum of Old Toulon. The latter traces the history of the city and its port. It also houses objects relating to the social, economic, religious, artistic or military history of Toulon. In particular, it has a large collection of fireplaces (what remained of bombed houses in 1943-1944). The building which houses the museum of Old Toulon must be transformed into a hotel, the institution plans to move in 2015.

This museum (which is the museum of the Society of Friends of old Toulon and its region) aims to collect, conserve and exhibit works of art, objects and various souvenirs linked to social history, economic, military, religious or artistic of Toulon and its region. He currently offers two permanent exhibitions (one on the history of Toulon, the other on sacred art in Toulon and in the Var) and a temporary exhibition renewed every four months in general.

Contemporary gallery museum
Based since its opening in 1989 in a bunker, the walls of the XVII century door of Italy, the contemporary gallery museum devoted to contemporary art. This site is one of the most important facilities in the city in terms of contemporary creation, hosting temporary exhibitions of national and international artists while remaining at the same time an equipment used to promote young regional creation.

The Asian arts museum
Inaugurated in 2001, the museum of Asian art is still in the Jules Verne villa (mansion of the early XIX century, in the district of Mourillon) and is home to Asian art collections dating back to the oldest of the XVII century, presented by geographic origin: China, Japan, India, Tibet, Thailand, Mongolia, Cambodia, Java, Ceylon, Burma and Vietnam – Tonkin. This building to be transformed into a hotel, the establishment is looking for a new home for 2015.

The Museum of Asian Arts of Toulon presents on 2 levels permanent exhibitions and temporary exhibitions on the ground floor. The 1st floor, devoted to China and Japan, presents the collections of civilizations in chronological order along a museographic route. Chinese dynasties are represented there from Shang to Qing. Works of art, paintings, decorative arts… illustrate the different periods of Chinese civilization. The Japanese collections, less numerous, are however very representative of the Empire of the Rising Sun. The 2nd floor brings together the collections of Southeast Asia, India, Tibet and Mongolia. The influence of Buddhism on the culture of civilizations is the common thread of the visit.

The museum archaeological Center Var
Housed in a former barracks of the XIX Century Boulevard Bazeilles, the museum archaeological archaeological Center Var presents everyday objects, works of art, pottery and models retracing the ancient, navigation, economic activity in the old in the past. This museum was to move in late 2015.

House of Photography
Located in the heart of the Old Town, the Maison de la Photographie, museum institution of the City of Toulon, was inaugurated in 2002. Having a double vocation, it constitutes a springboard for regional artists and must also present works which by their international scope influence the different currents of photography. La Maison de la Photographie is a direct extension of the photographic collection created by Marie-Claude Beaud for the Toulon Art Museum in the 1980s. This collection is now rich with more than 400 works.

Departmental Arts Hotel
Created by the General Council of Var, the Hôtel des Arts aims to show art from the 20th century to the present day. Painting, sculpture and photography are particularly in the spotlight, without excluding the most recent forms of Contemporary Art. Located in a beautiful building at the end of the 19th century, in the very heart of Toulon, it displays an international ambition, placing it among the cultural places to visit in the cultural route that goes from Marseille to Menton.

Landing Memorial Museum
Built in 1845, the Beaumont tower is part of the harbor defense and surveillance program. It was converted into a Memorial Museum of the landing of the Allies in August 1944. The new museographic route of the landing of Provence, inaugurated in 2017, has 600 m² of exhibition space in which 200 collectibles and numerous multimedia supports come together to facilitate understanding of this historic event little known to the general public. Magnificent panorama and orientation tables on the upper platform of the fort.

Jean Aicard Museum – Paulin Bertrand
Established in the Villa “Les Lauriers Roses”, source of inspiration for Jean Aicard, the author of “Maurin des Maures”, the museum gives to see paintings signed by his friend Paulin Bertrand. Also discover the different places of life of the writer-poet, a collection of ceramics by Clément Massier and the park that surrounds the house.

The arts district
In 2017, culture in Toulon took a major turn in the historic center of the city: rue Pierre Sémard, place de l’Equerre, but also the neighboring streets became ” rue des Arts “. The first is the epicenter of places completely redesigned to carry art and culture. Galleries, boutiques and concept stores, designers, co-working spaces, cafes, bars, etc. take over these spaces and breathe fresh and stimulating air into the old center of Toulon. Its inauguration in May 2017 gave rise to 3 exceptional days of celebration: exhibitions, concerts, artistic journey,

The harbor and the port
Characteristics of Toulon, its port and the entrance to its harbor rub shoulders with the city center. Nothing is easier than having a drink with a sea view before going to the cinema or returning from the market!

From Toulon, cross the harbor by boat-bus, or embark on extraordinary islands, for the day, the weekend or a stay: Porquerolles, Corsica, Mediterranean cruise… All the companies are at quay in Toulon for your desires to take off.

Toulon beaches
Family beaches of Mourillon, coves in the shade of pines, Blue Flag and disabled access, equipment and nautical clubs, in Toulon organize your idleness.

Mourillon beaches
These are the most popular beaches in Toulon for their geographic location, their accessibility to all (family, disabled people, etc.), their play areas, their restaurants and their large landscaped areas where you can put your towel down in summer. It is also the setting for major summer events: blaze of Fort Saint-Louis, Patrouille de France, Read at the Beach operation, Fisherman’s Night, etc.

Anses Méjean and Magaud
More secret, typical of the Var coasts, these pebble coves welcome you below cliffs adorned with pines and fishermen’s huts, for days spent to the rhythm of the song of the cicadas and the sound of the waves. Notice to amateurs: put on your flippers, put on a mask and snorkel for a discovery of the Mediterranean seabed.

Toulon markets
Located on Cours Lafayette, a stone’s throw from the Tourist Office, the largest market in Provence has been made famous by the song by Gilbert Bécaud… A must in Toulon heritage, the Cours Lafayette market, sung by Gilbert Bécaud, a native of Toulon, is certainly the most famous of the Provence markets.

The Lafayette course market
Fruits, vegetables, flowers, textiles… Every morning, except Monday, from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. Cours Lafayette and rue Paul Lendrin (“petit cours”), place Louis Blanc, rue de Lorgues and place Paul Comte.

The country producers market
Producers exclusively sell products from their farm. Every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday until 1 p.m. Rue Paul Lendrin (“little course”).

The Mourillon market
Futures, fishmongers, local cheeses, textiles… Every morning, except Monday, from 8h to 12h30. Places Emile Claude and Monseigneur Deydier.

The Pont du Las market
Futures, fishmongers, local cheeses, producers, textiles… Every morning except Monday from 7:30 am to 12:30 pm. Place Martin Bidouré.

Brunet market
Futures, fishmonger, local cheeses, producers… Tuesday from 7h to 12h30. Fiegenschuh Square

The Roads market
Provencal food market. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Place Macé

Getting around
Despite the opening of a tunnel in the East-West direction in 2002 and then in the other direction in 2014, traffic is often not very fluid. A highway accesses the West and the East of the city, it is often blocked in the morning and at the exit of the offices. Driving in the Toulon conurbation becomes an ordeal during sales periods.

Public transport
Mistral network. More than 60 land bus lines and 3 maritime lines serving the towns of the agglomeration. The bus (and water bus) is an interesting option. The network is important, but the last buses are around 9 p.m. (midnight for water buses).

Toulon tourist train
Departing from the port of Toulon from April to October, discover Toulon through a commented circuit on the little train. 45mn guided tour (French / English). Departures every day.

By bike
For cycling, caution is essential: Toulon residents sometimes go crazy with a car in their hands. Be careful when the light is green for you! There are few cycling facilities inside Toulon but some surrounding towns have more (La Garde, Le Pradet for example). The cycle paths are worth a detour: the coastal path that goes to Hyères has a lovely setting. not agree 1) the Touloners drive normally 2) the cycle track goes to the canadel and borrows the old railroad along the coast the beach of the dimple after the lavandou is worth the detour.

Toulon festivals
Each year, major cultural and musical events take place in Toulon: jazz, rock or more classical, film buff, environmental or pictorial… because yes, Toulon is a city of festivals, offering sites perfectly adapted to each format!

Présences Féminines Festival (March)
Concerts, lectures on female figures in history and music.

Mang’Azur Festival (April)
Festival of Japanese culture in all its forms, cosplay show.

International Street Painting
Festival (May) Street painting festival (on bitumen), creation of frescoes in all formats.

Cinéma en Liberté Festival (June)
Born in 2010 and created by the association Au Coeur des Arts, the international short film festival Cinéma en Liberté takes place at the Royal Tower.

Rockorama (July)
Rock, pop, electronic, folk, new-wave or punk concerts in the gardens of the Royal Tower.

Summer Music Festival of Toulon and its Region (June-July)
Summer edition of the Classic Music Festival, outdoor concerts at the Royal Tower and at the Collegiate Church of Six-Fours.

Jazz Festival in Toulon (July)
Free concerts at aperitif time and in the evening, mixing young jazz talents and headliners.

Music Festival Classics (October-April)
Season of classical concerts at the Opera and at the Palais des Congrès Neptune in Toulon, conferences, meetings…

International Weeks of the Toulon and Var Organ (October)
Organ concerts and recitals in the churches of Toulon and Var.

Var Book Festival (November)
Conference, round tables, meetings, concerts and shows take place over a weekend with selected authors.

International Screen Music Festival (November)
To rediscover masterpieces of cinema, accompanied by “live” orchestras, in Toulon and in the cities of the agglomeration.

Festival of contemporary drawing Vrrraiment! (November)
The Art Museum welcomes artists for three days for a unique experience with drawing. Come immerse yourself in the precise moment when the pencil chooses its path on the sheet.

International Maritime Film, Exploration and Environment Festival (December)
International competition with the screening of documentaries, slideshows, photo exhibitions, conferences and debates.

Tags: France