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Arles and L’Arlésienne

The beautiful 'Queens' of Arles

There is a long tradition dating back to Antiquity of Arles claiming to have the most beautiful women in France. This has been re-inforced over the years by many writers including Alphonse Daudet and Frederic Mistral. Moreover, filmmakers have produced works entitled L’Arlésienne and of course we have Van Gogh’s famous portraits.

True or not, the women of Arles are very comfortable with this reputation as I guess anyone would be. They take every opportunity to dress in the appropriate outfits, i.e. sumptuous costumes flowing down to the the ground with small velvet ribbonned headdresses styled in the fashion of the 18th & 19th centuries.

An ambassador for the city & local culture

Every three years on May 1st during the Herdsmen’s Festival they elect the most beautiful of the young ladies Queen of Arles She is crowned in early July during the Festiv’Arles and becomes an ambassador for the city having been chosen for her knowledge of history, literature, architecture, arts, traditions and the language of Provence

Further Information?

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Département: Bouches-du-Rhône.


St Rémy to Arles In-A-Day

In the Footsteps of Van Gogh

Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Photo by Direction de la communication