- Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums, Parks and Gardens Type
- 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
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Described by many travelers as an oasis within the city's limits, Pavilion de Vendôme is a charming villa surrounded by verdant gardens. The grandiose baroque building was constructed in 1665 as a retreat for the Duke of Vendome, Louis de Mercoeur, and his mistress. Its ornately decorated façade is said to be inspired by the beauty of the duke's mistress, La Belle du Canet. In the 18th century, the house was expanded, refurnished and refurbished with antique furniture and portraits of the period.
Today, the Pavilion de Vendôme plays host to rotating temporary modern art exhibitions inside, though some visitors say the contrast between the modern art and classical architecture of the building and furniture is rather jarring. Many more visitors flock to enjoy its lush, landscaped grounds — relaxing on one of the benches that pepper the perimeter or packing a picnic to enjoy. "Great place for an outside picnic, walk or just a perfect place to sit in silence," said one TripAdvisor user. "It's quaint and peaceful."
You'll find the Pavilion de Vendôme on Rue de la Molle, just a short walk northwest of the Cours Mirabeau. Admission to the garden, which is open year-round, is free. The Pavilion de Vendôme building is open from 1:30 to 5 p.m. October 16 through April 14, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 15 through October 15; however it is closed on Tuesdays. Tickets cost €3.50 EUR (about $4.75 USD).
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