Place du Forum, Arles

Square in Arles

Public Domain / AlanFord

Forum Square is a site of great historical and artistic value, echoing the tradition of Roman cities as vibrant centers of communal life. Initially, the square covered a vast area in Arles, stretching from today’s Boulevard des Lices towards the river.

Its fame is significantly enhanced by Vincent van Gogh’s iconic “Cafe Terrace at Night,” painted in mid-September 1888. This masterpiece captures the lively essence of a café terrace situated in the square, now known as Cafe Van Gogh, bathed in the same yellow hues depicted in the painting. Van Gogh, who never signed this piece, frequently referenced and described it in his correspondence, and a pen drawing of the scene is part of his estate.

Presently, the square remains a bustling center of Arles, where visitors can literally follow in van Gogh’s footsteps, experiencing the same lively atmosphere that inspired his renowned painting. By day or night, the square offers dynamic scenes and a chance to delve into the beauty that captivated van Gogh.

Beyond its artistic connection, Forum Square highlights Arles’s stature as an ancient Roman city and stands as a beloved landmark in the art community for being the subject of one of van Gogh’s most famous paintings. This blend of deep historical roots and artistic acclaim continues to attract global visitors, offering them a chance to engage with the rich cultural heritage of Arles.

The Place du Forum, Arles appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Arles!

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Visiting Place du Forum, Arles


24 Hours



Address: Place du Forum, Arles, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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