Designed by architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu, whose many Marseilles landmarks include Notre-Dame de la Garde, the Palais Longchamp is a lush park with, at its centre, a beautiful fountain depicting a young woman surrounded by her companions. The fountain is itself surrounded on either side by two large staircases that lead to the wings of the palace. On the right is the Natural History Museum, while the left houses the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The two sides are connected by a semicircular colonnade.
The wonders of the Palais Longchamp don't stop with this single building. All around are extensive and beautiful gardens. The garden of the first plateau, inaugurated at the same time as the building, is a true ‘jardin à la française'. The other, located below, is a beautiful recreation area. Until 1987, this home to the zoological gardens of Marseilles, and cages and other animal shelters still remain.
You can also visit the observatory, which never closes and processes data obtained from the world's largest telescopes. The park also has playgrounds for children and a refreshment bar. A beautiful green area in the heart of the city, it is well worth a visit.
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