The citadel in Villefranche

The citadel in Villefranche

Called Citadelle Saint-Elme, the Villefranche citadel is definitely worth a visit! It's got magnificent views, beautiful gardens, and quite some interesting artefacts in the museum.

Getting there

Guides to get to Villefranche sur Mer are covered in #practical-info, so be sure to check out that section. On that note, it's easy to walk to the citadel from the main bus line 100, or, if you're by car, there's two lovely parkings; one directly under the citadel and one by the port.

If you're taking the train, note that you'll have to walk around 5-10 minutes from the train station. The walk itself is very pleasant and is sure to take you a lot longer as you stop to photograph the #sights and enjoy the atmosphere.

Attractions in the citadel grounds

The citadel was built in the 16th century (1557, to be exact) and currently hosts the city town hall, an art gallery, and 3 museums. It was commissioned by Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy in order to strengthen the defences of the town, and has undergone major restoration in 1981.

The Volti museum is one of the museums on the grounds of the citadel. It now houses an entire population of female terracotta figures made out of copper and bronze.

The Goetz-Boumeester museum is an old military baracks that houses fifty works of Christine Bourmeester, and almost another 50 of Henri Goetz. You'll also find works of Picasso, Picabia, Miro, and Hartung. Entry to both museums is free.

The grounds boast a beautiful garden that is home to a range of events, from seminars and theatrical performances to all sorts of events and parties (from poetry reading, classical music, all the way to techno parties). There's also impressive #sights and views that can be seen from the citadel itself that are worth looking at.

You can get guided tours on the spot. They take 1 hour, and are available from September to June. Call the Cultural Service (+33 0 493 017 368) for more info.

In the summer, you can enjoy the screening of a multitude of films on the grounds of the citadel, where an open-air cinema is set up for audiences.

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Last updated 2 years ago

Published 2 years ago
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