We owe the Palais Longchamp to the architect Henri-Jacques Espérandieu, whose many Marseille landmarks include the Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica and the Marseille Cathedral. At its centre, aa lush park is home to a beautiful fountain depicting a young woman and 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 semi-circular colonnade.
The wonders of the Palais Longchamp go far beyond 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 was home to the zoological gardens of Marseille, with cages and other animal shelters still remaining there today.
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