Saint-Paul de Mausole – Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France - Atlas Obscura

Saint-Paul de Mausole

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France

The mental institution where Van Gogh created some of his most famous work now allows guests to walk in the artist's footsteps. 


At the historic Maison de santé Saint-Paul de Mausole, aspiring artists can walk in the footsteps Post-Impressionism’s premiere artist, Vincent van Gogh.

St. Rémy-de-Provence is a sleepy town along the main highway that runs from Paris to Marseille. It is also home to the Maison de santé Saint-Paul de Mausole, where van Gogh committed himself from 1889 to 1890. His year at the institution provided the catalyst for some of his most iconic works.

In and around the asylum are markers where the visitors can see where van Gogh sat as he painted works like “Starry Night,” “Cypresses,” and “Irises.” Some works, particularly of the former monastery and its environs, can be seen almost unchanged from their depiction in the artist’s paintings. In total, van Gogh painted 142 works while confined to the asylum grounds or on short supervised walks. 

Saint-Paul de Mausole still functions as a psychiatric hospital today, but you can see an “emotionally charged” reconstruction of Van Gogh’s room and one wing has even been turned into a dedicated museum. Those looking for inspiration need not look any further than the inspiring vistas van Gogh himself discovered. 

Know Before You Go

South of Avignon on the D571, Head West on the D99 then South again on the D5 into Saint Rémy-de-Provence. D5 turns into Av, Vincent van Gogh.

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