We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Loved this experience - history and art”

Les Musees de La Citadelle
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed April 28, 2014

Citadelle Saint-Elme is the fortress in Villefranche overlooking the harbour, that was built in the 16th century by the Duke of Savoy to defend the port. It’s basic shape is a trapezoid layout, with a bastion at each corner. Watchtowers were placed on top of the bastions, with sentinels to oversee the ditches during battle.

Today, visitors can wander through the Citadelle and admire the great vantage points over the bay of Villefranche. It is the site of three museums (all with free entry), conference facilities, Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall), and Théâtre de Verdure (a venue for concerts and open-air cinema). The Tourist Office also runs guided tours, and can conduct tours in French sign language with prior reservation.

I loved my visit to the Citadelle. While I appreciate it is busy in high season, I visited one morning in April and in 1.5 hours I only saw one other tourist. Fantastic site for history, and free museums though it is lacking in onsite information or maps about the Citadelle itself? I would have loved to have seen an information board or replica model of past battles!

There are free accessible public toilets at the Citadelle. When you cross the drawbridge entrance, continue straight ahead for 300 metres and you will see the sign at the end pointing right to ‘Toilettes’, and the toilets are located at ground level in the terracotta-coloured building.

Volti Museum: Set into vaulted rooms, the Volti Museum has displays by sculptor Antoniucci Volti of curvaceous woman made from bronze, clay and copper. There is a lovely vaulted tunnel with sculptures, and also a sculpture room with seating.
If you have reduced mobility, I have included my travel blog link at the end of this review which gives more detailed information regarding accessibility to the Volti Museum.
The Volti Museum also offer free activity bags for families to find clues, suitable for children 7 years -10 years in English or French, ask at the reception.

Goetz-Boumeester Museum: Many works on display by the American artist Henri Goetz and his wife, Christina Boumeester, the Musée Goetz-Boumeester also has a couple of artworks by Miro and Picasso. The entrance has 6 steps, but the display rooms are all on flat surfaces. There are 8 reproduction casts of some of the artworks in braille, which I thought was a nice idea and something I have never seen at an art gallery before.

Collection Roux: A quirky small Museum with displays of ceramic figurines depicting medieval scenes. Entrance is not-accessible for persons with reduced mobility due to steps, and one display area has steps leading upstairs to it. Small children like this collection as it has figurines of knights on horses, maidens, castles.

Please visit my travel blog for more in-depth information on Villefranche-sur-Mer including the Citadelle museums, train station, location of supermarkets, beaches, playgrounds etc http://accessriviera.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/sightseeing-villefranche-sur-mer-travel-tips-and-local-knowledge/

3  Thank ARiviera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (96)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language

34 - 38 of 96 reviews

Reviewed March 23, 2014

The Citadelle is worth the time to visit if you love the stories of long ago kings, dukes and princes and their wrangling for territory. The architecture of the old stone fortress and the art exhibition of Volti sculpture plus the views from this perch make this spot an interesting one.

Thank PointerDetroit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2014

Villefranche was a port of call of a cruise we did last November in the Western Mediterranea ! At the Tourist Information Office we found out that there was a little train that toured the Old Part of the city every 45 minutes or so and that it started right outside the office . The cost was 7 euros and the capacity was around 20-25 people !
The first destination was La Citadelle where we were provided with some historical explanations in French and in English by the conductor and where we made a stop to take some pictures ! We then continued to visit the other part of the Old City and came back to our departure point about 30 minutes later !
The views from the Citadelle over the city and the sea and toward the inland are breathtaking ! I then decided to walk back from the port to the Citadelle to visit this area of Villefranche in more details ! It is a steep walk and even though it was a perfect location for picture taking , I was disappointed by the lack of informations about the Citadelle and the town in general . The museums may be of interest but I did not have the time to visit any as my wife was waiting for me in the port area ! Maybe next time as this port is getting more popular with cruiselines .

1  Thank belleretraite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 24, 2013

I have visited Villefranche and the citadelle several times, and I always enjoy coming back here. There are so many aspects to this attraction - history and art in the museums, secret garden, beautiful view and the architecture of the citadelle itself. In addition, there is a wonderfull art exhibit every year during the second weekend of September that I always try to see.

2  Thank baltojo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 4, 2013

Amazing views of the town around the Citadelle. Personally I love historic buildings and the amount of work that went into the construction. The Citadelle has the added benefit of also being the home for the artwork of Volti which is one of my favorite artists.

2  Thank Obie_Oberholster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Les Musees de La Citadelle also viewed

Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
 
Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
Villefranche-sur-Mer, French Riviera - Cote d'Azur
 

Been to Les Musees de La Citadelle? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing