Draguignan was the capital of the department of Var until 1975, when it lost its title to Toulon. Draguignan is, due to its delightful situation in a very green area, an ideal place for a holiday. It is a good starting point for trips to the surrounding country side, with its charming medieval villages, vineyards and olive groves and to the wild canyons - Grand Canyon du Verdon (to the north) and Gorges de Châteaudouble (12 km to the north), a smaller version of Verdon canyon.
- Musical entertainment in the summer.
- Festivals (¨Dragifolies).
- Golf – There are lots of golf courses in the department of Var. Most of the courses can be found on the French golf union’s website. Unfortunately the website is in French. Seek under Guide de golfs and then under the region Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur: http://www.ffgolf.org/#
- Pierre de la Fée: Northwest of the town there is a huge prehistoric dolmen.
- Tour de l’Horloge from 1663.
- i>Musée des Arts et traditions Populaires de Moyenne Provence: The museum is situated in buildings from the 17th century. Here life in the countryside is illustrated by reconstructed kitchens and barns.
- Eglise St-Michel.
- Musée Municipal: Paintings of Rembrandt and Renoir as well as collections of ceramics and furniture.
The main interest of Draguignan lies in its medieval quarter, which is encircled by beautiful avenues of plane trees.
The streets in the old town are interesting, despite the fact that they do not have the same medieval character as the smaller villages. Draguignan’s landmark, a 24 metres high bell tower, Tour de l’Horloge
, from 1663, dominates the old town with its classical wrought iron campanile on top. Eglise de St-Michel
at Place de la Paroisse
with its wooden roof has a statue of St. Hermentaire, who is said to have killed a terrorising dragon in the 5th century. The name of the town originates from this dragon. At the square next to the church there is every Saturday a huge market.
In Rue de la Juiverie one can see the facade of a synagoge, the last memory of an important Jewish society, that flourished in Draguignan in the Middle Ages. At the outskirts of Draguignan you can find a big American churchyard, Cimetière Américain, with a great many white crosses in meticulous rows, a testimony to the fights which took place when the allies landed in Provence in August 1944. Here you can visit a very simple chapel, beautifully decorated inside by an American mosaic artist.
In the town there also are two good local museums: Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires de Moyenne Provence, home to a vast exhibition of traditional handicraft and tools and Musée Municipal, whose collection contains paintings of Rembrandt and Renoir, amongst others.