So if you enjoyed what you saw of Nîmes in my previous post, what you will see next should convince you further to take the trip to the South of France to visit this little gem. As promised, I will reveal the Big Three, the top attractions thousands of people travel to Nîmes to see.
1) Les Arènes - the Roman amphitheatre
Built towards the end of the 1st century AC, les arènes constitute one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world. Not as big and impressive as the Colliseum in Rome (so my sister says), I was still impressed by its dimensions (133*110 meters) and how beautiful it still looks.
During the Roman empire, 25000 spectators would assemble here to watch wild animals and gladiators fight.
As you can see from the picture above, it is mostly used today for the famous ferias (corridas-bull fighting)
which take place in Nîmes every June. Concerts and other shows are also often held in there too.
2) La Maison Carrée
Built between 4 and 5 AC, this Roman temple is truly amazing thanks to its unequaled state of conservation. This temple, dedicated to Caius and Lucius César (grandsons of the Emperor Augustus), used to be at the centre of a much bigger structure, the forum (the economic centre of the Roman city).
|Me standing in front of the temple to give you an idea of its size!|
3) La tour Magne
Built between 16-15 BC, this tower is one of the best remains of the fortifications that once surrounded the Roman city of Nemausa. Located at the top of the mont Cavalier, you have to cross the jardins de la Fontaine (which I spoke about yesterday) to reach it. Although the last floor of the tower is now missing, you can still enjoy panoramic views of the city from the top.
If you ever have the opportunity to go and spend a few hours or a few days in Nîmes, I would highly recommend that you buy the combined ticket to go and visit all three monuments (<10 euros and valid 3 days, it is well worth it). Have a stroll in the city centre, enjoy a coffee sat on one of the little squares and get a healthy dose of Roman culture and history!
I have you have enjoyed this little French interlude in the last couple of weeks. It has been a very enjoyable experience for me to spend so much time with my niece and nephew in my home country. I am, however, glad to be going back to La Suisse later this week and see Mr T and Alf again. Next post will be live from Zürich.