Our journey started on an early Sunday morning followed by a Monday (being public holiday) towards South-Eastern part of France towards Languedoc-Roussillon region to the cities of Nimes and Arles.
Part 1 of our travel (Day 1):
Nimes testify to its importance with small and large Roman architectural remains sprinkled across the city.
Arena of Nimes; it reminds you to the similar majestic arena in Rome. Today the amphitheater of Nimes is the best preserved Roman Amphitheater in the world. In 12th century the amphitheater was called Arena (from Latin; Arena = Sand). The arena is made of two levels of arcade and divided into 60 spans. A capacity 24,000 Gallo-Romans could enjoy the show of Gladiators or animal fighting. It is among the 20 largest Roman amphitheaters of the 400 in existence.
Walking through the Arena you can see different sights of the city and also can learn about the evolution of different weapons and costumes used by Gladiators. There are two expositions inside the Arena; where one of them gladiator's quarters which display's the evolution of various armours and costumes. The other one being the “Colours of the corrida” section; where one can see the colorful costumes of toreros and matador. Corrida means - a bullfight, especially a program in which six bulls aged at least four years old are engaged. Corrida involves professional toreros (of which the most senior is called a matador) who execute various formal moves according to the bullfighter's style or school.
The Maison Carrée was a temple of the Gallo-Roman city in Nimes. The only ancient temple to be completely preserved till todate. Inside this building you can watch a 3D film lasting 22 minutes long, immersing you in the heart of a thousand-year-old town. The film shows the “Heroes of Nîmes”, takes you back to the heroic past of the city. The 3D technology of the film takes you through the journey of the daily life of an inhabitant of Nîmes during the contemporary festivals. The film is centered around an augur, a major ceremony held in the ancient Roman temples. The gladiators of that era are replaced by the sporting excitement of the tournaments, the discovery of the Pont du Gard, and the visual beauty of a torero’s gestures.
You will get beautiful view of the city from the tip of Tour Magne. You will need to climb up the stairs to reach the top of the tower (do not plan this after a good lunch ;-)).
All the monuments in the city of Nimes are reachable by foot. You can get the city guide map from the Tourism office situated across the street infront of the Maison Carrée. You can also buy combo-ticket (economical) from Maison Carrée which enables you with entry pass to multiple monuments in the city (Masion Carree, Arena and Tour Magne).
Visit our next blog - for more details of our Day 2 travel to Arles - Sete - Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer (in Camargue).
Visit our photo gallery for more photos.