Arena of Nîmes

Nîmes, France

The Arena of Nîmes is a Roman amphitheatre built around AD 70. It was remodelled in 1863 to serve as a bullring. The Arenas of Nîmes is the site of two annual bullfights during the Feria de Nîmes, and it is also used for other public events. The building encloses an elliptical central space 133 m long by 101 m wide. It is ringed by 34 rows of seats supported by a vaulted construction. It has a capacity of 16,300 spectators.

As the Roman Empire fell, the amphitheatre was fortified by the Visigoths and was surrounded by a wall. During the turbulent years that followed the collapse of Visigoth power in Hispania and Septimania, not to mention the Muslim invasion and subsequent conquest by the French kings in the mid eighth century, the viscounts of Nîmes constructed a fortified palace within the amphitheater. In 737, after failing to seize Narbonne, Charles Martel destroyed a number of Septimanian cities on his way north, including Nîmes and its amphitheatre, as asserted in the Continuations of Fredegar. Later a small neighbourhood developed within its confines, complete with one hundred denizens and two chapels. Seven hundred people lived within the amphitheatre during the apex of its service as an enclosed community. The buildings remained in the amphitheatre until the eighteenth century, when the decision was made to convert the amphitheatre into its present form.

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Details

Founded: 70 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Roman Gaul (France)

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Didac Montero Méndez (2 years ago)
The arena itself is very well preserved (apparently the best well preserved in the world according f to the audio guide). The guide provides with all sorts of detailed explanations about the gladiators. So if you're a Roman history nerd, it is a must go
rhiannon drew (2 years ago)
Really amazing arena. Really loved it here when I went to see Rammstein. I had such an amazing experience. Had a full tour of the arena during the day where you can go right to the top of the arena and really get some cool pictures. You can find out some great history about the arena itself and also it has been the best venue for a concert until this date still. Really cool and I really want to go back.
Hugo Batista (2 years ago)
Roman Theater in Nimes. A huge Roman amphitheater in the center of the city. Very well maintained. One can visit the interior. The exterior is very well preserved and in one of the corners there are restaurants and souvenir shops. Close to Maison Carre. On one end a statue in honor of the bullfighters.
Randall Jamrok (2 years ago)
This amphitheatre was a special experience. The audio tour about the specifics and history of the gladiators was very educational and well-done. I would do it again if I had the chance! Highly recommended!
Luis Rodriguez (3 years ago)
A must visit if you are in France. Majestic, one of a kind. The audio tour will take you back in time. It is also pretty friendly. Good street food. A lot of restaurants in the area.
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Pembroke Castle is a Norman castle, founded in 1093. It survived many changes of ownership and is now the largest privately owned castle in Wales. It was the birthplace of Henry Tudor (later Henry VII of England) in 1457.

Pembroke Castle stands on a site that has been occupied at least since the Roman period. Roger de Montgomerie, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury founded the first castle here in the 11th century. Although only made from earth and wood, Pembroke Castle resisted several Welsh attacks and sieges over the next 30 years. The castle was established at the heart of the Norman-controlled lands of southwest Wales.

When William Rufus died, Arnulf de Montgomery joined his elder brother, Robert of Bellême, in rebellion against Henry I, William's brother and successor as king; when the rebellion failed, he was forced to forfeit all his British lands and titles. Henry appointed his castellan, but when the chosen ally turned out to be incompetent, the King reappointed Gerald in 1102. By 1138 King Stephen had given Pembroke Castle to Gilbert de Clare who used it as an important base in the Norman invasion of Ireland.

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In 1648, at the beginning of the Second Civil War, Pembroke's commander Colonel John Poyer led a Royalist uprising. Oliver Cromwell came to Pembroke on 24 May 1648 and took the castle after a seven-week siege. Its three leaders were found guilty of treason and Cromwell ordered the castle to be destroyed. Townspeople were even encouraged to disassemble the fortress and re-use its stone for their purposes.

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Architecture

The castle is sited on a strategic rocky promontory by the Milford Haven Waterway. The first fortification on the site was a Norman motte-and-bailey. It had earthen ramparts and a timber palisade.

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