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

Fraser McKnespiey (2 years ago)
The Amphitheatre of Nîmes is a sight to behold. Standing at an impressive 21 metres tall, the intact colleseum immerses you into ancient Nîmes. The restoration projects that have been ongoing for some 10 years have made a lot of significant and beautiful refurbishments that only enhance the Amphitheatre. While I appreciate the remaining half in the authentic, as it was, way. The "City of the Gods" show was spectacular and a pleasure for all, too. Make sure you book tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.
Travel and living in France (2 years ago)
An outstanding Roman arena undergoing a lot of restoration work. Entry was 10 euros though there are family tickets as well. There is an option to have audio commentary once you are inside. Toilets are on site. There is a bar but only open for events. The exit is through the gift shop which doesn't appear to be too expensive.
Charlene Elliott (2 years ago)
A must see if you are visiting Nimes. We went on a Saturday at 10am and it was very quiet. We bought a family pass for 20€ (2 adults and 2 children). You can hire an audio guide for free, you just need to give them an ID Card to hold and will be given back to you when you return their audio guide. Very interesting and beautiful place to visit. Approx 2000 years old and a stunning place to sit and take in the enormity of the amphitheater. Toilets located on site and a gift shop.
A V (2 years ago)
Stunning on the outside, but the inside is not worth a visit if you’ve been to Verona or Rome. It’s mainly scaffolding with tribunes for shows. So nothing majorly nice to look at and not photogenic either. You can save yourself the 10 Euro entry fee per adult. If you go though, make sure to get the combo ticket that also only costs 10 Euros and allows also entry to the Tour Magne.
James H (Time to try) (2 years ago)
A very well preserved and presented Roman Gladiatorial arena. The supplied interactive audio guide is well made and intuitive to use. The staff are friendly and helpful. You can visit the arena almost in its entirety, with gladiator and matador costume rooms available beneath the podiums. An escape game is also available with hidden riddles and challenges to find and complete around the arena. Descriptive information panels are posted around the arena in multiple languages. If this wasn't your main reason for visiting Nîmes, it should at least be your second. 5/5 must visit.
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