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 (11 months 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 (12 months 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 (12 months 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 (12 months 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 (2 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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