Arles Roman Theatre

Arles, France

Arles Roman Theatre was built in the time of Augustus and. It had a capacity of seating for 8,000 on 33 tiers of steps. In the early Middle Ages the theater was used as a quarry, and with the material it provided the town wall was erected. Of the rear wall of the stage only a few stumps of pillars and two more or less complete columns remain. Since the theater is now used again during the summer it is protected on the outside by screens and the interior is somewhat spoiled by the necessary technical apparatus.

Most of the relics brought to light during excavation can be seen in the Arles Museum of Antiquity - the most important of these is the 'Venus of Arles', a representation of the goddess Diana, which was discovered near a fountain in 1651 and is now in the Louvre in Paris.

The Roman Theater has been listed as World Heritage Sites since 1981. Arles Roman Theater is now a monument to visit and a place of concerts and events.



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Founded: 90 AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Roman Gaul (France)


4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Robert Sykes (2 years ago)
Be careful of the awful lady at the desk, she was totally disinterested in us (the customers). Sold us 9€ tickets and didn't mention the Liberty Pass (12€) which allows access to all 6 historic sites in Arles. When we went back to ask if we could change our single ticket for the pass she was on the phone, she remained on the phone and couldn't be less helpful. Appalling service, not customer facing, BE ASHAMED Madame! You did your best to sour out experience of Arle?
Caroline Findlay (2 years ago)
You have to use your imagination with this one; as although there are remnants of the original amphitheatre - it’s half the size it once was, and a lot of the steps have been rebuilt to accommodate seating for concerts being held there today. There’s also only two remaining columns. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think how beautiful this theatre must have once been, and that this is all that exists now. Having said that though, I suppose we should be grateful to at least have this still remaining. Whilst I was visiting I was lucky enough to witness the amazing acoustics of the theatre. An American tourist sang The Star-Spangled Banner; not sure about her song choice! But her vocals were beautiful, and listening to her voice reverberating around the theatre was spine tingling.
Rita Kao (2 years ago)
Outdoor Roman theatre relic. I still like these relics! It looks beautiful!
Isabelle R. (2 years ago)
I was lucky to attend an event in the theater
Clara Chong (3 years ago)
I apprehended the show when friends announced that they booked and paid for the tickets before our arrival to Arles. When we got there the day before, we were bitten by mosquitoes all over our legs hands necks faces you name it! I was terrified at the thought of feeding mosquitoes for 3.5 hours. Also the fact that I attempted to watch The Ten Commandments when I was young and never got through 50%. I feared I would fall asleep after an hour! Our friends anticipated the hard stone seating aka roman theatre and lent us each a cushion to sit on and another for our back to lean on. Very kind gesture. I anticipated with 2 bottles of mosquito spray for everyone. We arrived just before it got dark, chose to sit in the middle and on the highest row. Then we noticed many people came with cushions, blankets, and even a picnic basket. There were mosquito sprays at the entrance for those who needed. The show preluded with the master of ceremony introducing the annual events and also had a quiz on The Ten Commandments creating a hilarious response from the crowd. He sollicited participation from the spectators with questions like how did Egyptian women react when they were happy or when they laughed or when they were heartbroken. He explained how long the screening would take and that a break would be expected to enable the spectators to relieve themselves or to buy drinks and snacks. We expected to fall asleep, much to our surprise we stayed awake watched every minute. The sound and lighting systems were superb the ambiance kept our eyes on the screen all the time. Everyone anticipated the effects on the screen when Moses cut the sea into two!! The show ended past 1 am with a more than happy crowd! I certainly recommend this experience in Arles! A must!!!
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