Santa Marina is one of the so-called 'Fernandinean Churches', edificated in the city after Ferdinand III of Castile conquered it from the Moors in the 13th century. The structure combines proto-Gothic, Mudéjar and, to a lesser degree, late-Romanesque elements.
The church, one of the oldest of the Fernandinean group, was built in the second half of the 13th century where previously a Moorish mosque and before that a 7th-century Visigothic church had existed. No trace of them remains today.
On 23 June 1880 the church suffered a fire, which required a restoration lasting two years. Other renovations were carried out in the 19th and 20th centuries, during which the medieval appearance of the building was restored, by removing the Baroque additions introduced after the damage from the 1680 and 1755 earthquakes.
The church has a rectangular, or basilica, plan, divided into a nave and two aisles, the nave being far higher than the latter. The aisles are separated from the nave by large pointed arches.
The facade is characterized by four large, asymmetrical buttresses, ending with pinnacles, and corresponding to the interior separation between nave and aisles. Also present are a main central rose window, smaller circular windows, and alfizes over the ogival arch of the main portal. The facade corresponding to the left aisle features a secondary portal, surmounted by a triangular arch.
The apses are polygonal. In the right aisle is the sacristy, built in the 15th century. The left aisle apse was adapted to house a Baroque chapel from 1630. The bell tower dates to the 16th century.
The 'retablo' of the Main Chapel houses paintings by Antonio del Castillo and sculptures from the local artist Gómez de Sandoval.References:
The two-tiered Roman amphitheatre is probably the most prominent tourist attraction in the city of Arles, which thrived in Roman times. Built in 90 AD, the amphitheatre was capable of seating over 20,000 spectators, and was built to provide entertainment in the form of chariot races and bloody hand-to-hand battles. Today, it draws large crowds for bullfighting as well as plays and concerts in summer.
The building measures 136 m in length and 109 m wide, and features 120 arches. It has an oval arena surrounded by terraces, arcades on two levels (60 in all), bleachers, a system of galleries, drainage system in many corridors of access and staircases for a quick exit from the crowd. It was obviously inspired by the Colosseum in Rome (in 72-80), being built slightly later (in 90).
With the fall of the Empire in the 5th century, the amphitheatre became a shelter for the population and was transformed into a fortress with four towers (the southern tower is not restored). The structure encircled more than 200 houses, becoming a real town, with its public square built in the centre of the arena and two chapels, one in the centre of the building, and another one at the base of the west tower.
This new residential role continued until the late 18th century, and in 1825 through the initiative of the writer Prosper Mérimée, the change to national historical monument began. In 1826, expropriation began of the houses built within the building, which ended by 1830 when the first event was organized in the arena - a race of the bulls to celebrate the taking of Algiers.
Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, together with other Roman buildings of the city, as part of the Arles, Roman and Romanesque Monuments group.