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The Roman Ruins At Arles

Post by Sharat | June 7, 2017 | See France Destination Guides | Comment
The Roman Ruins At Arles

Arles is a lovely town that is located in the South-West of Provence and is famous for a couple of things. Most importantly are its Roman ruins but there is also an association with Van Gogh which we won’t go into. Whilst both these aspects tend to attract many tourists, even if they weren’t present in the town, Arles would still be well worth the visit. Whilst there are lots of things to do in Arles, the main star is actually Arles itself. It has some lovely open squares with cafes that are bustling with activity and interlinked by narrow streets lined with lovely homes and shops.

Easy to explore

Arles town centre is relatively compact and very easy to explore. You should however start your visit with an exploration of the Roman part of Arles, more specifically at its partially restored amphitheatre. The structure is a largely intact round building that was of course used for gladiator competitions. There is enough of the original building that remains to get a good impression of what it would have been like 2 millennia ago, sitting on the benches and watching the spectacle of it all.

The Roman theatre

The other Roman attraction of not are the ruins of the Roman theatre, the necropolis at the Northern edge of town. There is not as much to see here as there is at the amphitheatre, but what remains of the theatre is substantial enough to get a good feel of the original structure which had a capacity of as many as 10,000 spectators. There is more Roman Sarcophagi that can be viewed at the Museum of Arles and Provence which excellent. There are some very interesting historical artefacts to be found at the museum including a Roman barge that dates back 2000 years.

The Place du Forum

The museum is extremely well organised and there are a bunch of things to do and see. One of the best artefacts from Roman times in Arles is the Place du Forum. During Roman times, this square lay at the heart of the city but these days it is surrounded by some impressive but more recently built buildings. All that now remains of the Place Du Forum from Roman times is a small part of an entrance gate that is mounted on two columns that has been absorbed into the Hotel du Forum’s wall. The Roman ruins are all listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Untitledby Andrea Castelli, on Flickr

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