Roman Amphitheater in Arles, France
When visiting the south of France, one of the must-see stops is the city of Arles. The city if chocked full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. We were in town with our friends from Viking River Cruises. You can see part of our tour group below in the first picture as we approached the amphitheater.
Here’s this from UNESCO:
“Like Verona in Italy, Arles is an especially significant example of the appropriation of a classical city by a medieval European civilization. The town, founded by the Phoceans in the 7th century BC as Arelate, owed its prosperity to the decline of its rival, Marseilles, under the Emperor Augustus. It has retained impressive Roman monuments of which the earliest, the Arena, the Roman Theater, and the Cryptoporticus (subterranean galleries) date back to the 1st century BC. During the 4th century, Arles rose to the rank of political capital and religious metropolis; testimony to this second golden age is provided by the Baths of Constantine and the superb marble sarcophagi of the Alyscamps cemetery. However, in 480 the city fell into the hands of barbarians.
The subsequent decline was a cruel one for the city, which did not regain its role as a capital until the 9th century with the creation of an independent kingdom. Successively a territory of the Empire and a possession of the Counts of Provence, Arles was one of the most attractive cities of the Mediterranean world during the Middle Ages. Travelers from many countries described its monuments with enthusiasm.”
Here’s a few of my photographs of the Arles Amphitheater…
According to UNESCO, “the amphitheater, built around AD 90, ranks among the great amphitheaters and could hold 20,000 spectators. Gladiator fights and animal hunts took place here until the end of the 5th century. During the Middle Ages, the building became a fortress, sheltering two chapels and 212 houses within its walls.”
The Arles Amphitheater is the most visited site in Arles and certainly a guided tour should be on your list when you visit the city.
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