Nîmes Things to Do

  • Amphithéâtre (Nimes, France)
    Amphithéâtre (Nimes, France)
    by Redang
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    Maisin Carree
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Most Recent Things to Do in Nîmes

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    A mini Stansted airport

    by sourbugger Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Which way to check in ?

    The Museum of contemporary art stands opposite the Maison Caree (ancient roman temple) on one of the squares.

    Theres alot of architectural nonsense talked about "Creating spatial unity between the two structures", and being inspired by the Pompideau centre - but when you really look at it you realise he's just knocked off a scaled down copy of Stansted airport (also his design) and plonked it in the square.

    It seems the french have a certain fondness for placing the very cutting edge against the traditional - e.g I.M. Pei's pyramids at the Lourve, but it does seem to work.

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    What have the Roman ever done for us ?

    by sourbugger Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The original triple-decker

    "The Aqueduct ? Oh yes Reg, remember what the city used to be like."

    I was put in mind of these lines from the film "The Life of Brian" by viewing this stunning example of Roman architecture at the Pont du Gard.

    The following summary is from the Unesco world hertitage site website :

    The Pont du Gard was built shortly before the Christian era to allow the aqueduct of Nîmes (which is almost 50 km long) to cross the Gard river. The Roman architects and hydraulic engineers who designed this bridge, which stands almost 50 m high and is on three levels – the longest measuring 275 m – created a technical as well as an artistic masterpiece.

    Sourbugger adds :
    When you first look at it, it reminded me of the great railway viaducts built by the Victorians in England. In may ways the Victorians were the new Romans - buliding things with great vision and on a grand scale, yet unlike other great building endeavours, they built them for purely utilitiarian purposes. Other great feats of engineering between the Romans and the Victorians were mainly inspired by religion - such as the vast cathedrals built across Europe.

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    • Archeology

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  • Elainehead's Profile Photo

    Watch a concert

    by Elainehead Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Concert in les Ar��nes de N��mes

    Les Arènes de Nîmes are the the world's best-preserved amphitheatre. I was pretty stunned once I walked into this place. It's sooooo ancient!!!! And for a moment, I forgot bullfights are held here as well.

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    Maison Carrée

    by Redang Written May 7, 2010

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    Maison Carr��e (Nimes, France)

    The Maison Carrée (Square House) is the only ancient temple to have been completely preserved. It is 26 m. long, 15 m. wide and 17 m. high. It is so well preserved due to it has been occupied since the 11th century for several uses such as consular house, stables, appartments and even as a church.

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    Amphithéâtre

    by Redang Updated May 7, 2010

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    Amphith����tre (Nimes, France)
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    The Amphithéâtre of Nimes was built at the end of the 1st century A.D. Oval in shape, it's 133 m. long, 101 m. wide and 21 m. high. Noadays, it's mostly used for bullfights.

    There is a minument dedicated to the bullfighters befor the Amphithéâtre (third pic).

    - Fax: (+33) 4 66 21 82 61

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    Tour Magne

    by leics Written Aug 16, 2008

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    Tower and clouds
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    It's well worth making the trek up the hill (Mont Cavalier) from Les Jardins de la Fontaine to the Tour Magne.

    It's a huge octagonal construction, built by the Romans around an existing Gallo-Roman tower (nothing now remains of this) and still standing 32m high even though a third storey no longer exists.

    A 70m ramp once led to the base of the ramparts, although little of this remains.

    In the 17th century rumours of treasure inside (thanks to one of Nostrodamus' prophesies) led to the complete destruction of the pre-existing tower, and almost led to the destruction of the Tour Magne itself. Fortunately, it was re-stabilised.

    You can climb the tower using the concrete spiral staircase inside (not good for thse with vertigo). It leads to a modern platform, and fantastic views of Nimes and the surrounding countryside.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Cathedral Notre Dame et St. Castor

    by leics Written Aug 16, 2008

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    Cathedral Notre Dame et St Castor
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    The cathedral itself dates from the 11th century, but its interior has been damaged and changed so many time over the centuries that it is really only the extrerior which holds interest.

    There is an excellent frieze (inspired by the Maison Carre) high up on the frontage, telling the story of Adam and Eve. It's difficult to see clearly, but there is a display just within the main doors with photos and information.

    Of particular interest inside the cathedral the two holy water stoops at the entrance: they are the halves of a truly massive clam shell!

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Porte d'Auguste

    by leics Written Aug 16, 2008

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    Main entrance and statue
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    The Porte d'Auguste, where the Via Domitia entered the colonia, is one of the two Roman town 'gates' still standing. It dates from around 27BC.

    Although you can't go inside, it is still pretty impressive. There is a central entrance for carts, with pedestrian entrances either side. Originally it had two defensive towers as well.

    If you look at the interior wall of the right-hand passage you will see a row of typical Roman square holes, used for scaffolding and/or flooring supports.

    There is a replica statue of Emperor Augustus within the site.

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  • leics's Profile Photo

    Temple de Diane

    by leics Written Aug 15, 2008

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    Temple de Diane
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    The Temple of Diana is in the Jardins de la Fontaine, on the left-hand side.

    There is no real evidence that this Roman monument was actually dedicated to Diana:it is more likely that it was part of the sanctuary area dedicated to Nemausus, the spring which gave Nimes its name.

    Although much restored in parts, it is nevertheless an interesting and impressive site. You can still see the remains of the barrel-vauled roof, the niches for statues and even some of the roof decoration (some in situ, some displayed elsewhere). Make sure you look up under the remaining barrel-vaulting to see the rather lovely carvings (avoid the pigeons and their droppings!).

    A 'must-see' if you are visiting the gardens (which themselves are a 'must-see' if you are visiting Nimes).

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    Les Jardins de la Fontaine

    by leics Written Aug 15, 2008

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    Lots of greenery
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    Rather pleasant, these formal public gardens. A good place to take a wander in the shade on a warm day (plenty of local people doing just that in August).

    The canals were built to provide a more reliable source of water (important in the manufacture of 'de Nimes' cloth) than the Nemausus spring, and the gardens awere the first public ones in France (1750).

    There are statues and fountains, winding paths and steps, little grottoes and nooks and crannies and pools (one absolutely full of tadpoles, which was quite a surprise in August!). The Temple of Diana at the bottom, and the Tour Magne at the top......nice to explore (to the raucous accompaniment of cicadas).

    I spent a most enjoyable couple of hours there; I suggest you do the same.

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  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo

    Pont du Gard

    by lotharlerch Updated Oct 11, 2007

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    The Pont du Gard - the most impressive part of the Roman aquaeduct bringing water to Nimes from the Cevennes is near the village Remoulins but since it is visited by almost all visitors of Nimes I mention it here as well. Find more pics and info on my Remoulins pages.

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  • lotharlerch's Profile Photo

    Roman Arena

    by lotharlerch Updated Jul 27, 2007

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    The Arena is still in an excellent state considering what all happened around and in the Arena under the both millennia of its existence - the Arena was even used as a fortification and a small city was built in it and was inhabitated over centuries. There are a lot of informations posted describing the types of events which took place here under the Roman times. It is an excellent preparation to better enjoy the multi-media show in the Maison Carree.

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  • roamer61's Profile Photo

    Jardin de la Fontaine

    by roamer61 Written Jun 3, 2007

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    These lovely gardens built in the 18th Century were constructed over a area of importance dating to Roman Times. In fact, springs and similar constructions were said to have been here in the 2nd Century. The remains of the Temple of Diana testifies to the Roman origin.
    The current gardens are entered through a gate embossed with the symbol and emblem of the city of Nimes.

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    The Amphitheater (Arenas)

    by roamer61 Written Jun 3, 2007

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    The magnificent amphitheater is twin to a similar one in the city of Arles. But this one is better preserved. It was constructed between the late 1st Century AD and the early 2nd Century. As with the Collessium in Rome, this was used by all the favorite sporting activities. Gladitorial contests and fights using wild beasts. Its dimensions are 436ft by 331ft and its seating capacity was 24,000.

    After 400, its original use was forbidden and the Visigoths transformed it into a fortress. It was later transformed into a castle and eventually, it was restored in the 19th century. Today, as in the distant past, it is used for Bull Fights, echoing the past.

    The Ferria (or Festival of the Bull) was coming, so the interior was closed during my visit.

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    Maison Carree.

    by roamer61 Written Jun 3, 2007

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    This might be the best preserved Roman Temple in the world. Built during the reign of Augustus in the 1st century BC, it was supposedly inspired by the Temple of Apollo in Rome and was consecrated to the Imperial Cult. It was dedicated to the grandsons of Ceasar Augustus, first emperor of the Roman Empire.

    Today, its interior houses a theater where a film in 3-D is shown detailing the history of the nearby Arena and Nimes overall. The film costs 4.00 euros.

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Nîmes Things to Do

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