Vienne Travel Guide

  • Vienne City Hall at night
    Vienne City Hall at night
    by Aunt_Bertha
  • Augustus and Livia Temple
    Augustus and Livia Temple
    by Aunt_Bertha
  • Vienne
    by IU2

Vienne Things to Do

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Written Jun 11, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Or, Roman Theatre, for those of us who speak mostly English and almost no French (like yours truly, I am afraid), is nested at the foot of Mont Pipet (off the rue du Cirque). It used to be one of the largest amphitheatres in Roman France, for over 13,000. That's almost half of today's population of the town.

    It is quite a good state of repair, after having been rebuilt in 1938, and now is a scene for for music & theatre events, the most prominent of which being the International Jazz Festival in the first two weeks of July. If you wish to attend, by the way, book tickets & hotels in advance, to save hassle and quite a lot of money.

    On more normal days, just climb to the two upper rows and admmire the view over the whole town and the river as well, for that matter.

    Was this review helpful?

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Updated Jun 11, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Vienne is really more celebrated for its Antique monuments, than for its medieval ones. The Cathedral of St. Maurice, however, is a notable exception to the rule. It took people a typically long time (for those days, I mean) to build, some four centuries. In fact, it was started in the 12th century and completed in the 16th. Thus a mixture of Gothic & Romanesque styles can be explained...

    The structure is original in itself, if you know some architecture. The Cathedral lacks transept, but has three aisles. Fine Romanesque sculptures are a good addition, and they contrast quite sharply with the richly decorated front, just as you would expect from a typical Gothic cathedral (or any building, for that matter). Upper and lower parts of it seem disconnected, though. A funny view -- just take a bit of time to appreciate the details to see the details and you'll notice it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Updated Jun 11, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Built in 10 BC, on the site called today place du Palais, it is an elegant and handsome (though, just as most of the Antique buildings, preserving just a small part of its former structure) construction suported by tall columns in Corinthian style.

    What seemed to me really weird about the Temple was its location... I mean, it really stands out among modern small houses, even though they are of a similar color.

    The Temple is a meeting place of sorts, and people just gather around it in evenings, just as they do around the Maison Carree in Nimes. In fact, it looks just like Maison Carree, only a bit smaller.

    If you wish to spend a quiet evening, just come & sit for a while doing perfectly nothing. Yes, a bit of laziness may be ever so pleasing :)))

    Was this review helpful?

Vienne Hotels

See all 11 Hotels in Vienne

Vienne Off The Beaten Path

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Written Jun 11, 2003

    Funny enough, wherever you go here, you always seem to end up against a Roman monument. The Romans were anything but not lazy over there, in Vienne. This particular structure, 20 meters high, was the centrepiece of the chariot racetrack - a fave occupation of the Romans in those days. Southern edge of the town is where you should head to see it.

    Was this review helpful?

  • aliante1981's Profile Photo

    by aliante1981 Written Jun 11, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Situated not far from the place de Miremont, it is a temple despite the name would suggest to you that it is a Roman theatre. Dedicated to the goddess Cybele (here finally the title got it right :)) ), who is famous for the fact that the rites in her honour and worship often included orgiastic happenings.

    Was this review helpful?

  • Vienne Hotels

    11 Hotels in Vienne

    47 Reviews and Opinions

Vienne Favorites

  • Aunt_Bertha's Profile Photo
    Augustus and Livia Temple

    by Aunt_Bertha Updated Feb 1, 2012

    Favorite thing: Vienne is full of surprises! When we were strolling around in the streets of that charming city and turned around yet another corner we nearly tripped over an almost completely intact Roman temple that's calmly and happily resting in the middle of the city. Our surprise stopped us just on time and prevented us from running into it, tripping over, it or stubbing our toes on it. We were stunned and duly impressed!

    The temple I'm talking about is the Augustus and Livia Temple, which was built around 10 - 20 B.C. It was dedicated to Emperor Augustus (Caesar's son) and to his wife Livia.

    Arund the 5th century the temple was turned into a church that was called Sainte-Marie-la-Vieille or sometimes also Notre-Dame-de-la-Vie. After the French revolution the church was transformed into a commercial court, a magistrate court, as well as into a museum and a library in 1822.

    From 1853 through 1870 the temple was restored and transformed back into the original Augustus and Livia Temple (in French: Temple d'Auguste et Livie).

    In case walking around and exploring the temple made you tired but you still want to continue admiring it, you might as well restore your energy at the Café du Temple just across from it, where you can sit outside, have a delicious piece of cake with some excellent coffee while enjoying the view of that ancient Roman temple.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Photography

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Vienne

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

54 travelers online now

Comments

Vienne Travel Guide
Map of Vienne

View all Vienne hotels