Day 412: Roman Ruins of NimesApril 2 in France
Another day, another batch of Roman ruins! They're scattered everywhere across this part of southern France. Thankfully for us, this batch aren't actually on the World Heritage list, just on the Tentative list, so we don't need to make a video. Even though they're scheduled for approval or disapproval this year, I've made an executive decision that we won't do videos on non-approved sites.
Nimes is about an hour south-west of Avignon, and was quite a large and important Roman settlement. It was where the Pont du Gard aqueduct eventually terminated, so its houses and streets were full of fountains, baths and pools.
We parked up and had a wander around. First stop was a ruined tower atop a hill which although largely dating from the middle ages, was originally part of the Roman defensive wall around the city. Fantastic views from the top, that's for sure!
After drinking in the view we descended down into the city and headed for the Maison Carree, an old Roman temple that was repurposed into a church and thus very well preserved. Super impressive on the outside, but unfortunately we couldn't go inside as it was only used for a (historic) cinema these days and the next showing was in 30 minutes!
So we wandered the rest of the way to the Roman amphitheatre, generally considered the highlight of the town. And yep, happy to confirm that it definitely is! It's basically a smaller-scale Colosseum, but in excellent condition - probably even better condition than the Colosseum itself. Our tickets included an audioguide so we wandered around the building, slowly listening to the commentary which was quite interesting and insightful. It was certainly very impressive, and will be interesting to see whether it makes it onto the World Heritage list. The main reason it wouldn't, really, is because there's several other Roman ruins nearby already on the list, and I think they're quite sensitive these days to criticisms of Euro-centric bias.
Kebabs for lunch (practically the national snack food of France these days), then back to the car where we drove back to Avignon and spent the rest of the evening at home.Read more