Nimes Arena

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Nimes Arena HISTORY

Nimes Arena (Arenes de Nimes), also known as Nimes Amphitheatre, is amongst the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in the world.

A Roman Marvel
Built during the reign of the Emperor Augustus in the first century AD, Nimes Arena is a marvel of Roman engineering. A vast oval with a stunning façade resplendent with archways and ornamentation, Nimes Arena could seat up to 24,000 people in its 34 terraces.

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All the people of Nimes - then called Nemausus - would sit according to their social status and watch the games played there. These would range from animal hunts involving lions, tigers and even elephants to the famous gladiatorial matches. Executions would also be held at Nimes Arena, in the form of those convicted to death being thrown to the animals.

A Visigoth Fortress
In the sixth century, under the Visigoths, Nimes Arena began to play a military role. Transformed from a sports arena to a castle fortress or "castrum arena" complete with a moat, Nimes Arena was a sort of emergency shelter of the people of the town in the event of attack.

From Castle to Village
Nimes Arena would go on to play an even more elaborate role in the twelfth century when it became the seat of the viscounty of Nimes and home to a chateau. In the eighteenth century, this went even further with the establishment of a whole 700-strong village within its walls. It was only in 1786 that Nimes Arena began to be restored to its original grandeur.

Nimes Arena Today
Now fully restored, Nimes Arena is a popular tourist attraction and allows people to really experience what it would have been like for Roman spectators. Including an interactive audio guide and some detailed exhibits, the site is now a fitting museum of its past. However, beyond just its historic significance, Nimes Arena is also still used for events today.



Nimes Arena is centrally located in Nimes, within walking distance of the train station (TGV). Nearest airport is Nîmes-Garons. Accesible by car via routes A9 and A54, exit at Nimes and follow signs to Arènes.




Nimes Arena is open: Nov-Feb daily 9am-5pm; Mar and Oct open 9am-6pm; Apr-May and Sept open 9am-6:30pm; Jun 9am-7pm, Jul-Aug 9am-8pm. Entry costs €7.80 full, €5.90 reduced. Combined entry to the Nimes Arena, Maison Carrée and the Tour Magne costs €9.90 full, €7.60 reduced. Free for under 7s. Discounts/group rates available.


NAME: Nimes Arena
Alt Name: Arenes de Nimes
Country: France
Period: Ancient Rome
Sub-Region: Western Europe
Date: 0AD - 99AD
City/Town: Nimes
Figure: Augustus
Resorts: Nimes,


Nimes Arena ADDRESS

4 Boulevard des Arènes, 30000 Nîmes, France



Nimes Arena EMAIL

Nimes Arena
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CAPT Edward Schweizer 06 Mar, 2016

This large arena is magnificent. If you are in SE France, be sure to make this a stop of your itinerary to see it and also view the Temple. You will require three hours for those two sites. and lunch.