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The Roman Amphitheater of Colonia Nemausus (Nimes)
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 43° 50.105 E 004° 21.572
31T E 609301 N 4854454
Quick Description: The construction of the “Arènes” undoubtedly dates back to the end of the 1st century AD, when the town was still part of the Roman Empire.
Location: Occitanie, France
Date Posted: 10/7/2007 5:37:06 AM
Waymark Code: WM2BCK
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Chris777
Views: 159

Long Description:
The construction of the “Arènes” used to be attributed to the Emperor Augustus, who did a great deal for Nîmes. Contrary to what was believed for a long time, however, recent excavations have proved that the “Arènes” were constructed between 90 and 120 AD, and not shortly before the Christian era. The Colosseum in Rome, which served as a model, dates back to approximately the same period.

The Nîmes “Arènes” dates back to the end of the 1st century AD and is a perfect illustration of the degree of perfection attained by Roman engineers in designing and constructing this type of extremely complex building. It is oval in shape, and measures 133m long, 101m wide and 21m high.
Two quarries, Barutel and Roquemaillère (located near the town), were used to supply the stones for the construction.

The façade consists of two levels of sixty superposed arches and an attic, separated by a cornice. At the top, pre-drilled stones were positioned to overhang so that long poles could be positioned over the arena. A huge canvas canopy was then attached to these poles, thereby providing protection for the spectators against the sun and bad weather.

Once inside, there was seating capacity for nearly 24,000 spectators thanks to the 34 rows of “cavea” (terraces), which were supported by semi-circular vaults.

Under these vaults, five circular galleries and 162 stairwells and “vomitoires” (corridors leading to the terraces) enabled spectators to rapidly access their seats. The games, gladiator fights and Venatio (animal hunts) were open to everyone. They were laid on for the people of the town and its surrounding area by the high dignitaries and magistrates of the “civitas”.

The site is managed by the organization Culturespaces which offers a walking audioguided tour included in the admission price to the amphitheater. A lot of information is provided on the Gladiator fights. One could easily spend several hours here learning about the Gladiators and also bull fighting which is now performed in the arena.

The same organization manages the Maison Carree and the Tour Magne and offers a combined ticket at a reduce price if you intend to see all 3 of these monuments.

(Some text taken from the related website).
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: €7.70

Opening days/times:
Nov - Feb : 09:30 - 17:00 Mar, Oct : 09:00 - 18:00 Apr, May, Sep : 09:00 - 18:30 Jun - Aug : 09:00 - 19:00

Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Completely intact or reconstructed

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