France’s Best Roman Relics
When you first think of France you probably think of things like the Eifel Tower, fine cheeses and good wine and brandy, great medieval castles and quaint villages, I doubt that Roman history even plays a background character in your thoughts. At best you’d maybe think of Asterix the Gaul and his ongoing fight against the romans. But did you know that France doesn’t just have several examples of the Roman Empire littered across its lands but that they are some of the best and most well-kept examples of Roman history that still exist in this day and age? That’s right, France is actually a great place to go for those that wish to see Roman history, let’s take a look at some of those fantastic sights, shall we?
La Maison Carrée
If you visit the beautiful Nimes, you’ll be lucky enough to set your eyes on La Maison Carrée. This is one of the world’s best-preserved Roman temples in existence, surviving tumultuous fall of the Roman Empire. It has since been converted into a church, however before that it was also used as a house for the consul, a stable and at one point it even served as the home for towns archives too. Today you can visit this amazing temple and see just how grand these homes of worship were over 2000 years ago. When you enter, you’ll also be treated to a multimedia presentation that tells you all about the building and Nimes during its Roman days.
The Roman temple isn’t the only treat in Nimes for those wishing to see some of France’s ancient Roman history, there is also Nimes Arena, one of the best-preserved Roman amphitheatres on the planet. It was built in the first century CE, during the rain of Emperor Augustus and it really is an incredible feat of engineering, it could seat 24,000 people in its oval structure adorned with an incredible façade complete with signature archways and ornamentation. It has been fully restored and is of course a major tourist attraction, on visiting you’ll really get an idea of what it was like to enjoy the splendour of the arena in its heyday through museum exhibits and a well detailed audio tour, beyond that events are still held there today, so you really can get an idea of what it was like to be an audience member here.
Pont Du Gard
Beyond temples and colosseums Rome are also well known for their ground-breaking aqueducts, Pont du Gard is an excellent example of this. This is both a bridge and an aqueduct and was constructed again in the first century CE, it stands at 160 feet high and was in fact the tallest bridge that the romans ever built. Should you choose to visit here you can easily get yourself a guided tour, your guide will take you across the bridge and fill you in on how this feat of engineering was achieved whilst showing you the structure in all its glory.