Two thousand years of history and passions. Roman masterpieces, contemporary architecture, gardens made over an ancient shrine and celebrated by George Sand and Jean Jacques Rousseau. Nîmes is a mysterious city.
Stroll around its squares and streets and let yourself be guided by the gaze. On the ground, you will find crocodiles inserted into the pavement, they are the symbol of the city; on the horizon, a well-preserved old town will show you its treasures, and beyond, Roman columns will appear in a glass mirror.
Nîmes' treasures are within the reach of your eyes and dreams:
- The Amphitheatre of Nîmes
was built at the end of the first century AC. Throughout its history, the amphitheatre underwent numerous interior restoration work, since the Viscounts of Nîmes built their
palace-fortress within the amphitheatre. Later on, a small neighbourhood was erected inside, which had about one hundred houses and two chapels.
These buildings remained until the eighteenth century, when it was decided to remove them for restoration purposes, to return them to their original condition. It is considered to be the best preserved amphitheatre in the world.
- The Maison Carrée
was built with marble in the year 16 BC by Augustus. It is a temple of the Corinthian order, which stands on a large podium and a central staircase, giving access to the facade from the forum. It has six columns on the front, and on the sides, eight of the ten columns are integrated into the walls. It is the only fully preserved ancient temple.
- The Fontaine Gardens
were built in 1745 in the Roman area of La Source. Filled with 17th-century buildings, including the Tour Magne and the Temple of Diana, they are considered the oldest public gardens in Europe. Here we can find neoclassical fountains, statues, steps, avenues and balustrades.
- The Tour Magne or Magna Tower
was built in 15 BC. Sitting at the top of Mount Cavalier, it was the tallest and most prestigious tower in the entire wall and it is still visible from almost any point of Nîmes. Nowadays, it is found in the heart of the Fontaine Gardens. It was a kind of lighthouse and reference point for the city, pointing out the presence of the Source shrine, surely the pre-Roman place of worship. The two-level tower rises 32 metres above ground, although previously it had another level, which unfortunately disappeared due to the passage of time.
- The Roman Wall
was erected between 16 and 15 BC. It had a length of 7 km, a height of 9 metres and a width of 2 metres. Currently, only two gates and some fragments of wall remain standing. Via Domitia passed in the front of the wall.