For almost 2,000 years an imposing Roman amphitheatre has dominated the French city of Nimes.
Prior to the Romans, the Celts established a settlement in Nimes. During the rule of Julius Caesar and Emperor Augustus, the city grew in importance. The Arena was once the setting for gladiatorial battles but today it is matadors who fascinate their audiences during the Whitsuntide Féria.
The amphitheatre was built around 70 AD Nīmes, or Nemausus as the Romans named their colony, developed into an important centre. In the 2nd century AD, emperors Hadrian and Antonius Pius ordered the construction of two further splendid buildings, thus the town was enriched by fine architecture.
In contrast to the famous Roman Arena at Arles, the Nimes replica of the Colosseum still contains some well-preserved sections of the highest floor, the Attika.
Today, the beautiful view from the most highly elevated seats of the Amphitheatre extends across the rooftops of the picturesque old town of Nīmes and its 2,000 years of glorious history.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.