Top Things to Do in Nimes
By Paulina Sánchez |
Elegance, calm and good food are the main components of a vacation in Nîmes.
VISIT NÎMES IN FRANCE
One of the most important conquests of the Roman Empire was that of Gaul, a region in western Europe that was inhabited by Celtic tribes and that covers present-day France, Belgium and part of Switzerland, the Netherlands and Germany. Back then, emperor Augustus founded Nîmes, and he gave the city enough privileges to help it prosper in a short time span. Nowadays, numerous architectonic examples of that time when the city was part of the most powerful empire of the first century still stand. That’s why you should start your tour around this destination at the ellipse-shaped Amphitheatre, which seats 24,000 spectators.
THE AMPHITHEATRE IN NIMES
The monumental quarry structure will remind you of the Roman Coliseum, because its façade is composed by two rows of 60 arches and it was originally built to exhibit gladiator combats, chariot races and naval shows. Later, during the Middle Ages, the Amphitheatre was turned into a fortress, and after some time, they also built a church in its interior. Now, the building is a living arena where they organize concerts, aquatic shows and international festivals. Don’t miss the chance to visit it at night, when they illuminate the whole façade creating an enchanting vision.
In order to continue visiting the remains of Roman architecture in the city, DINKtravelers recommends going to the temple known as Maison Carrée (square house), dedicated to emperor Augustus’ adopted children. Its beauty is preserved practically intact, and it houses a museum dedicated to Roman antiquities.
ST. BAUDILE CHURCH
In the 13th century Nîmes was annexed to the French crown, so during your trip we also invite you to look for the Neo-Gothic church of Saint-Baudile. It offers a spectacular view at sunset, when all its stained glass windows are intensely illuminated by the sunrays. Its 70 meter-tall towers make it the tallest church in Nîmes, a fact that causes many tourists to confuse it with the city’s cathedral, located on Rue Saint-Castor.
During the 1960s, Nîmes began to grow considerably. The city that is presently part of the region of Languedoc-Roussillon-Midi-Pyrénées has attracted a numerous population from North Africa, while its architectonic and historic appeal has caused great interest in travelers from all around the world.
TRANSPORT TO NIMES
Make the best of your next trip to France by planning an escapade to Nîmes. You can get there by taking the TGB train from Paris (3 hours), Lyon (1h 15 min) or Marseille (1 hour). We guarantee that elegance, calm and good food will be the main components of your journey. By the way, don’t forget to try the bouillabaisse, a soup that’s prepared with several varieties of fish and topped with bread spread with rouille sauce –similar to mayonnaise, and seasoned with garlic, pepper and saffron.