Visiting the first of the two Roman centres

Arles Travel Blog

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Entrance to the amphitheatre
Arles was the first of two towns of Roman origin with several relatively intact Roman sights. The first thing we saw on the way into town from the car park was the colosseum. It is in very good condition and it was exciting for me to finally see one that actually looked more or less like it did all those centuries ago. Just as the amphitheatre in Orange it is still used for perfromances today. We had some trouble climbing to the top because some stairs only take you halfway up while others go higher, so we eventually gave up.

We then had a look at the amphitheatre ruins, and there really was a lot less left. it was still interesting, and again it appears it is still used for performances. The thing I found really interesting here was how a lot of the original carved stones had been piled up on the side.
Detail of amphitheatre ruins
Seems that people had taken the place apart in search for building materials but left the beautifully carved ones behind because they were no good for them. It was sad in some ways, but on the other hand you can now admire the effort the Romans put into every single inch of their buildings close-up.

Finally we had a stroll through town and found a nice place in a square to have lunch. We were entertained by a band that seemed to be going round town a few times while we were there, playing to people at different restaurants and cafes. After that we continued exploring the town and then went to have a look at the inside of the monastery.

Overall, Arles is a really nice little place, but how long you actually spend there probably depends very much on how interested you are in anything Roman. I could happily have stayed there for a bit longer, exploring each site in detail. But the others had obviously not had Latin in school and were happy with spending less time at each site and just do the general looking-around, which is of course also fine and means you can see Arles in about half a day.
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Entrance to the amphitheatre
Entrance to the amphitheatre
Detail of amphitheatre ruins
Detail of amphitheatre ruins
Detail of amphitheatre ruins
Detail of amphitheatre ruins
Main square
Main square
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Church
Monastery
Monastery
Monastery
Monastery
Colosseum

(fixed by X-Drive)
Colosseum (fixed by X-Drive)
Colosseum
Colosseum
Colosseum
Colosseum
Colosseum
Colosseum
Arles
photo by: sshaunaa