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Friday, August 1, 2014

Visiting Nimes France

Nimes was a Roman outpost in Provence because soldiers were promised a plot of land if they fought for Caesar. The remains of what it was like to live during Roman times makes Nimes a fascinating visit for history buffs.  Think of a retirement home for hard working soldiers who want to settle down and live peacefully.  The city's emblem is a crocodile tied to a palm tree as a reminder to Roman officers of their journeys to Egypt.


Enter the door of the only ancient temple to be completely preserved, the Maison Carree built during the period of Emperor Augustus.  He created new sites for staging of special events.
By the time Caesar had arrived the south east of Gaul had been settled by the Romans.  They came to aid the Greek colony of Marseilles because of attacks from Celto-Ligurian tribes.  Under Emperor Augustus the city developed quickly.building monuments.  Maison carree was inspired by the temples of Apollo and Mars Ultor in Rome.  It was built with harmonious proportions of 26 meters long,15 meters wide, and 15 meters high.  A 22 minute 3 D film is shown to tell the history of Nimes through a Roman family.  The dad went off to war for fifteen years and came back to see his son grown up but the town prosperous.  

The ceiling of the entrance to the temple was added in the 19th century.  

The Arena of Nimes was built 70 AD but remodeled in 1863 for bull fights. The amphitheater  has the capacity to seat 24,000 spectators.  There are sixty arches on each of the two levels for Romans to enter as they find their seat.  
In the Middle Ages people actually lived in the amphitheater for protection after the fall of Rome.
It was built to last standing sixty-five feet high and more than 300 feet across.  Compare it to a six story high building.
  Romans sat according to their social status and watch the games played there.  This box seems like a place of honor.   Lions, tigers and even elephants were part of animal hunts.   Executions would also be held and people sentenced to death were thrown to the lions.  Christians who stayed loyal to their faith and  refused to worship Roman gods were sentenced.  
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The ancient Roman aqueduct bridge called Pont du Gard is another Roman attraction to see.  It is part of the Nimes aqueduct carrying 31 miles of water to Romans from a spring at Uzes.  
It was mainly built underground because of the hilly terrain.  The water traveled a long and winding route that crossed the gorge of the Gardon river.  Pont du Gard is the highest of all of the Roman aqueduct bridges and one of the best preserved.  
Nimes has preserved many places to visit for tourists to enjoy.  
Sample delicious fresh
bread made by the locals.  Stay at a quaint bed and breakfast close by to be pampered after a day of sight seeing.  

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