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Europe Places Travel Guide -> France -> Languedoc-Roussillon -> Nimes, France

One of the many Monuments in Nimes
Photo: One of the many Monuments in Nimes

Nimes, France

See the map showing Nimes Languedoc-Roussillon Map - Nimes Weather.

Nimes, known for its Roman architecture, has a long history even before the Greeks occupied the region. Fed by a natural spring, a town occupied by the Gauls existed here, later developing into one of Europe’s largest cities in ancient times.

Although endowed today with a thriving commercial centre, it is still a beautiful place. The city centre has been redesigned over the last number of years, mostly by Phillip Starck, although it has been blessed with monuments, canals and buildings dating back many years.

With its many boutiques and other speciality shops to be found in the many streets it is also a favourite place to shop. An important textile centre, Denim was even first created here in the 1800s.

Ancient Architecture

To the Romans, this place was an important crossroad from Rome to Spain in the empire and also a favourite resort with a number of Emperors. Well preserved buildings and other ruins attest to the grandeur of the city, including the amphitheatre (Arènes).

This well preserved building is claimed to be the best remaining example of an amphitheatre in the empire, even better than the one in Rome.

It was used as a fortress after the collapse of the Roman Empire during the middle ages, helping to preserve its facade and main structure. People actually lived there during those years. Eventually, Napoleon had it restored in the early 19th century.

Tour Magne

Amongst the many other examples of Roman handiwork is the Tour Magne, an octagonol military tower that looms over the landscape, offering clear views of the city and Nimes surrounds. You can still visit here for those grand views. Below the tower are the Jardin de la Fontaine, created in the 19th Century and one of the greatest French gardens built on the ruins of earlier Roman baths.

Attractions in Nimes

Other attractions in Nimes include the Porte d’ August, one of the arch entrances built in the city walls some twenty years before the Maison Carreé, a wonderfully preserved Roman temple in the town centre. Another place to visit nearby is the Temple of Diana, next to the Jardin de la Fontaine.

There are numerous monuments placed strategically on the streets leading to the various attractions, alone worth the visit. The beautiful canals, fountains, statues and buildings propels one back in time. Another must thing to do would be to visit one or more of the museums, celebrating art, archaeology and the regions important history.

Things to Do

Aside from the many places to visit, the many restaurants and eateries to try, festivals in Nimes include February’s Carnival, the Ferias of Pentecost and September. In the summer, Rock Concerts starring many of the world’s greatest bands are held in the Roman Les Arènes (amphitheatre).

The Pentecost Feria, held over the Easter weekend every year, has over a million visitors with bullfighting, art exhibitions, all night dance parties and celebrations. Other activities throughout the year include the Roman Games (minus the blood) the Garden Night Festival, Art shows and the Feria des Vendanges, which amongst other exciting events, has a bull chase through the streets.

Visiting Nimes

Combined with the markets, architecture, museums, monuments, great food, festivals and many exhibitions, no matter what time of year you go, your sure to find something to interest you.

Europe Maps

France Map - see Map of France Map - Europe Map.

Weather for Nimes: Nimes Weather.

France Hotels

You can find places to stay in Nimes and throughout France, from 5 star hotels and resorts to apartments and villas.

Photo: One of the many Monuments in Nimes

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Jardin de la Fontaine, created in the 19th Century and one of the great Europe Gardens, built on the remains of earlier Roman baths
Photo: Jardin de la Fontaine, created in the 19th Century and one of the great Europe Gardens, built on the remains of earlier Roman baths