(43 minutes from Salon de Provence)
The city of Arles is listed twice as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, for the cultural property "Arles, Roman and Romanesque monuments" and for the serial cultural property "Pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in France".
Arles is a city that inspires artists with its exceptional luminosity, revealing a warm and welcoming city. Vincent Van Gogh himself stayed in Arles to create some of his most beautiful works. There is also a “rendez-vous” of celebration of arts and culture during the various festivals that punctuate the seasons.
The Arles Arena
Built around 80-90 AD, the Arles Amphitheatre is the city's most important monument!
Huge and gigantic, it is the most imposing construction of the ancient Roman colony still visible. Conceived and designed to accommodate an innumerable crowd during the numerous and important shows held there in antiquity, the amphitheatre is still a place that regularly fills up with spectators.
Every year at Easter, for example, the “féria” takes place here with its crowds of “afficionados”. From September to April, initiations to gladiatorial techniques are also organised.
The ancient theatre
The Roman Theatre of Arles was built at the time of Emperor Augustus at the end of the 1st century BC. Its 33 tiers of seats, most of which have now disappeared, were supported by an outer enclosure made up of three tiers of arcades.
The theatre held 10,000 spectators. In the Middle Ages, it was used as a quarry and was largely destroyed. The medieval Roland Tower encompasses the only remaining bay of the outer “portico”. The site gradually disappeared under houses and was only cleared and excavated in the 19th century. In 2004, a major restoration campaign began as part of the Ancient Heritage Plan.
Today, the monument can be visited. Of the ancient elevation supporting the “cavea”, only one bay remains, which in the Middle Ages was incorporated into the city wall and transformed into a defence tower. In the centre of the orchestra is the trace of the sealing of the swan altar, emblem of Augustus, dedicated to Apollo.
This monument is also a place of spectacles. Between the end of June and the end of August, it hosts the “Fêtes d'Arles et du costume, the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, the Festival des Suds and the Peplum Film Festival.”
From 19/05 to 30/06, every day from 10:30 am to 4:30 pm.
From 01/07 to 30/09, every day from 9am to 7pm.
From 01/10 to 31/10, daily from 9am to 6pm.
From 02/11 to 28/02, every day from 10.30am to 4.30pm.
Exceptional closures on 1 January and 25 December.
Last admission 4pm.
Admission: from 7€ to 9€.