The amphitheater is 133m long and 101m wide. Two quarries located near the city, Barutel and Roquemaillère, provided the stones for its construction. Its exterior facade, 21m high and composed of two levels of arcades, is divided into 60 bays. A system of vaulted galleries and radiant staircases allows spectators to quickly gain their place.
In antiquity, more than 20,000 people, divided according to their social rank, could attend the shows offered by the notables. The layout of the stands offers perfect visibility on the runway, the arena.
Since the end of the Roman era, the amphitheater evaded demolition thanks to the continuous occupation. From the sixth century, the monument is transformed into a fortress. The arcades are walled. The viscounts of Nîmes and the knights of the Arènes settle there in the Middle Ages. In the 14th century, the building lost its military function. It is crowded with private buildings: houses, workshops, warehouses. The Arènes district remained until 1809. After the demolition of the houses and the release of the track, several years of work will be necessary to its restoration.
Today, the amphitheater offers its prestigious setting to many events. It hosts bullfights, concerts and sports events. Far from being put under a bell, the arenas host all summer a very large number of cultural and festive shows where a local and international audience crowds. Grandiose and majestic, they are an exceptional outdoor scene and have thus marked internationally renowned stars, singers, dancers, musicians, and the best bullfighters.
There are more than 200,000 spectators (concerts and bullfights) a year. Among many others, have come in recent years David Bowie, Radiohead, Depeche Mode, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Metallica, Mark Knopfler, the Daft Punk, Sting, Björk, Roberto Alagna, the ballets of Bejart …
The management of the monuments of Nîmes is entrusted to a specialized service provider to animate and make discover to the greatest number of tourists this rich heritage. A very positive choice revealed with an ever-increasing attendance, more than 350,000 annual visitors just for the Arena and the creation of an event that became the largest ancient gathering in Europe, the Great Roman Games.
6 Rue Moilere
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