Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Roman Day in Provence

Pont du Gard: second tallest Roman ruin in existence today.  Only the Coliseum in Rome is higher.
A wonderful and busy way to spend a day in Provence is to have a theme.  With all the Roman ruins around the town of Arles, it made sense to have a Roman day.  In the morning we visited the Roman arena in Arles.  It is a spectacular sight.  Also in Arles, there is a Roman Museum.  This excellent museum is perfect to give background and meaning to the Roman ruins which still stand.  This museum is small enough to see in one hour.  The curators have selected high-quality original items to display.  This is able to show what a Roman life was like 2000 years ago.  There are also models showing what the town of Arles was like under the Roman command.  I highly recommend a visit.
Statue at the Roman Museum in Arles:  Bad Hair day.
Roman Theater in Orange
From the Roman Museum, it is an easy drive to Orange.  Here is the largest Roman theater with a freestanding back wall.  The theater is huge and held up to 20,000 spectators.  Included with admission is a audio guide which describes the theater during the time of the Romans.  This is also very educational and fascinating.  Although the Roman theater is very difficult to photograph because of its size, it is still worthwhile to visit for its cultural impact.

From there it is another short drive to the Pont du Gard.  This is lit beautifully at sunset and really makes 2 statements to me.  The first is how important water was.  This entire structure was built simply to transport water.  The second is how amazing the Romans are to have constructed such a elaborate monumental aqueduct.

After all of these travels, we were exhausted but had a day never to be forgotten.
Pont du Gard at Sunset

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