Nimes Airport
General Information

Nimes In The Languedoc

NimesNimes is the capital of the Gard department of the Languedoc region of France.

Nimes, important alike for its industries and for its archaeological treasures, lies at the foot of the Garrigues, a range of stony and barren hills which limit it on the north and west. The most prominent of these is the Mont Cavalier, the summit of which is crowned by the Tour Magne, a ruined Roman tower commanding a fine view of the town and its surroundings.

To the south and east the town overlooks the monotonous plain traversed by the Vistre, and for the most part given over to the cultivation of the vine.

Nimes covers a large area, owing to the fact that its population is housed in low buildings, not in the lofty tenements which are found in most of the industrial towns of France. The central and oldest part is encircled by shady boulevards, which occupy the site of the old fortifications. Here are to be found the majority of the Roman remains for which Nimes is remarkable. The most celebrated is the amphitheatre, the best preserved though not the largest in France. It dates from the 1st or 2nd century A.D., and was used as a fortress for some time during succeeding centuries.

Occupied dtiring the middle ages by a special quarter, with even a church of its own, it was cleared in 1809, and since then has been well kept in repair. It is built of large stones fitted together without mortar. In form it is elliptical, measuring approximately 440 by 336 ft. externally; the arena is 227 by I26~ ft. The elevation (70 ft. in all) consists of a ground story of 60 arches, an upper story of 6o arches and an attic with consoles pierced with holes for supporting the velarium or awning.

The building, which was capable of holding nearly 24,000 persons, has 4 main gates, one at each of the cardinal points; and 124 doorways gave exit from the 35 tiers of the amphitheatre to the inner galleries. Originally designed for gladiatorial shows, naval spectacles, chariot races, wolf or boar hunts, the arena is today used for music concerts by the likes of Ray Charles and Franz Ferdinand.

Nimes - places to see

information on NimesThis section of the website will be developed over the coming months. At the moment we have a page and an article on Aigues Morte.