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Arles is not a very popular city by guidebooks and tourist companies, however, a visit to Arles will leave a lot of memories of it as a place, hardly the only one in France that has preserved monuments to such an extent Antiquity. Most of the architectural and other attractions of Arles, in one way or another, are associated with the period of Roman rule in Gaul. Sightseeing tours around the city take no more than one day, but with an individual vacation you can stay here for a much longer time.
Places of interest
The most important landmark of the city and its official symbol is the Roman Amphitheater. This"younger brother of the Colosseum", as it is commonly called here, was built in 90 AD, and has survived to this day, if not impeccable, then in very good condition. From the very beginning, traditional bloody battles of gladiators were held here, which over time gave way to quite real training of soldiers - the arena became the garrison of Arles, and the sandy oval turned into a city square.
The restoration of the amphitheater as a platform for performances began in 1830 year. The soldiers living here moved to other areas of the city, and the building itself was brought to its original appearance, as far as possible. Since bloody performances with the participation of people have been banned for many centuries, Spanish bullfighting has replaced gladiatorial battles in Arles. Bullfights are held here and now. In addition to bloody spectacles, the amphitheater also holds quite peaceful performances, such as opera, stadium rock concerts and much more. The amphitheater is now a modern platform with impeccable lighting and a capacity of 25 thousand people at a time, just as it was in antiquity.
The second largest attraction is the Ancient Theater Arles. Unfortunately, its current state is depressing, and its restoration has no foundation - not a single ancient image of the theater has survived. Information about the exact date of its construction has not survived either; it is only known for certain that it was designed and built during the reign of Emperor Augustus. The Middle Ages dealt a serious blow to the construction of the theater, high-quality stone was used to build several churches, the analysis of the antique monument continued until the 19th century, when the state defended the theater. Now the surviving and partially restored structures of the theater are used as a venue for two annual festivals, one of which is dedicated to historical cinema.
Cryptoportics will help you fully feel the antique spirit in Arles. This underground tunnel complex is located under residential buildings at a fairly decent depth. Until the 20th century, the Cryptoportic was mistakenly considered a refuge for early Christians, but subsequent research into the underground complex proved that it was created much earlier. Now very interesting excursions are held here, all tunnels have a modern lighting system. It is strictly not allowed to go down here on your own, admission is allowed only to agreed excursion groups led by a guide.
The oldest Christian shrine in Arles is the Cathedral of St. Trofimus. According to official sources, it was founded in the XII century, but there is evidence that the first buildings on this site were already in the XVIII century. The modern look of this masterpiece of the Romanesque style was obtained thanks to another construction of Arles - the Ancient Theater - it was from there that the stone was taken for the construction of the temple. A visit to the cathedral will also be interesting for those who are fond of painting - inside the shrine there are originals of several paintings by masters of the 16th century.
The Van Gogh Complex is an attraction that will be interesting to all admirers of the great painter's work. This mansion, built in the 16th century, housed a hospital for the mentally ill, where the artist was sent. Nowadays, only memorial plaques at the premises with which Van Gogh was associated are reminiscent of the hospital. On the territory of the complex today there are several organizations, including one of the modern libraries of the south of France.
Perhaps the only modern and even futuristic building in Arles is the Museum of History. Built at the very end of the 20th century, the building housed a huge collection of archaeological finds, which were carefully collected by tens of generations of Arles residents, starting from the 17th century. Here you can see the miraculously preserved ancient Roman amphoras, weapons, armor and a number of other things related to various historical eras. Nevertheless,
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Topic: Information about the resort of Arles in France.