We have wanted to visit Arles for sometime but there isnt a motorhome Aire in Arles so whilst staying in Avignon we caught the train to Arles for the day. The train took 15 minutes and cost 8 euros each, each way.
The station is located on the outskirts of the city and took us about 5 minutes to walk in.
Our first stop was the amphitheatre, where for more than 400 years the ancient populace would have been entertained by gladiators and chariot races. It was modelled on Rome’s coliseum and was built a couple of decades after in 90AD. The arena is still part of the city’s cultural life and still holds bullfights and concerts.
Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles for a year in 1888 and alot of his paintings were inspired on his time here. You can visit the Van Gogh museum which is in the heart of the city.
Place de la Republique is a beautiful square and the home of the town hall, as are the churches of Saint-Trophime and Sainte-Anne, opposite each other.
Located in the middle of the square is a Roman obelisk that originally stood in the spina (the long central barrier) in Arelate’s circus. It was found in the 1300s and erected here on a plinth in the 17th-century. The stone for the obelisk has travelled a long way when you consider the time it was erected and that it measures more than 15 metres.
The Church of St Tropheme is located in the plaza called Place de la République and is also a UNESCO site. The facade shows all sorts of biblical scenes like the the Apocalypse and the Gospel of St. Matthew.
Thermes de Constantin were built around the early 300’s and were excavated in the 19th century and are seen as one of the most complete Roman bathing complexes surviving in France.
There is a lot more Roman architecture in and around Arles and a day really isn’t enough to explore properly, especially if you want to visit the museums. At least we have had a taste and we are sure that one day we will be back to look around the places we missed.
Every street seems to have the wow factor.