Nîmes is one of those cities that we keep driving past on the auto-route and have never actually stopped to have a look. In fact, the huge residential tower blocks on the out-skirts are enough to put anyone off! But it’s only a couple of hours drive from my house, so off I went for a walk about.
Nimes is a Roman city. In fact it was a large fortress town even before that. But the Romans took over it from a Gaulish clan and built a busy thriving fortified town. Among it’s ruins it boasts the best preserved and totally in tact Roman temple and an amphitheatre that used to seat 20,000 people and is now used for Concerts throughout the summer.
Nîimes is also famous for the Pont de Gard. the large roman aqueduct built to supply the Roman settlement with copious amounts of water. The Castellum is the point of arrival of the 50kms of aqueduct and is a circular tank carved into the rock. From here lead pipes carried the water around the city. And all this over 2000 years ago.
Here is a dawn view across the square and amphitheatre towards the chapelle St Perpétue