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Nimes, Uzą©s, Pont du Gard and St. Remy

My friend Nicole and I set out on a three day trip to Provence. We planned to visit Nimes, Uzes, Pont du Gard and St. Remy...


La Maison Carrą©e (The Square House)

1st century AD temple dedicated to Caius and Lucius Cesar. This is the only preserved temple of the ancient world.

Opposite the Maison Carrą©e is the Carrą©e d'Art contemporary art center.

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IMG_5792.JPG The Vauban University built inside a castle on the north side of town... a castle designed by Vauban... interesting use of space. That is the moat in front of you, and the ramparts, mixed with a modern staircase.
IMG_5793.JPG The Castellum... this is where the aqueduct came into Nimes... boring, but rare remains of a circular tank. The large round holes were for distribution pipes.
Jardins de la Fontaine

18th century gardens based on an ancient 1st century BC shrine

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Magne Tower

32meter octogonal Roman tower that was one of 80 towers in the wall system surrounding the town. It is on a hill above the garden with a great view...

You have to climb an 18xx staircase up the center, which is a less than uniform space...

View from the top... Nicole stands out on the ledge...Avenue Jean Jaures is the tree lined street in the background. IMG_5803.JPGIMG_5806.JPG
IMG_5813.JPG Fountain next to Place Picasso in front of the Jardins de la Fontaine.
IMG_5814.JPG The Roman Amphitheatere in Nimas. Built at the end of the 1st century AD. 133m x 101m, 21m high, 2 levels of 60 arches each. It could hold an estimated 20,000.
IMG_5815.JPG It means entrance or exit... sounds better in French.
IMG_5816.JPG The inside... covered during the winter for activities.
IMG_5825.JPG Archeology Museum... 2 out of 5 stars...
IMG_5828.JPG Neat-o wooden basin in the hotel bathroom.
Main square, the Esplanade Charles De Gaulle. Not sure who the woman is with the building on her head... could be Tyche or Athena? IMG_5834.JPG IMG_5836.JPG



Uzes is a small town north of Nimes. It was the source of the water for Roman Nimes... via the aqeuduct that uses the Pont du Gard. Uzes was the site of the first Duchy in France... and was also the location of Gerard Depardeuis version of Cyrano.
IMG_5839.JPG The fountain outside the tourist office. Very good English walking tour of town available.
A corner of the Duchy Palace, notice the interesting gutter spouts / gargoyles. IMG_5841.JPGIMG_5842.JPG
It was market day in the Place aux Herbes. IMG_5846.JPGIMG_5847.JPG
Eglise St. Ethienne... built in 1767 on the site of an older church destroyed during the Wars of Religion. IMG_5849.JPG IMG_5851.JPG
IMG_5855.JPG La Tour Fą©nestrelle

Round Romanesque Cathedral Bell-tower built in the 12th century. 138ft tall... unique in France.

IMG_5856.JPG Le Pavillion Racine

Built in 1687 on top of ancient greek ramparts. Notice the guys playing boules.

Renamed in 1819 after the famous French writer as he enjoyed coming here when he was in Uzą©s

IMG_5857.JPG First stone laid in 1090 on the site of a Roman temple. Partially destroyed in the Wars against the Albigensians and again in 1563 during the Wars of Religion. Completely destroyed in 1621 the present building dates from 1652. Most of the furnishings "disappeared" during the French Revolution.

Very nice free English info sheet available inside.

IMG_5859.JPG Pretty awesome 17c. Louis XIV style organ. Depending on who you believe 1660 or 1685. 44 stops, 2772 pipes... restored in 1964. Notice the shutters that wrap around the sections of curved and straight pipe...
IMG_5862.JPG Hotel du Baron de Castille

Late 18c. The man had a thing about pillars.

IMG_5863.JPG Le Duchą© D'Uzes

This is the end of the walking tour which made almost no sense as it was closed... if you go, watch those afternoon hours...sigh. Built on the site of a Roman fort it has constructions ranging from the 11th-19th century


Pont du Gard

One of the big reasons to come to this part of Provence... this UNESCO World Heritage Site is 275m long and 48m, the highest in the Roman world. It is remarkably preserved for being around 2000 years old.

This was part of an aqueduct from Uzes to Nimes that was 31miles long and delivered a daily water supply of about 44 million gallons.

All the stones were laid without mortar, some weight up to 6 tons, with large block and tackle rigs. There is very, very extensive museum on site and I would recommend allowing for at least an hour just for that.

The roadway was added just downstream for carriages in 1743, Nicole near the top of the second tier, and the left bank access to the top level and the aqueduct course (closed)
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You can see some people in the first one... that should give you some scale.
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IMG_5912.JPG We stayed around until after dark because "they" are supposed to light it up... never happened, bummer.


St. Remy

St. Remy de Provence is located east of Nimes and just south of Avignon. Two of it's larger claims to fame are the monastery where Van Gogh was "committed" and Glanum a well preserved Roman town...

This picture is from St-Paul de Mausole where Van Gogh was sent (debate about who sent him) after he cut off his ear in nearby Arles.

van Gogh stayed in a small room, in this then sanitarium, from May 1889 to May 1890.. While here he painting more than 142 works including many of his most famous. (Including Starry Night, Field of Wheat Cypress Trees, The Sower)

It is currently a hospital specializing in art therapy and very quiet.

The central 12c cloister is also very beautiful.

On the grounds there is a confusing set of signs "Sur les Pas de Vincent van Gogh" that direct you to spots where van Gogh painting specific works. It appears to be under renovation. There are tours that leave from the TI office April-mid October.

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IMG_5928.JPG IMG_5934.JPG IMG_5931.JPG Just down the road from St-Paul , actually it is easy enough to get there if you just walk across the field... is the beginnings of the Roman town of Glanum. The monumental entry to the town is known locally as "les Antiques" and consists of two elements, the Mausolą©e des Jules and the Arc de Triomphe. They are both in really good shape.

The mausoleum dates from 30-20 BC. It was built by the Julii (descendants of an important Roman family) to honor their father and grandfather. (So there you have it kids, your new standard to honor your folks is a 60ft tall three tiered thing that will last 2000 years) The lower scenes are of hunting and battle, the middle has a naval theme and there is a statue of the honored on the third...

The Arc (1c BC-20 AD) marks the entrance to Glanum on two trade routes between Italy and Spain... it is 40ft long, 17ft wide/deep and 27ft high. Part of the "roof" was restored during the 18th century.

These were the only signs of the town of Glanum before excavation started in 1921. One sign indicated that van Gogh may have painted Le Mont Gaussier with the Mas de Saint-Paul from a location above the buried city.

IMG_5939.JPG Glanum

This site has been occupied from the 6c BC to the 3c AD. First by the Ligurian-Celts, then by the Greeks and finally by the Romans. As you can imagine the repeated destruction/construction makes for a little bit of a mess archeological.

IMG_5942.JPG Overview of the site.
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IMG_5944.JPG The basic elements of part of a pair of temples has been reconstructed to give visitors some sense of the scale of the buildings.
A 2c BC temple was built around a spring (you are looking at the reflection in the water). Next door there was a room dedicated to the cult of Hercules... the monument out front is a votive altar.

Overall, if you can catch a tour I think you would get more out of the site.

Back into St. Remy to catch the bus and to visit The Hotel de Sade (yes, distant relation to you-know-who) which has been turned into a small museum of Glanum... IMG_5956.JPGIMG_5961.JPGIMG_5962.JPGIMG_5969.JPG
IMG_5965.JPG Bronze axe head...
IMG_5966.JPG Spoon! sorry...couldn't help it.
IMG_5968.JPG Oil lamps
IMG_5973.JPG One of St. Remys famous sons (can you guess, or should I say "predict"?)


Born in St. Remy in 1503. This is "his" fountain... sections of the house he was born in can still be visited. A noted scientist, doctor and scholar it is sad that he is mostly seen on the cover of tabloid magazines.

The ultra slick Avignon TGV station again... and there is our train, gotta go! IMG_5975.JPGIMG_5980.JPG