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3 Stunning Historical Sites to Visit in the South of France

When visiting the South of France to stay, or live in your brand-new property – bought with the assistance of an experienced chartered surveyor – you’re going to want some things to do to fill the days with. Lazing on the beach, swimming in the warm seas, or simply pottering around your new property all certainly have their merits, but what does the South of France have to offer the more historically minded amongst you?

 

Thankfully, the South of France is home to many important and beautiful historical landmarks. Visiting these locations is a must for tourists and residents alike. Each provides a sumptuous feast for the eyes, the mind, and the heart.


Nîmes

Home to some of the most incredible Roman architecture there is, Nîmes is a must visit for any fan of ancient buildings.

 

The Maison Carrée is a stunning Corinthian temple which was commissioned by Marcus Agrippa – the man who was intended to succeed Caesar Augustus. A film, “Nemausus, la naissance de Nîmes”, is shown daily at the Maison that tells the story of how the city was founded.

 

Nîmes’ les Arènes is one of the best preserved Roman amphitheatres in Europe and is still used to this day – albeit to host controversial bullfighting. Nevertheless, it still draws huge crowds in the summer.

 

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(Image source: arenes-nimes.com)

 

These are just a couple of examples of the sights to be seen in this beautiful and historically rich location. Others include the dilapidated, yet stunning Tour Magne, which is the only surviving remnant of the city’s ancient Augustan fortifications. Standing on Mont Cavalier – the highest point of the city – the remains of the tower overlook the entire area.


Pont du Gard

No journey to the South of France would be complete without a visit to this world-famous example of a Roman Aqueduct.

 

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(Image source: unesco.org)

 

Considered one of the most beautiful Roman ruins in Europe, Pont du Guard was granted World Heritage status in 1985. Originally build to carry water from its source in the north, to the city of Nîmes, the viaduct’s construction is credited to the same Marcus Agrippa who built the city’s Maison Carrée.

 

Now home to a visitor centre including a museum and gift shop, tourists can learn everything there is to know about the viaduct itself and Roman water technology.


Arles

Occupying an important strategic position between Spain and Italy, Arles rose to prominence when a Roman colony was founded in the city, by none other than Julian Caesar. Known as the “little Rome of Gaul,” the city changed rapidly following the occupation of Rome, with many lavish buildings being constructed.

 

(Image source: unesco.org)

 

The amphitheatre (Arènes d’Arles) and the theatre (Théâtre Antique) are among those original Roman buildings still standing today. There can also be found the remains of a circus, Thermae of Constantine (Roman baths), the Alyscamps necropolis, and a large cryptoporticus built to form the foundations for the forum.


Barely Scratching the Surface

These are three of the best historical site to visit in the South of France, but there are a lot more besides. If you want to start writing your own South of France story worthy of the history books, but don’t know where to start – Charles Mackintosh is a chartered surveyor with many years’ experience in the region. From property search, through to valuations and surveys and onwards to project co-ordination, Charles will ease your way into your South of France life and lifestyle.

 

Please get in touch today.