The Amphitheatre of Arles, known as Les Arenes, is a magnificent Roman structure that has stood the test of time since the 1st century A.D. Today, it continues to captivate visitors, serving as a venue for bullfights, plays, and concerts, echoing the grandeur of ancient gladiatorial battles.
The Theater of Arles, dating back to the 1st century B.C., is a remarkable relic of the Roman Empire's reach in Gaul, showcasing ancient architectural prowess. Once hosting up to 10,000 spectators, its grandeur still resonates in its remaining arches and columns, inviting visitors to ponder the spectacles of antiquity.
Opened in 1995, the Arles Museum boasts a wealth of Greek and Roman artifacts, including emperor busts, sarcophagi, and Rhone-recovered Roman vessels. A treasure trove for art history enthusiasts, it vividly narrates Southern France's ancient past.
In 1888, Vincent van Gogh settled in Arles, producing nearly 300 works in 15 months, inspired by the city's scenes—now immortalized in his art. His time here, after leaving Paris as his mental health wavered, was marked by fervent creativity and volatility, including his famed ear incident following a clash with friend Paul Gauguin. Post-recovery, he moved to an asylum in Saint-Remy de Provence. Arles remains a living tribute to van Gogh, where visitors can explore his home and the locations that fueled his genius.
The 11th-12th century Saint Trophime Church, home to its first bishop's remains, boasts exquisite capitals adorning its interior columns. Its exterior features an impressive display of the 12 apostles. Purchase a bundle ticket for cost-effective access to this and other historic center monuments.
Named after Emperor Constantine who commissioned them in the 4th century AD, the Baths of Constantine in Arles were a public luxury and a symbol of Roman power. These baths, accessible to all social classes, featured advanced heating systems and aqueduct-sourced water, emphasizing Roman engineering mastery. Open year-round, they provided warmth and amenities like shops and libraries, reflecting the sophisticated Roman lifestyle. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the baths remain a testament to ancient innovation.
Alyscamps, an ancient Roman necropolis on Arles' edge, boasts sarcophagi and a 12th-century church. Its fame was heightened by Van Gogh and Gauguin's depiction, notably in the "Street of Lovers," a celebrated painting by the duo.