Nimes, France

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This morning I woke up at 7. I changed and ate breakfast and all that. It sucked getting up. I took a motion sickness pill and then headed to the bus. It took me longer to get there than I had planned but luckily I had planned to get there early. So it was all good.

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We got on the bus and Cassandra and I were so exhausted we both just slept. Usually I look out the window to figure out where we are but this time I was too tired. We woke up in Nimes and then proceeded to be told that this is the place where Denim was first invented and that now they make a lot and export it. But do you see where the name Denim comes from? “De Nimes” meaning “from Nimes” became Denim.

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We got off and went into this big garden thing where we were to walk around. It was really pretty cool. It was called the Jardin de la Fontaine.

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Les Jardins de la Fontaine is a public park located in Nimes in the Gard . They are built around the original source dedicated to Nîmes Nemausus . Their architectural organization also highlights two monuments ancient major city, the Temple of Diana and the Tour Magne .

Les Jardins de la Fontaine was one of the first public parks’ of Europe and is still today one of the most remarkable.

Les Jardins de la Fontaine was made in 1745 on the basis of these remains. They made it possible to highlight two other Roman monuments have particularly stood the test of time, the Temple of Diana and the Tour Magne, both of which I went to. The project was led by Jacques Philippe Mareschal , military engineer of King Louis XV and director of fortifications in the province of Languedoc .

In the Gallo-Roman period , the area of Jardins de la Fontaine included including baths of the city (which you can see some remains).

Source: Wikipedia but translated.

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It was really pretty. My tour guide was going too fast for me to follow though so Cassandra and I decided to just split from them to look at the garden at our own pace. It was much more enjoyable that way. I didn’t know that they used to be roman baths but I kind of guessed when I saw stairs leading into the big pond. It was really cool though. There were SO many fish in the ponds. They were also all connected so there was a ton of space for the fish. There was even two white and one black swan. They were really pretty and just added to the mood . We looked around the temple of Diana which was really in ruins but was also really well preserved when you think about how old it is, which is funny because we don’t actually know how old it is. The whole temple is a bit of a mystery.

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The Temple of Diana (Temple de Diane) is a Roman site in Nimes whose ultimate purpose remains a mystery, as does the origin of its name.

Believed by some to have been originally built sometime during the reign of Augustus – others say in the 2nd century – it has been suggested that the Temple of Diana may have been a library.

Source: http://www.historvius.com/temple-of-diana-nimes-1603/

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I think it is kind of cool that we don’t actually know what it was for. I think it is kind of fun to walk around it and just sort of guess. We walked up and down so many stairs my shins were starting to hurt. We had a bit of a problem finding the Tour Magne but we eventually found it. It was where the Romans made a big lookout tower kind of thing so that they could see enemies coming from far away. It cost money so we didn’t go up it but it was really cool. From far away from the city you can see the monument though because it is the highest point in the city.

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It was really cool. We saw some stray cats on the way back down and it made me sad for them. Stray animals seem to be more of a problem here than in the states I feel like; or maybe they are just more under control in the states. I have noticed on the French Price is Right they don’t say to have your pets spayed or neutered. So maybe that is the problem. ;-)

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After that we went and found some lunch at a café. I also bought a cookie which was the best chocolate chip cookie I have had in a very long time. Then we found a gift shop so I bought a book of postcards for two and a half euros which is a very good price for 12 postcards. Then we walked by the Maison Carrée which was closed because it was Sunday but it was still very nice to see! It is one of the best preserved Roman temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire and was built in 16 BC. It was awesome but there were a bunch of like teenage boys like climbing on the side of it which if it that happened on a US monument I think that the US would be ALL over that. But no one seemed to care or mind.

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Next we found our way to the Arena of Nimes which was SO amazing! It seemed so huge and I was shocked that it is so old and still standing when you think of all the wars and people that have lived and could have destroyed it. It is pretty cool. Now they have added wooden benches and use it two times a year for bullfights and they even have added a removable roof. I think it is cool that it is still used for the purpose that it originally had. They used to do like exhibitions of men barehanded fighting lions and also exhibited animals like a zoo. In the middle of the day though there would be public executions by tossing people into the ring with a lion, or even attaching them to a stake and putting them in with lions or bears. It was pretty intense. The public at that point would all leave to have lunch so the only people who watched this part was slaves who were scared to guard their masters’ seats, sounds pretty scary to me. After that they would have famous Gladiator fights and then either let the loser live or die. It was pretty violent.

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It was really cool to see the amphitheater though and the audio guides were kind of fun but not very informative. They were more for like imagining what it was like during the period but not really informative with information.

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After that we headed back to the bus to go to the Pont de Gard.

The Pont du Gard (literally: Gard Bridge) is an ancient Roman aqueduct bridge that crosses the Gardon River[4] in Vers-Pont-du-Gard near Remoulins, in the Gard département of southern France. It is part of the Nîmes aqueduct, a 50 km-long (31 mi) structure built by the Romans to carry water from a spring at Uzès to the Roman colony of Nemausus (Nîmes). Because the terrain between the two points is hilly, the aqueduct – built mostly underground – took a long, winding route that crossed the gorge of the Gardon, requiring the construction of an aqueduct bridge. Built in the 1st century AD, the Pont du Gard is the highest of all Roman aqueduct bridges and is the best preserved with the Aqueduct of Segovia. It was added to UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites in 1985 because of its historical importance.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_du_Gard

It was definitely cool to see but we spent a lot of time there looking at it. Cassandra and I walked the bridge so that we could say we did, but then after that we decided to just sit and look at it from far enough away that we could see the whole thing. I was glad for the break from walking. We both were. We even tried opening some acorns from an acorn tree just for fun. It was really a cool bridge but we were too tired to want to walk around it more.

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Overall it was a really fun day but also very exhausting! But I thought the whole trip was definitely worth the 25 euros to go!

One thought on “Nimes, France

  1. I enjoyed this informative post about Nimes and Pont de Gard. Your links to more information about both were very helpful, and I learned many things I didn’t know. Michele

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