|1981||Inscribed||Reasons for inscription|Clyde (Malta):
I visited this WHS in May 2012. I was really pleased to see how well the amphitheatre was kept and really surprised by how large it was! The view from the top is outstanding. More attention should be given to the Triumphal Arch of Orange which offers interesting Roman carvings and sculptures. Unfortunately, it is quite away from the centre of Orange and it is currently in the middle of a roundabout with a lot of traffic passing by. After seeing both sites I felt that they both deserve the same attention as UNESCO has rightly inscribed both as one WHS.
Date posted: September 2012 Thibault Magnien (France):
The historic site of Orange presents one of the better preserved roman theatres of the world. Not only is the tier still in place but also the stage and the façade where you can see the old columns and sculptures. You can also walk in the wings, under the tier. Close to the theatre, some building ruins are still in place and testify of the development of the city two millenniums ago. A short walk from here leads you to the Triumphal Arch that has conserved its beautiful sculptures.
The Theatre is really amazing by its state of conservation and its architecture. With sites of Arles and the Pont du Gard, it is part of the greatest and most famous Roman remains in France. The site is well furnished with explication boards and guides and will allow visitors to enjoy a bit of the Roman life.
Date posted: March 2012 Liz (United States):
We visited Orange in April, 2008 and were very impressed by the theatre and the Arch. The theater is very well preserved and the tour which is available with hand-held tapes is very interesting and thorough. Sitting in the seats and scrambling up the steps to the top rows brings the history alive. The arena at Nimes is larger, but the theater is just as notable. Check out the restaurant across the street-La Vaca-it's wonderful.
Date posted: May 2008 Ian Cade (England):
I was a little dubious going here as to whether it would be worth a visit, or even its place on the World Heritage list, as there are already plenty of other examples of Roman Theatres included. However, I was shocked. The theatre is magnificent. It is absolutely huge and almost completely intact.
I have been to a fair few roman theatres, including quite a few in the area around Orange, and this is probably the finest I have visited (although the one at Dougga in Tunisia probably has a better location). The feature that makes this different to all the others I have been to is that the stage wall has remained standing since being built, and there are still some decorations on it. There are also the remains of a roman temple right behind the Theatre.
The Triumphal Arch (pictured) is also well preserved, and the friezes are remarkably intact. It is only a short walk up to see it, and it is nice to see but perhaps only worthy of its place on the list in addition to the Theatre.
Orange itself is nothing really spectacular. It is nice enough, but apart from the two sites there is not a whole lot more to do. We spent an afternoon here and that was enough time for us. It is only about 15 minutes by train from Avignon and is a nice way to spend a couple of hours.
Date posted: October 2006 David Berlanda (Italy / Czech Republic):
In our trip to France we have been in the town of Orange, situated on the river Rhone. There you can admire the best preserved and one of the largest Roman theatres, from the Augustean period. The wall of the façade, 103 m long and 37 m high, is completely preserved and has arches and blend arcades. The theatre was deprived only of his marbles and decorations and now there are few remains, like the statue of Augustus (3,55 m high), reconstructed with the original fragments and removed to the central niche of the scene wall; it was used in Baroque period by Maurits van Oranje-Nassau like a quarry and restored since 1840 (in particular the stairs). Adjacent to the theatre are the remains of a temple with circular apse, from the Hadrian period, a gymnasium, an altar and a nymphaeum; on the hill behind them is the capitol. The Triumphal Arch, constructed on the Agrippa Road (that brought from Lyon to Arles) in the period of Augustus, is preserved very well; in the 13th century it became a small fort and was restored since the 18th century. It celebrates the Roman peace and the veterans of the 2nd Gallic legion, that fought agianst the Gauls. It has three arches with coffered ceilings, tympanums, attics, twelve columns and beautiful relieves.
Orange is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen because of the impressiveness and the proportions of its Roman monuments. They are absolutely worth to be visited and justify the inscription also as the most preserved Roman theatre in the world and the most conserved Roman Arch in France, but I think that also other Roman monuments in Provence (like that in Nîmes or Saint-Rémy-de-Provence) could be inscibed alone or together with one, two or all of the WHS of Arles, Orange and Pont du Gard.
Photo: Roman Theatre
Date posted: February 2006 Martha Wiley (USA):
OK, I'll start off by saying I've seen a good few Roman sites over the past several years. So I have to say that Orange was not one that I would recommend. The Ampitheatre is impressive in its way, but I suggest going during the Choregies, which is a week or two of large choral performances that offered here during the summer. That way you could enjoy the music as well as a quick tour before the show. And the Arch de Triomph here is likewise not worth it. Save your time for better Roman monuments in France, at, say, Arles. Still, if you are passing through anyway, you could stop a take a quick look. But don't give Orange more than 2 hours (unless you're here for the music).
Date posted: September 2005
Have you been to Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the "Triumphal Arch" of Orange? Share your experiences!