Hubert Scharnagl (Austria):
The very short description on the WHC website provides little information which sites the nomination comprises, but Arles, Nîmes and Glanum seem to be the most important. The Roman remains in Arles are already inscribed and Nîmes has a separate T-list entry, so this review is on our visit of the archaeological site of Glanum. It is located at the foot of the Alpilles mountain range, one kilometre south of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and about 30 minutes from Arles by car.
The best-known monuments are 'Les Antiques': the Mausoleum of the Julii, 18 meters high, with well-preserved reliefs and next to it a triumphal arch, which has a strange shape, because the upper part is missing. Both are outside the Roman town, close to the car park and can be visited without charge. Just across the street is the entrance to the Roman town of Glanum (7.50 euro entrance fee).
The city was founded by the Salyens, was under Hellenistic influence and became a Roman colony about 30 BC until its destruction in the year 260 AD. The excavated area is about 300 metres in length and 80 metres in width. You can visit the remains of residential houses, public and religious buildings. The northern part comprises the residential quarter with the forum, public baths, a fountain and the remains of several residences, e.g. the House of Antae where some columns and a water basin were preserved. In the southern part are the remains of a temple, a chapel and a sacred spring. You get a good overview of the site from the adjacent hill. The photo shows the northern part, about two thirds of the entire area.
We enjoyed our visit, it is an interesting site. In many regions it would certainly be a highlight, but it can not compete with the other Roman heritage in South France.
Date posted: March 2014
Have you been to Les villes antiques de la Narbonnaise et leur territoire: Nimes, Arles, Glanum, aqueducs, via Domitia? Share your experiences!