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Culture of Arles. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Antique landmarks of the Roman Empire period have made Arles internationally famous. The entire territory of the historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many tourists start their acquaintance with the city with a visit to Amphithéâtre Romain or the Arles Amphitheater. This ancient amphitheater was built in 80 – 90 AD. The arena is not as big as the worldwide famous Coliseum in Rome but it still looks truly impressive. Initially, the amphitheater was intended for 25,000 visitors. For many years, it was the main arena of gladiator fights in the region.
It is not that simple to find interesting landmarks for tourists with children in a city famous for its antique sights and museums. Arles is a pleasant exception. In addition to excursions … Open
The amphitheater was transformed into a fortress at the end of the 6th century and more than 200 homes were built inside it. This is when the former arena turned into the central city square. The first global reconstruction of the landmark started in the 16th century. It was decided to cancel all changes and turn the arena into a venue for celebrations and other events, just like centuries ago. It was regularly hosting corrida bullfighting in the 19th century. Today, the ancient amphitheater is often the main venue for all kinds of interesting festivals and celebrations dedicated to the regional culture.
There is one more antique amphitheater approximately 100 meters away from the arena. This is Théâtre Antique or the Roman Theatre of Arles. It was also hosting various shows and entertained locals. This historic complex is in much worse condition compared to the amphitheater but it still keeps attracting the attention of thousands of tourists. The theater was built in the 1st century BC. At that time, it was one of the first stone buildings in the city. The theater was serving its primary purpose until the 5th century but it lost its importance when Christianity became the primary religion in the region. The Roman Theatre of Arles was partially demolished in the 5th – 6th century. The stones from the antique theater were used to build the first churches and houses in the city. Today, this Roman Theater hosts an international photography festival and a festival dedicated to historic films. Copyright
Excursions to unique ancient landmarks are not the only activities available to tourists in Arles. The region is famous for its beautiful nature. There are several interesting nature … Open
Arles is rich in unique religious landmarks. One of the most notable churches, Ancienne Cathédrale Saint-Trophime, is located right in the city center. The first church on this site was built yet in the 5th century. That church was built from the stones obtained from the nearby ancient theater. The majestic cathedral that we can see today is a wonderful example of the Romanesque style. It was built in the mid-12th century.
An important event for Arles happened approximately at the same time. It was decided to bring the relics of St. Trophime to the cathedral. Today, the gorgeous church is famous not only because of the multiple religious artifacts that it keeps but also because of its unique artistic design. You will have an opportunity to admire the gorgeous sculptures and paintings made yet at the beginning of the 17th century. Step inside to see an old baptismal font, several old sarcophagi, and other valuable items. The cathedral is quite large, it may take several hours to see all relics exhibited here.
The majority of popular shops in Arles are located in the city center. There are also several good shopping malls here. La Galerie - Géant Arles is one of the largest malls in the city. It … Open
Tourists can visit an ancient abbey in Arles - Abbaye Saint-Césaire. The first abbey on this site was built yet in the 6th century. At that time, the building was located outside the city wall and there were only several peasant houses nearby. However, Arles has grown so much over the centuries that the monastery is located in the city center now.
Just like many other monasteries in the country, Abbaye Saint-Césaire was nationalized during the French Revolution period. Later, the building was sold to a private individual. One of the local faith communities bought the monastery back at the end of the 19th century and used it for religious purposes. By 1995, the old abbey became abandoned. Thankfully, it received the historic heritage landmark status and was turned into a tourist attraction. A series of archaeological excavations in the museum discovered many valuable artifacts in the abbey.
France invites tourists to visit its southern region that is the location of a truly paradise-like place – Arles. This charming city is situated in the delta of the Rhône River, not far … Open
All precious artifacts and other valuables discovered in the region are exhibited in the main museum in Arles - Musée départemental de l’Arles antiques. The museum’s collection started forming yet in 1614. This is when the first archaeological studies were conducted in the region. The current building of the museum is new – it was built in 1995. A part of the exhibition is located in the open air. Many ancient sculptures and other monuments of that period are installed on the adjacent outdoor territory. A large part of the items exhibited in this museum date back to the prehistoric period. Visitors can see Roman sarcophagi, ritual items, old mosaics, and ancient jewelry. A collection of historic artifacts dating back to the early Christian period is one of the most interesting exhibitions in the museum. Besides that, there is an interesting collection of art.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Arles and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Arles and surroundings

Arles - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5
Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Arles
♥   Palace 'Palais des Papes' , 33.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Arles and around
♥   Art museum 'Musée de l Arles et de la Provence antiques' Arles, 1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Musée des Beaux-Arts' Nîmes, 27.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Fondation Calvet' Avignon, 33.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Musée Angladon' Avignon, 33.2 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'Musée du Petit Palais' Avignon, 33.9 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Arles
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame-et-Saint-Castor, Nîmes, 28 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Saint-Pierre, Avignon, 33.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique-Cathédrale Notre-Dame des Doms, Avignon, 33.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Ancienne cathédrale Notre-Dame et Saint-Véran, Cavaillon, 37.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Ancienne cathédrale Saint-Théodorit, Uzès, 40.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Ancienne cathédrale Notre-Dame de Nazareth, Orange, 53.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Ancienne cathédrale Saint-Siffrein, Carpentras, 53.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Arles

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Arles

Landmarks of culture on Arles map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Arles

Culture guide to Arles. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Arles: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Arles. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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