A Visit to France 3: Nimes

by Brenda W. Clough

 The town of Nimes is spelled with a cironflex over the ‘i’, but I can’t persuade this Ipad to do accents, so you’ll just have to live with it. It was the center of Gallo-Roman culture, a true blend of the native tribes and Rome. All the buildings in Nimes were apparently built by Gauls, in tribute to or imitation of their Roman buddies. This beautiful structure was the temple of Augustus, and is now known as the Madison Carre. Alas, it is all exterior, with nothing historical left within, an so they’ve converted it into a theater to show educational films about the Gauls and Rome.

These two photos are of the great Arena of Nimes. It is still use, as it was in Roman times, for bullfights, but they no longer do gladiator combats. (That’s tommorow!) In the second shot you can see how much of the arching out front looks its age; the authorities have started to clean and primp up the facade and have done three sections so far. I calculate the entire arena will be done after the middle of the century. I took this shot from my lunch table, BTW. One of the most delightful customs for he country is its outdoor quality. You eat outdoors, hang out of the open windows, drape your laundry on the sills.


Finally here is the temple of Diana, ruinous but still standing, an the Great Tower, which served no real expensive function but, built by the Romans on the highest point, served to tell the world who was who around here. At the foot of the temple is a very active an bubbly spring, artesian in nature, which is sacred to the Gaulish god of the city. I do love a sacred spring.

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About Brenda Clough

Brenda W. Clough spent much of her childhood overseas, courtesy of the U.S. government. Her first fantasy novel, The Crystal Crown, was published by DAW in 1984. She has also written The Dragon of Mishbil (1985), The Realm Beneath (1986), and The Name of the Sun (1988). Her children’s novel, An Impossumble Summer (1992), is set in her own house in Virginia, where she lives in a cottage at the edge of a forest. Her novel How Like a God, available from BVC, was published by Tor Books in 1997, and a sequel, Doors of Death and Life, was published in May 2000. Her latest novels from Book View Cafe include Revise the World (2009) and Speak to Our Desires. Her novel A Most Dangerous Woman is being serialized by Serial Box. Her novel The River Twice is newly available from BVC.

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