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.