The visitor to Nîmes is often puzzled by the emblems of the chained crocodile found around this old Roman town. Indeed, on walking through the place du Marché one is confronted by a very real looking crocodile. This frightening lifelike creature apparently emerges from the pool of the fountain there!
It is believed that Julius Caesar, or perhaps Augustus as no one really knows, awarded plots of land in Nîmes, to the veterans from the Roman army. These men helped to subdue the Egyptians during the Battle of the Nile (47BC). The chained crocodile, so familiar to today’s visitor, represents the defeated Egyptian soldiers led into captivity.