Nîmes is one of the great cities of Southern France and should be on everyone’s itinerary! From spectacular Roman monuments to gardens, fountains, boulevards, shops, outdoor cafés, restaurants and bullfights, it has everything. Although not technically part of modern Provence (PACA), the Gard département of which Nîmes is the capital city, is often referred to as Gard Provençal because it links Provence with Languedoc.
A very important city in Roman times, Nîmes or Nemausus has a splendid Amphitheatre as well as the superbly preserved Maison Carrée and the Tour Magne an ancient watchtower built by the Emperor Augustus. The main road to Spain from Italy, the Via Domitia, passed by the town and it was a colony for veterans of the victorious Roman Army in Egypt hence the symbol of the City, the Chained Crocodile.
Nîmes is no stranger to religious struggles being involved in the medieval Albigensian Crusade against the Cathar Heretics and also the 17th century Wars of Religion. Nowadays Nìmes is an industrial city famous for its blue serge material from which jeans are made.. Hence the brand name ‘denim’ meaning ‘from Nîmes’
Markets: Les Halles – every day till 1pm. Various specialist markets take place weekly – see the Tourist Office website.
Don’t Miss: any of the above sites or the Cathédrale Nôtre-Dame-de-Castor, the Fontaine Pradier, the place aux Herbes. If you’re into ‘le shopping‘ then try rue de la Madeleine!