Arles Amphitheatre

The Arles Amphitheatre is a to 80-90 AD, built on a hilltop Roman amphitheater in the southern French town of Arles. It originally consisted of three storeys with 60 arcades and offered about 25,000 spectators


The amphitheater remained until the end of the Roman Empire intact and functional. The historian Procopius of Caesarea noted that in the year 539, who lived in Paris Merovingian king Childebert I wanted to see here such games .. The Games were held 549.

Towards the end of the 6th century, the amphitheater was a fortified settlement core with ultimately about 200 houses. The physician and geographer Hieronymus Muenzer describes this district in 1495 as the residence of poor people and the French king Francis I. is said to have expressed regret about the sorry state of the building during his visit of 1516.

From 1825 to and additions were with the exception of four medieval towers progressively eliminated and 1830 here already again a festival celebrated ( on the occasion of the conquest of Algeria ). On December 30, 1840, the Commission made ​​the last Archaeological installed adjacent to the theater houses torn down ..

At the suggestion of the writer and the Inspector General of the French monuments Prosper Mérimée, the amphitheater is officially since 1840 as a monument historique, ie as a national monument, qualified, since 1981 as a World Heritage Site by Unesco in mind.

Today, the building also serves as a place of authorized only in southern France bullfighting, but also of theater and musical performances.

The building appears as a motif in Vincent van Gogh and Picasso.