Nîmes

Museum of Romanity: history has a future

At the end of an international architectural contest launched in 2011, Elizabeth et Christian de Portzamparc were chosen to build a large museum of Romanity in front of the amphitheatre, one of the best preserved in the world. Known and visited for its ancient monuments, Nimes also owns a collection of some 25,000 items, among them the mosaics of Achilles and Pentheus, recently discovered in a remarkable state of preservation but not visible yet because of the lack of space in the present museum.
The architectural project is ambitious and opts for a bright and luminous presence in front of the magnificent arches left by the Romans some 2,000 years ago. An innovative and interactive display will attract all sorts of public thanks to a spectacular presentation at the service of history – objects will for instance shown in their original context.
In the heart of the city, the museum is meant to be a lively area with a new archaeological garden, open to all and showcasing the remnants of the old Roman rampart. The roof is also open to visitors, tourists and locals alike for an exceptional view on the amphitheatre, the Magne Tower and the old town. Let's not forget the restaurant and its upstairs terrace, as well as the auditorium, the documentation centre and the museum shop. The museum finds its place in a town both proud of its past and turned towards the future. It is expected to open its doors in 2017.

Web sites

Vue parvis Agences Elizabeth et Christian de Portzamparc © Nîmes
Stage town for the 17th time
Gard (30)
Population : 144,940 inhabitants (Nîmois)
Economy : biotechnologie, logistics, industry, risk management, tourism
Culture : The Arena of Nîmes, the Maison Carrée, six museums, three theatres. Festivals: Flamenco, BD, Great Roman Games, Garden Nights, Thursdays in Nîmes, Water fairy
Sport : 36,000 members, 230 associations. Olympic Nîmes (football League 2), USAM D1 (men's handball), HBCN D1 (women's handball) Nîmois Rugby Club (Fédérale 3). Events : Indoor Archery World Cup, Nîmes half marathon, International Fencing Tournament
Specialities : Costières wine from Nîmes, brandade (emulsion of salt cod and olive oil), croquants Villaret biscuits, picholine (green olive), olive oil, petits pâtés nîmois (famous miniature pies), Gariguettes strawberries
Sustainable development : public electric cars, cycling paths as part of the new urban development project (32 km around the housing and town centres), a tram'bus, part of the “P+Bus” free of charge. The Marianne d'Or of Sustainable Development and the Écoquartier national prize for the new university development in the town centre
Labels : Town of Art and History, 5@, 3 fl owers, Child friendly town, Ville Vivez-Bougez, main region for THD (Très Haut Débit) for businesses in France (high speed broadband)

History between Nîmes and the Tour began in 1904

Nimes and the Tour have an old common history. The first passage of the race in town in 1904 remained legendary as fans greeted the peloton with stones to protest at the disqualification of local favourite Ferdinand Payan! Further visits were much more peaceful and the town was even host to a rest day in 2003, the year of the centenary. The next year saw Spain's Aitor Gonzalez crowned in town. Five years ago, Nimes was one of the places to discover the blistering sprint finishes of Mark Cavendish and is now one of 20 French towns in which the Mannish rider left his mark. That day, Cav won ahead of Australia's Robbie McEwen and France's Romain Feillu. Nimes was also a frequent stage finish for the defunct Grand Prix du Midi Libre and for the early season Etoile de Besseges.

Stage town for the 17th time
Gard (30)
Population : 144,940 inhabitants (Nîmois)
Economy : biotechnologie, logistics, industry, risk management, tourism
Culture : The Arena of Nîmes, the Maison Carrée, six museums, three theatres. Festivals: Flamenco, BD, Great Roman Games, Garden Nights, Thursdays in Nîmes, Water fairy
Sport : 36,000 members, 230 associations. Olympic Nîmes (football League 2), USAM D1 (men's handball), HBCN D1 (women's handball) Nîmois Rugby Club (Fédérale 3). Events : Indoor Archery World Cup, Nîmes half marathon, International Fencing Tournament
Specialities : Costières wine from Nîmes, brandade (emulsion of salt cod and olive oil), croquants Villaret biscuits, picholine (green olive), olive oil, petits pâtés nîmois (famous miniature pies), Gariguettes strawberries
Sustainable development : public electric cars, cycling paths as part of the new urban development project (32 km around the housing and town centres), a tram'bus, part of the “P+Bus” free of charge. The Marianne d'Or of Sustainable Development and the Écoquartier national prize for the new university development in the town centre
Labels : Town of Art and History, 5@, 3 fl owers, Child friendly town, Ville Vivez-Bougez, main region for THD (Très Haut Débit) for businesses in France (high speed broadband)

Web sites

Places to see

The amphitheatre

It is considered the best-preserved Roman amphitheatre in the world. Built in the first century, it was used in the Middle Ages as a fortified village. Its façade is currently being restored.

Maison Carrée (Square House)

Built in the early first century to honour the grandson and adoptive sons of Emperor Augustus, it was a part of the Forum, the administrative and economic heart of the ancient city. Restored in 2011, the square was refurbished in 1993 by Sir Norman Foster.

Carré d'Art

Some twenty years ago, a contemporary temple emerged in front of the ancient temple of Maison Career. Built by Sir Norman Foster, it is home to a library and a museum of modern arts. The transparent steel and concrete building is like an echo the old Square House.

Gardens of la Fontaine

They were among the very first public gardens in Europe. Created in the 18th century on the ancient site of the Spring, they include the Magne Tower and the Temple of Diane. The latter is one of the most mysterious monuments in Nimes and was linked to the Imperial Sanctuary. The Magne Tower was the highest tower in the Roman rampart, signalling the presence of the city and the Imperial Sanctuary of the Spring.

Covered Market

One of the most beautiful covered markets of the region, Les Halles are part of the everyday life in Nimes. Built in 1885, they were resotred by Jean-Michel Wilmotte in 1988.

The amphitheatre © NîmesMaison Carrée (Square House)© NîmesCarré d’Art© NîmesGardens of la Fontaine © NîmesCovered Market © Nîmes
Stage town for the 17th time
Gard (30)
Population : 144,940 inhabitants (Nîmois)
Economy : biotechnologie, logistics, industry, risk management, tourism
Culture : The Arena of Nîmes, the Maison Carrée, six museums, three theatres. Festivals: Flamenco, BD, Great Roman Games, Garden Nights, Thursdays in Nîmes, Water fairy
Sport : 36,000 members, 230 associations. Olympic Nîmes (football League 2), USAM D1 (men's handball), HBCN D1 (women's handball) Nîmois Rugby Club (Fédérale 3). Events : Indoor Archery World Cup, Nîmes half marathon, International Fencing Tournament
Specialities : Costières wine from Nîmes, brandade (emulsion of salt cod and olive oil), croquants Villaret biscuits, picholine (green olive), olive oil, petits pâtés nîmois (famous miniature pies), Gariguettes strawberries
Sustainable development : public electric cars, cycling paths as part of the new urban development project (32 km around the housing and town centres), a tram'bus, part of the “P+Bus” free of charge. The Marianne d'Or of Sustainable Development and the Écoquartier national prize for the new university development in the town centre
Labels : Town of Art and History, 5@, 3 fl owers, Child friendly town, Ville Vivez-Bougez, main region for THD (Très Haut Débit) for businesses in France (high speed broadband)

Web sites

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