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Cities during Ancient history

​Aix-en-Provence - Entremont

Located 3 km north of Aix-en-Provence, the Entremont oppidum overhung from the top of its 365 meters throughout the Bow Valley.
This walled city served as the capital of confederation celto-Ligurian the Salyes between the fourth and second centuries BCE.
Its name of origin having been forgotten, it now carries the medieval toponym of Entremont. The Salyes occupied a territory extending to the Durance and the Argens Rhône. They had commercial relations with Marseille, but perhaps also from Rome and Athens, as suggested by the presence of many coins of these last two towns. In the Llth century the Salyes regularly ravage the territory of
Marseille and become an obstacle to its hegemony. The city of the Phocians then appealed to the Romans, to defend its counters. They manage to repel the Salyes and destroy the stronghold of Entremont in 123 BC. Following this victory, they melt, near hot springs, Aquae Sextinae or Aix-en-Provence, turned into a colony by César in 45 BC. The city acquires monuments, of which there remain only trace remains.
The celto-Ligurian of Entremont oppidum presents a triangular form the largest sides measuring 5 km, the smallest, 3.5. The rampart protecting Northern fortress and two towers in ruins are the main remnants of this ancient capital. D'Entremont consisted of an upper town and lower town, separated from each other by a wall. The first housed houses dry stone with a unique piece. Its orthogonal plan builds probably the urbanistic design established by Hippodamus of Miletus in the 5th century BCE, as a number of Greek colonies built then.
The lower town is a sanctuary, a part of the porch canopy to the inner rampart-backed is still visible. It includes the remains of a stylized head and two cavities designed to accommodate, it seems the heads cut off. The Celts were indeed used to decapitate their vanquished to suspend their trophies before the temples.Human skulls found inside the shrine confirm this hypothesis.

In the vicinity of Cazan: Vernègues temple

The temple is 1 km west of Cazan. This building, erected towards the end of the 1st century BCE, belonged to an agricultural area of 9 hectares approximately.This area included a villa, located instead of the present Castle, thermal baths, buildings for storing the olives and grapes. The ancient name of the site having been forgotten, it is now called Vernègues, as village located just nearby.
The remains of the Sanctuary are joined to those of a small Romanesque chapel from the 12th century. Access to the temple, worn by a basement of 3 meters high, by a staircase of about twenty markets. The shrine consisted of a cella, place reserved for priests, of which there is only a large part of the left wall, and a pilaster, open portico to the faithful, which survives more than a column. The temple measures 15 meters long and 6 wide, relatively modest in size compared to the Maison carree of Nîmes. The Corinthian capitals of columns, judging by the single representative, included two rows of acanthus leaves.
This temple, transformed into a church dedicated to saint Césaire in the 12th century, was probably dedicated to the nymphs, goddesses of the waters. Source gushing non is far from tilting for this hypothesis, as in ancient times, water points were often the object of worship in Gaul.

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The first inhabitants of "Arelate", the town near marshes, Celtic root name, were, apparently, fishermen celto-ligurians engaged in the coasting trade.
They have gradually colonized by the Greeks of Marseille from the 6th century BC. Remaining under the economic control of the Phocians, Arles became "Theline", the nurturer in Greek.

The 'little Rome of the Gauls'

In the middle of the 1st century BCE, the Arlésiens took the party of César, while Marseille support pumped. After his victory, César, grateful, implanted in Arles a colony of Roman law life veterans legion. It also offers this city most of the territories of the Marseillais, he wants to weaken. The gesture of the Emperor turns out to be decisive for the growth of Arles, which became the 'little Rome of the Gauls'. Augustus also develops links with the city, as evidenced by the installation on the forum, from 26 BC, of a marble copy of the shield of gold offered by the Senate to Auguste.

An administrative point

During the first five centuries of our era, the city's political and economic weight is considerable.
Located at the junction of two main arteries: towards Domitian, connecting the East to the West, and the way Agrippa, leading to Lyon, it enjoys a strategic situation of commercial crossroads. Its port on the Rhône constituting the first safe stopover for the browser coming from the Mediterranean Sea, she also holds a place in inland waterway transport.
Emperors are staying there, as Constantin (circa 285-337), important events take place, such as the Council of 314, where condemning the donatist developed in Africa by a Bishop of Numidia, Donat heresy. The economic prosperity of the city but also the growing difficulties of the Empire on its margins due to the continuous attacks of the barbarians, promote the installation of Imperial administrations in Arles. Thus, a monetary workshop are implanted in 313, and then at the beginning of the 5th century, the Gallic prefecture, formerly installed in Trier. But in the midst of General decadence that hits the Empire, Arles is, in turn, besieged by barbarians. From the years 480, it is under the authority of the Visigoths, and then in 536 under that of the Franks.

The Amphitheatre and the “cryptoportico”

The facade, high of 21 metres, includes two levels of sixty arcades semi-circular irregular width openings. Each level is a circular gallery that allows quick access to the bleachers through horizontal passages and arranged alternately stairs. An attic, now defunct, overcame the upper part of the façade. On fixed poles supporting the "velum".
Inside, at the foot of the bleachers, is the arena for the games. A high wall composed of slabs, the 'podium', surrounds it. There is this one a half-erased inscription. It indicates that a certain C. Junius Priscus, a municipal judicial candidate, had offered this podium, a statue of Neptune in silver and four bronze sculptures to decorate the monument. He also gave a great banquet, celebrated during two days of the games and organized a hunting.
The cryptoportico: can be accessed via the old chapel of the Jesuits, located on the street Balze. These underground Portal served as a base for the forum, erected, apparently, during the 1930s and 20 BCE. The cryptoportico, present in many cities of the Empire, have the particularity to Arles to be installed on a naturally steep terrain. Their construction therefore required enormous work of leveling. They have the shape of a Horseshoe. It often wanted to give a secondary function to the cryptoportico, as attic wheat, public market, place of worship for procession. However, these assumptions collide all with the fact that these galleries are inaccessible for such uses. However, it seems likely that these galleries have used place of storage in late Antiquity.
•    The baths of Constantine: the remains of these baths, located to the North, are only a small part of this wide range, built in the 4th century, between the Rhone and the forum. Ancient times, the city also owned bathroom facilities in the South, under the current place de la République. These baths of the North were traditionally regarded as the Palace of the Emperor Constantine. At the end of the middle ages, this monument served pound for stray animals.
•    The Alyscamps: this famous necropolis grew along the one way and was installed outside the city according to Roman custom enclosures. During late Antiquity, the tomb of the martyr saint Genest, beheaded under Diocletian (245-313), made the reputation of Alyscamps. Indeed, at the end of the 4th century, most people want to be buried near the martyr to benefit from its protection, at the final judgement.
•    The Museum of Ancient Arles: located on the peninsula of the Roman circus, near the excavations of this ancient building, the Museum opened its doors in March 1995. In a modern setting, it houses more than 1,300 pieces of arlesiennes collections. It has the 'lion of Arcoule', a masterpiece of pre-Roman sculpture, of very beautiful copies of statues augusteennes, mosaics, sarcophagi, objects of everyday life. It presents also eleven models, restoring the Roman monuments of the city.
•    The Barbegal mill: installed in the commune of Fontvieille, on the southern slope of the ridge from the tongue, this hydraulic milling date from the 11th century of our era. It produced about 4.5 tonnes of flour per day, which allowed to feed the 12,000 inhabitants of Arles. The water, coming from the South face of the Alpilles by an 11 km long aqueduct, arrived at the top of the Hill. It is then divided into two streams, feeding a series of small canals, placed one above the other. In these small channels, paddle wheels were turn wheels in basalt. Built in the centre of the mill, a staircase served the two sets of eight wheels. It assumes that the water coming out of the mills allowed to irrigate the surrounding wheat fields.


Fréjus takes its name from «Forum Julii», market probably founded by Jules César, a little less 50 years before our era. The city was a sort of relay fortified on the route from Marseille. He was also a centre commercial towards Julienne that leads from Provence to the Italy along the coast. In 39 BC, the Emperor Augustus installs a major naval base, where a part of the fleet which won the battle of Actium in 31 BCE on Antoine and Cléopâtre was built. After this victory, Auguste in Fréjus founded a colony of veterans of the city legion. However, the city remains a city function, surrounded by ramparts, today still visible to the North, with a garrison, warehouses and construction sites. It never reaches the munificence of Arles or Nîmes. With the Roman peace, its military activity declines for the benefit of its commercial activity.
•    The amphitheatre: built in the 1st century a.d., it lies outside the city walls. Half of the building is based on the flank of a hill crowned by the ramparts. It is 114 meters long and 82 wide, relatively modest in size compared to those from Arles and Nîmes. Its three sets of bleachers could accommodate about 10,000 people.
•    Theatre: erected at the same time as the amphitheatre, it does more than ruins. It was inside the ramparts. You can see the remains of the stage wall, the location of I' "orchestra" and the pit in which slid the curtain.
•    The platform: on these remains, called also "Citadel of the East" was the headquarters, «pretorium», that dominated the port. This building was probably constructed around a central courtyard. It found traces of a tank and storage places, called the granary of César.
•    The aqueduct: built in the 1st century after our era, it only remains in large unit and the arches pillars. In the city, he brought the waters of the Siagnole.
•    The door edge: it date from the 2nd or 4th century A.D. and was part of a room of the baths of the port.
•    The butte Saint-Antoine: on this butte was the Citadel of the West"which dominated the ancient port of about ten meters. The building resembled that of the platform. Organized around a large courtyard, he had in the basement of the warehouse.
•    The lantern of Augustus: this building, restored in the 19th century, marked the entrance to the port. It was built in the middle ages on the foundations of a Roman tower.


'Massalia' Foundation dates back to 600 years before our era. Greeks from Phocaea, city of Asia minor, settle a colony, their serving as relay for maritime trade that they exercise throughout the Mediterranean. They implant in the region without encountering the celto-Ligurian population. A legend, that the city would be born of the love of a young Greek named Potis and the daughter of the local King, Burgos, illustrated perfectly this peaceful arrival.
Through its commercial activities, Marseille prosperous and founded in turn several counters on the coast, including Agde, West of the Rhone, and East, Olbia or Hyères, Nice and Antibes. After the capture of Phocaea by the Persians in 540 BC, a part of the Ionians fled to Marseille. She became an important center of Hellenism and counts among its residents some celebrities, like the Navigator, geographer and astronomer Pytheas (4th century BC J.-C.), who went to Britain and probably reached the Baltic. It has a school of rhetoric and medicine.
In 125 BCE, the Celto-Ligurians have become more aggressive, Marseille, too weak to defend themselves alone, called Rome to his rescue. Sixty years later, the town of OM takes Pompey's Party, which opposes César. This bad choice earned him to be besieged in 49 BC and defeat after six months of fighting. César withdrawn then all its colonies, except for Nice and the islands of Hyères. If Marseille still shines for two centuries, as a vestige of Hellenism, it loses its role as commercial pole. In the 5th century, it suffered severely the invasions of the Goths and Franks.
•    The garden of the remains: behind the Centre Bourse, the remains of the ancient walls have been cleared in 1913, and then in the 1960s. The remains of the Eastern fortification of the Hellenistic city dating from Ille and 2nd centuries BC are the most important components. The walls are built in pink limestone, assembled at sharp joints without Binder or mortar. There are elements of the gateway of the city. The path, stone of Cassis, dug ruts and tree-lined sidewalks, date from Roman times.
•    The Roman port Horn date from the 1st century after our era. He was Southeast of the entrance to the city. Along the docks, can identify ancient sea level through an eroded horizontal band. The port began to yields from the 4th century AD. Become a sort of swampy dump, it was probably filled at the end of the 5th century. The East and West of the port extended warehouses. A fresh water basin, dating back to the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D., lies on the tip East of the port. A hydraulic system, which was found a fragment of bucket-wheel allowed accostes nearby vessels to feed water.
•    Musée d'histoire de Marseille: it presents the collections from the excavations of the fellowship and the wreck of an ancient ship long 20 metres on 8 wide, dating from Ille century a.d. and found in the garden of the remains.
•    Mediterranean Archaeology Museum: located in the centre of the Vieille Charité, it houses various collections of Antiquities Egyptian, Greek, Etruscan... It also has vestiges of Roquepertuse, located near Aix-en-Provence. Long regarded as a sanctuary, this salyens site would, according to the latest work, a habitat or a market. It was destroyed at the beginning of the 2nd century BC by the Marseillais. Among the patches of choice Roquepertuse, one can admire the Hermes "dual-head". This sculpture of two attached heads, in the image of the double Hermes of the Greece, date from the third century BC. It was probably part of the sanctuary. This site is now accessible to the public.
•    The Roman dock Museum: the Museum presents a part of the Roman docks on their original site. Updated in 1947, they spanned more than 200 meters.It was also discovered 30 jars clay imported from Italy and used for the storage of grain or oil. Note the warehouse dating from the second half of the 1st century AD. It consisted of a ground floor opening onto the primitive Wharf and a stage overlooking the main artery of the ancient city.


Nice and Cimiez are original inhabitants of the Ligures, established on two hill forts, during the first millennium BCE.
In the 6th century BC, Marseille-based coast a trading post, Nikaia. It thus attempts to penetrate the markets of the Po and Liguria. Rome succeeds to Marseille a few decades before our era. It establishes at the foot of the sacred wood of Cimiez a military camp, starting point for the conquest of the Alpine regions. In 13 BC, Cimiez, then called Cenelum, became the capital of the new Roman province of the Maritime Alps. Kind of 'shield' of the Cisalpine, the city reached its peak during the 3rd century A.D., with about 20,000 inhabitants. In 297 A.D., Diocletian, judging too eccentric Cimiez, transfers the capital in Embrun.
•    Thermal baths: they consist of three baths, located to the North, East and West. In each of them there are rooms with hot, warm and cold pools. Two aqueducts were feeding, the first carried water from a source located 5 kilometres at the foot of Mount Falicon, the second, much longer, went as far as Edmund. The baths of the North were reserved to the Procurator and notables. 12 cold room, preserved in all its elevation (10 meters), was the only building emerging land grown until excavations are undertaken on the site. It was long believed that it was a temple dedicated to Apollo. Baths, intended to the people, have a setting more modest than those of the North. The baths of the West, where were women, have been transformed in 5th-century episcopal complex with a baptistery. In the cold bathroom was the chorus, where you can still see traces of an altar. During the 1960s, it was discovered south of the baths a neighborhood of homes, with shops, sewers and a paved pathway.
•    The amphitheatre: this small building (67.20 meters for the major axis) and 56 for the small was built in two stages. In the 1st century a.d., he offered only 500 places, reserved for the soldiers of the garrison. Then at the beginning of the 3rd century, the city prospered if enlarged, added twelve other bleachers raised.
•    Archaeological Museum: it houses artefacts discovered during the excavations of Cimiez and the surroundings of Nice, as well as donations. You can especially see a statue of Antonia, the niece of Augustus, stelae and sarcophagi.


Located 25 kilometres from the Rhone and a quarantine of the Mediterranean coast, the city of Nimes was the location of a perennial source, 'The fountain'. The first inhabitants, the Iberians and Ligurians, themselves to it at the end of the 6th century BCE.
About one hundred fifty years after, moved a Celtic people, belonging to the Group of the Volces Arecomiques, established in the lower Languedoc.
As to Glanum, the first inhabitants honour the water point. The genius of 'The fountain' named "Nemausus" in latin, which will give Nîmes. According to the researchers, other deities were the subject of a cult, such as "mother nimoises", as evidenced by a dedication engraved gallo-Greek and found near the source.

"As the crocodile"

At the end of the cesarean section, is based, it seems, the colony of latin law of Nîmes. For a long time, it was assumed that Octavian, the future emperor Augustus, had created a colony for its veterans, victorious army of Antoine and Cleopatra at Actium in Greece in Nîmes. This hypothesis was based on the existence "as the crocodile", colonial coins issued in the workshops of Nîmes and distributed throughout the Roman world. They represent the reverse a crocodile chained to a Palm to the right the busts of Augustus and Agrippa-backed. But there is no evidence of the arrival of the former soldiers in the city at this time.Currently, the researchers believe that this iconography simply expresses the commitment of the Nîmes to Auguste. Because during his reign the city thrives and is covered with monuments. It is part of the many halts 'forced' of the via Domitia, leading from the Provence in the Spain, large area of transit of goods.
Unlike its neighbour Arles which radiates until the end of antiquity, Nîmes is gradually losing importance. In the 5th century, it passes under the authority of the Visigoths, and then under that of the Franks.
•    The amphitheatre: located in the heart of the city, the arenas, among the best preserved Roman world, date from the end of the 1st century A.D. the amphitheatre served during all the middle ages fortress and Castle, as evidenced by the walls at apertures of Romanesque style, which block some arches of the eastern part. Its facade features two levels of arches. Two bulls stem adorn the main entrance. Its bleachers, which could accommodate about 23,000 people were divided into three zones separated by a corridor and a kind of parapet. The first rows bore inscriptions and were reserved to a select audience, as the boatmen of the Rhône and the Saône. "Vellum" was supported by poles of wood attached to consoles pierced, some of which are still visible in parts of Attica's best-preserved. The runway, 70 meters and wide approximately, 38 has basement two galleries that intersect at right angles and likely correspond to slides.
•    The Maison Carrée: completed at the beginning of our era, the square House was located in the southern part of the Roman forum. This temple was built in honour of Caïus César and Lucius César, grandson and adopted son of Emperor Augustus, as noted in the registration, today extinct, placed on the entablature of the main facade. The text, deciphered through observation of the disposition of the holes used for the sealing of the bronze letters, said exactly this: "A Caius César, son of Augustus, Consul; Lucius César, son of Augustus, consul appointed. the Princes of youth. Pagan temple dedicated to the imperial cult, the Maison Carrée is built according to a model spread throughout the Roman Empire. Built on a rectangular podium, it measures 25 meters long and 12 wide. It has six columns on its short sides and eleven on long. This building includes a lobby, which is accessed by a staircase and a worship Hall, which houses the Imperial divine statue. This room is normally not accessible to the faithful, because the rites and processions take place outdoors.
•    The gate of Augustus: as the tour Magne, it was part of the Augustan enclosure, built in 16-15 before our era. It opened on the via Domitia in the direction of Arles. The two most important arches, decorated by a now unrecognizable bulls stem, were used to passing vehicles. The two arcs more niches, featuring, small housing at the origin of the statues, were intended for pedestrians. On top the door blocks, there is a Latin inscription. It means: "César Auguste, imperator, son of the divine (Jules César), consul for the eleventh time, the tribunicienne power-coated for the eighth time, gives its doors and walls to the colony. Behind this building has been installed a bronze statue of Augustus, copy of an ancient work.
•    The Castellum: located in the street of the Lampeze, this water tower date from the 1st century AD. Discovered in 1844 by Auguste Pelet, it is one of the three remains of this kind known in the Roman world. The ancient era, the castellum received, thanks to a 50 km long aqueduct, through the Pont du Gard, the waters of the Eure source, near Uzès, then across all areas of Nîmes. The city raised indeed considerably since its Foundation, the waters of 'The fountain' were more sufficient to the entire population. Waters brought by the canal shot out in the castle of water through the rectangular hole. Arrivals in the basin of 5.50 metres in diameter, they departed in ten lead pipes attached to circular apertures. These pipes then fed the fountains, baths and a part of the houses in the city. The flow of this construction was estimated to approximately 125,000 m3 per day. At the bottom of the basin, were three holes for the drain. Coating fish and dolphins representative paintings adorned the wall around the body of water.
•    The temple of Diana: this building, built in the 2nd century a.d., is located in the "jardin de La Fontaine", northeast of the city. Its function remains unknown.This 'temple' was part of the Roman sanctuary dedicated to the worship of the Emperor and established on the place where springs the source of Nîmes.Some see him as one worship building, others a library. It consisted of a large rectangular room and two side aisles plan tilted to access the upper levels. In the large room, can observe the remains of columns, Corinthian pilasters and surmounted by pediments bent or triangular niches.
The other remains of the sanctuary have been completely redeveloped in the 18th century, even if the overall plan has been preserved. It included a theatre and a nymphaeum, sanctuary dedicated to the nymphs, goddesses of the waters, high around the source. At the center of this nymphaeum was an altar for the imperial cult. The Roman sanctuary was established on a place of indigenous worship, dedicated to "the spirit of the source", the God Nemausus.
•    The tour Magne: located at the top of mont Cavalier, the Magne tower was built first in the 3rd century BC, to the Gallic period. Built in dry stone, she was captured and replaced by the Roman tower built in 16-15 BC, at the same time as the Augustan Nîmes enclosure, which it belongs. This book of defence today measure about 30 meters high, but assumed that it should reach 40 meters originally. The octagonal tower is divided up and down into two parts: a base of 7.50 metres from topped top of a ledge, then above and slightly indented, Tuscan, 6.50 meters high pilasters. A third floor, today disappeared, included columns involved, which there is only the base and two bases.
•    Archaeological Museum: founded in 1896, it houses various objects found in the area, including the famous "ACE of Nîmes", these currencies tell the crocodile. It also has a beautiful Epigraphic collection.


Orange, located on the edge of the Rhône, has the first inhabitants of Celto-Ligurians, installed in an oppidum on the Saint-Eutrope Hill.
In 40 BC, the city became residential colony of veterans of the legion lie. The newcomers then settle in the plain around Saint-Eutrope.
Orange acquires a rampart, whose remnants remain visible on the road of Roquemaure, at the entrance to the modern cemetery. Located on the way Agrippa, connecting Arles to Lyon, it is a stopover for traders. In 381 A.D., it became the seat of a bishopric. At the end of the 5th century, it suffered, like many of its counterparts in the region, the barbarian invasions.
The arc de triomphe: probably built between 21 and 26 BCE, it rises North of the town on the old road Agrippa. Very well preserved, it is built in stone limestone of the area and drilled three bays. Its four sides facing the four cardinal points are each four engaged Corinthian columns, a pediment and two penthouses, all topped with a platform that was no doubt a Quadriga and angle in bronze statues.
On the north face, the best preserved of all, above the side bays, observed two reliefs, representing helmets, armour, javelins... The two Penthouses show, right, naval spoils, to the left of the objects of worship. On the central base, at the top, you can see a battle between Romans and Gauls. This theme is taken up at the same level on the South face, with a Germain and more. The South side also has signs of weapons above the lateral bays. On the medallion of the base lies a head of a woman with drapery, that it has not yet identified.
On the face, there are three groups of two captive, placed between two columns as trophies. On the Western facade, largely reconstituted, observed the same scene. The ceilings of the three passages under the three bays of the arc are dug caisson hexagonal honeycomb.
Last assumptions, a temple and a forum, that it took a long time for a gym. This group of monuments has been reached between 1925 and 1937, after the demolition of 22 homes. The temple, dating from the 2nd century AD, has kept its low room with peristyle and portico. It is unclear to what God it was dedicated.
City Museum: located opposite the theatre, includes fragments of the cadastre of the city and its dependencies, engraved on marble slabs. Discovered in 1949, the cadastre covers approximately 850 km2 and date of 77 ad. According to a reconstructed inscription, his writing would have ordered by the Emperor Vespasian (69-79). This system of cadastration allows to fairly allocate land, but especially to fix the amount of taxes. The Museum also includes objects of everyday life in Roman times.


Of the ancient city, to whom Augustus granted latin law in 14 BCE, it remains that some remains of houses, tombs, inscriptions and the arc de triomphe.Excavations under the medieval city would learn more about the old site. Triumphal arch, built in 16 ad, probably served as side entrance to the Romanesque cathedral before be encompassed in the kitchens of the first episcopal Palace. A single 10 metres, of 5.9 and deep-4.50-high arch remains. It is decorated with bas-reliefs, representing barbarians chained to trophies, thus reminding, as in Glanum or Orange, the victory of the Romans on the Celts. Carpentras, is also a lapidary Museum, with Gallo-Roman amphorae, votive altars, funeral urns, lamps...

Pont du Gard

Built in the 1st century a.d., the Pont du Gard is located in the Valley of the Gardon.
This book is the most spectacular element of the aqueduct which supplied the city of Nîmes through sources of Eure near Uzes. This channel travelled 50 kilometres for a difference in height of 17 meters, 34 centimeters per kilometer.
•    Total height: 49 m above low water of Roach.
•    Lower floor: 6 arches, 142 meters long, 6 meters wide, 22 meters high. The openings of the arcades are not all the same size. That spans the Gardon river bed is wider to allow the River to flow.
•    Medium floor: 11 arches, 242 meters long, 4 meters wide, 20 meters high.
•    Upper floor (the one who wore the canal): 35 arches, 275 meters long, 3 meters wide, 7 metres high.
The aqueduct functioned until the 6th century. Residents were then diverted waters for their benefit and looted the stones of some sections. Remained intact, the Pont du Gard served passage for pedestrians and vehicles from the 18th century. It included the required steps of the "tour de France, the companions', as evidenced by the many inscriptions carved in stone on the pillars.
The bridge is built in large blocks, weighing up to 6 tons and from a nearby quarry at verse. These huge stones were hoisted using a winch powered by a large wooden wheel that made men placed inside the drum.


Installed on a steep plateau accessible only from the South, Saint-Blaise lies between the étang de Berre and Fos Gulf. Inhabited since the Neolithic period, this oppidum was abandoned between the 1st century BC and the 4th century A.D., after having been besieged, as evidenced by the cannonballs found in the remains.
It seems that this site has played a key role during the pre-Roman era thanks to the trade of salt. Indeed, Saint-Blaise lies near a 'dust' of trained brackish ponds at the bottom of deep bowls, as the Olivier in Istres, Rassuen-Citis. The Etruscan amphorae and Greek found in large quantities on the site bear witness to intense trade with these regions.
The beautiful Hellenistic fortifications built in the 2nd century BC perfectly illustrates the prosperity of the city, much richer than the neighbouring oppida. This rampart was built at the same time as that of Glanum and probably by the same workers. It consists of a wall in large unit to sharp joints, without mortar. Some blocks carry letters or signs, that are either trademarks of jobbers, or control markers indicating the amount of assembled stones. To rounded merlons crenellations crowning the wall.

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence - Glanum

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence has an antique museum installed in the Hotel de Sade. Two kilometres south of the town, lie the ancient city of Glanum and a mausoleum and a municipal bow, commonly referred to as "Antiques".
Located 2 km south of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Glanum extends to the foot of the northern slopes of the Alpilles. The ruins stand strand, on a slightly inclined slope, at the foot of mont Gaussier. North of this ancient city, across the modern road, stand a mausoleum and a municipal arc, commonly referred to as "Antiques". These two monuments, unlike the rest of the ancient city of Glanum, were always visible and engaged to us almost intact, despite the crossed centuries.

Two geographical advantages

Glanum owes its prosperity in antiquity in two major geographic advantages: the presence of a source, essential to life in this relatively dry country and the situation of the town at a strategic crossroads. Glanum was indeed built at the outlet of the single pass échancrant the Alpilles from the South to the North and to avoid circumvention of this mountainous barrier of 30 kilometers long. In addition, close to the city, passes the via Domitia, linking the Spain to Provence. This artery, which runs along the north side of the Alpilles away from low swampy Plains, transit goods destined for Rome.

Celts, Greeks and Romans

Human occupation of this site goes, it seems, in the 15th century BC. At that time, this space would have been a place of worship and not insignificant defensive asset (valleys and natural ramparts of the Alpilles).
Glanum begins to develop in the 2nd century, when the city of Arles has a slight shortness of breath. The people belongs to the confederation of the Salyes. After their defeat by the Romans, the city, influenced by Greek architecture, turns slowly in a Roman city, becoming: Glanum.
In the 3rd century a.d., the inhabitants deserted the town. They were victims of the attacks of barbarians and sources would be dried up. Surrounding populations use the stones of the buildings to erect their own houses, in a place that will become Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.
The visible site currently corresponds approximately to one-third of the Roman city. The buildings are almost all built in "molasse white" miocene, commonly known as pierre de Saint-Rémy, in the small quarry at the entrance to the site. In these ruins, released since 40 years, overlap two or three successive States of occupancy of the land.

The source, heart of the city

To the South of the city, which is opposite the current entrance, is the 'heart' of Glanum, the source, dedicated to the God Glan and glaniques mothers, goddesses of fertility, which the inhabitants have a cult. To discover the city chronologically, it is best to start the visit by this side.

The careers of Glanum

The first sharper remains of buildings dating from the 7th and life centuries BC. At that time, the Greeks of Asia minor settled in Marseille. The «Glaniques», belonging to the «Salyes» celto-Ligurian people, gradually develop trade with the newcomers. In the last two centuries before our era, the inhabitants of Glanum is are largely hellenized, even if they still keep their autonomy from Marseille. Their city is covered with public, civic and religious buildings.
In 49 BC, César captured Marseille and Roman settlement began. The Glaniques, who took the party of the Phocians, are experiencing a difficult period.
The nymphaeum: accessing the source via a staircase built in the Hellenistic period. The pilgrims hoped, by touching the water, see their wishes come true. The Romans recovered this cult building to his left a Corinthian temple. To its right, they erected a consecrated quadrangular room, it seems, to Hercules. This building enjoyed great popularity, judging by the multitude of votive offerings found at this location. In front of this temple, to the West, we see a staircase leading to a small terrace carved into the rock, which was used as a sanctuary. The Celto-Ligurians are placed animal offerings, whose bones were found.
•    The door walled: protecting the perimeter of the source, is a gate fortified from the Hellenistic era, part of a great wall, which the left tower still survives. At the level of this set, which resembles the ramparts of Saint-Blaise or Marseille, "Glaniques" claimed likely a toll to travellers.
•    Going northward, we view East of the gate, a Roman Doric portico installed in the location of a Hellenistic Hall ceiling supported by columns. In front, the Propylaea, portico with columns forming the entrance to a sanctuary. Distance stands the "bouleuterion", gathering place for policymakers of the Hellenistic city. Inside, the presence of a table of sacrifices recalls that these magistrates also had religious functions.
•    The temples geminate: next door, heading towards the North, there is the remains of two Roman buildings, temples "geminate", so called due to their similarity. Part of the facade of the smaller of these two shrines, built between 30 and 20 BC, was rebuilt in 1992. Portraits in marble of the wife and the sister of the Emperor Augustus, Livia and Octavia, discovered in these places, suggest that them here was a cult. In front of these two buildings, lie the remains of two fountains. South date from Roman times, the other, more to the North, the time of the Greeks.
•    Forum: descending, one reaches an architectural complex erected between the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD. It includes the southern forum, bordered by porticos on the East and West and fitted to the South, the great civil Basilica and in the northern part, the Curia, place of meeting of the local Senate. Below, are the baths, erected between 50 and 25 BC. They are among the oldest in Gaul.
•    The residences private: across the street, stand on the Hellenistic dwellings, no doubt by notables. The largest of them is undoubtedly the Antes home. Its name comes from the pillars, "antes", adorning the Bay of the Western room. All openings of this residence overlook a rectangular courtyard, to protect themselves from the Sun and mistral. Private parts like rooms or the office of the master of the House, are located opposite to the public road. Countertop, commercial space, overlooks the street.
•    North of the ancient city, stand the mausoleum and the arc de triomphe. The first date of 30 years or 20 BCE, the second of the 1920s ad. Despite their proximity, these two monuments fulfil entirely different functions. The mausoleum, even if it contains no body, remains a funeral building. The triumphal arch marks the entrance of the city of Glanum.
•    The mausoleum: according the inscription located on the north side of the mausoleum, this Cenotaph was erected by the three sons of a man named Julius, in honor of their «relatives», i.e. their father and grandfather. Their grandfather would have endowed by César of the status of a Roman citizen, as a result of his loyal service in the armies of the conqueror. The two characters, installed in the small circular temple at the top, wearing a Toga, probably represent these two parents in a hero style. On the bottom base, divide four bas-reliefs. The South face shows a hunting scene with wild boar, the Western face of infantry battle, the north face a cavalry fight. To the East, there is a fight with a victory and the furnishing of a degree by a winged fame. A frieze of composite creatures adorns the banner above the architrave of the floor with arcades. There are nine newts (half, middle fish, all adults except one), four griffons (winged creature hooked beak, limber of lion and fish tail) and two dragons. On all sides except to the North, the tritons maintain a drive likely representing the Sun.
•    The arc de triomphe: it is less well preserved than the mausoleum. Its iconographic programme reminded the local population its defeat by the Romans.Thus, the reliefs of the Eastern face represent chained Celts, man as a woman, to wooden posts where hang Warrior remains. Southern terrain of the Western face shows a picture of Gaul defeated, seat, hands chains. At his side, a captive turns its back to passers-by. Northern terrain in this same face, a "Roman", draped in a Gallic coat with fringes as in a Toga, shows visitors a chained Gallic Warrior. The fruit and foliage, symbols of plenty, adorn the frieze of the archivolt.
•    Hotel Sade: filing lapidary, located in the old Saint-Rémy, to complete the tour. It presents pre-Roman sculptures, objects of everyday life, of the inscriptions, parts of architecture, found on the site of Glanum and the surrounding area.


The current agglomeration covers the greater part of the Roman city, including the forum. For centuries, only the ancient bridge and the two poles of the theatre, nicknamed the 'spectacles' by the inhabitants of the region, reflected the very old past of Vaison. Excavations, begun in 1907 by Abbot Joseph vaibhav, constitute the largest archaeological area of France. Two districts offer in our eyes: Puymin and Villasse, as well as the baths of the North.

Vocontii and Romans

At the end of the 4th century BC, a people of Celtic origin, the Vocontii, moved to Vaison and makes it his capital. Shortly after the conquest of César, Rome grants them the privileged status of federated city. Until the 3rd century AD, the people live in peace and prosperity. Some of them become illustrious characters in Rome as Sextus Afranius Burrus, known through the 'Britannicus' root, as a tutor to the bloodthirsty Emperor Nero (54 - 68 ad). Between 250 and 300 A.D., the territory of the Vocontii is shared into four. Vaison keeps the direction of the Southwest, while three other cities appear: Die, Gap and Sisteron.

The Villasse

The Villasse means 'the big house '. This area owes its name to the castle of the 18th century, which depended on the farm that vaibhav Abbot began to rummage in 1924. Currently, one can see the ruins of two ancient mansions: the "Dolphin House" and that "at the bust of silver", framed by two routes: 'columns Street' and the 'shops', as well as a room belonging to the public baths.
The shopping street: during the Roman era, tanks are circulating on the paved part of the street, wide 4.20 meters. Some irregular blocks sometimes have holes.These cavities served as flying points for the clips using which was transported the stones. A sewer, 0.80 metre wide and high of 1.10 metre on average, occupies the basement of the track. He joined l ' Ouvèze, after cross-cutting pipes are discharged. On the pedestrian part of the route, protected in antiquity by a portico, open shops, installed thresholds beads. Tucked away in one of them, stands a statue of mercury, patron of merchants. It is recognizable thanks to its three attributes: the ailerons at the foot, the stem of the Caduceus in the left hand and the turtle on the pedestal.
The Spa Hall: installed at the end of the road, this building is part of the baths of the centre, of which the greater part is buried beneath the modern city. The great room measures more than 12 meters wide. Its length is unknown, because it extends under Vaison. An arcade, bounded by pilasters, decorates the back wall.Except a few blocks from the Summit, all dated 1936. In an adjoining room, there are six small latrines and drainage channel.
•    Home to the bust of money: it is located opposite the thermal baths. This House takes its name from the sculpture discovered by vaibhav Abbot in 1920 and currently exposed in the Museum. It represents a vaisonnais notable, maybe the owner or one of its ancestors. One enters this villa over 5,000 m2 on the ground (more if you count the floors) by the vestibule, flagstone pierre of Beaumont. Following the atrium, surrounded by columns of Corinthian style, which gives the tablinum, the office of the master of the House. To the South, below, are a peristyle, equipped with a pool and, to the North, a small courtyard delimited by two bays to columns. The West thereof, there is a piece, with a mosaic black and white in the centre, surrounded by an Assembly of plates of marble of various colours. A little further to the North, there's latrines. Face it, access to a garden, featuring a pond and bordered to the North by bathroom facilities. This package of thermal, much broader than in other homes of Vaison, raises questions. An assumption among others, is to believe that he is former public baths. Become too small for the community, they have been replaced by other institutions. The owner of the House of the silver bust would have then bought land, it would be used as garden.
•    Dolphin House: this House owes its name to a small sculpture of white marble, found in its walls and representing a dolphin overlapped by a love. This dwelling, dating from the end of the Ter century A.D., is superimposed on one of the oldest houses of Vaison, built between 40 or 30 BC According to research carried out in the 1970s, the original building would be a rural settlement, with a barn or stable. Vaison is urbanizing, successive owners have transformed this sort of "farm" in town house. This home includes a central party organized around a garden, framed by four porticoes with colonnades, on which open different parts, sometimes difficult to identify because of the disappearance of their furniture. North of this Court, are small baths, composed of a piece of heating, a bathroom warm and another warm bath. In contrast, in the southern part of this House, stretches a vast garden, flanked by a large basin, which serves part of viviers. Going to the Northwest, the visitor discovers the atrium. The small central basin collects the

District of Puymin

This district bears the name of "Puymin" Hill on which it is built. It includes many homes, shops, the theatre and also houses the Museum.
•    Home to the Apollo Laure: this House owes its name to the statue of Apollo Laure, i.e. wearing a Crown of laurels, discovered in its walls. A casting of this sculpture was placed here, the original being exhibited at the Museum. Vaibhav Abbot had attributed this House in the «Messii», because an entry with this name was found in this home. A large part of the 'domus' still lies beneath the modern city, which makes the difficult identification of parts. Note the marble inlay in the "tablinum", the office of the master of the House.
•    Gantry shrine: the modern city covers the major part of this garden. Its function, public building to religious or private domain, is discussed. Casts of statues of the emperor Hadrian and his wife Sabine «Diadumenos», athlete wearing a headband to the front, adorn the wall very restored, located to the North.«Diadumenos» is a copy of the Roman period of the original by the Greek sculptor Polykleitos (5th century BC). All the columns in the garden date from the 20th century, except that placed next to the statue of Hadrian and notched suddenly Pickaxe, which is authentic.
•    Artisans: shops and workshops, grouped into Islands. You can see a large Brown jar (dolium) of about 2.50 meters high. Originally, it was half buried in the ground. The inhabitants are stored the olives.
•    Castle of water or nymphaeum: vaibhav Abbé, this building would be a nymphaeum dedicated to the goddesses of the sources. Archaeologists today looking for the more prosaic hypothesis of the water tower. In 1932, found lead tubes, visible at the Museum.
•    Home to the Arbor: vaibhav Abbot had nicknamed it the "Praetorium", wrongly believing that it was the House of the lender, the Governor of province.This vast mansion, about 3,000 m2, looks pretty than to "bust of money", in the District of the Villasse. Only the basements still exist, making any interpretation difficult. The 'noble' part of the 'domus' is organised around a colonnade overlooking the garden which is accessed by a staircase on double fly. In the middle of the garden, is the trace a summer dining room, equipped Pergola, which gave its name to the House. Next, we can see room service, including a bread oven, a pond and a sewer.
•    Theatre: installed on the northern flank of the Hill, the theatre date from the 1st century AD. It could hold up to 7,000 spectators. Of the stage wall, it remains that the foundations. The statues of Hadrian and Sabina, which casts are visible in the sanctuary at gantry, were found in a pit below the stage. The North full orientation of the theatre allowed the public to never have sunlight in the eyes.
•    Museum Theodesplans: it houses numerous objects found during excavations. Can be seen including the Imperial statues of Claude, Domitian, Hadrian and his wife Sabine, which adorned the wall of the theatre.


The settlement of this town dates back to the Bronze Age, according to discoveries in a cave of Castillon.
Later, some Ligurian settle near the Roc to establish an oppidum: Ducelia.
In 14 BC, Augustus finished to conquer the region. Thanks to his connection with the Roman province of the Alpes Maritimes, Ducelia develops. Houses are emerging and the city was renamed Civitas Saliniensum (city of salt merchants). The city is a small crossroads, many Roman roads were built as via Salinaria, Ventiania, and a junction between the Aurelia and Domitia.
The city will still change name and become Salinae. Indeed, the inhabitants were grouped near the Verdon to enjoy salt sources. Today some are still visible.
There are remains of the Roman heritage.

paddle boat in the Lake Sainte-Croix
Climbing tree
Pont de Galetas
Pont du Roc

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