Facing the 2000-year-old amphitheatre of Nimes, a brand-new museum of Roman History, Musée de la Romanité, will open on June 2, 2018. Through innovative scenography and rich archaeological collections, you’ll discover the fascinating Gallo-Roman period of the area. This incredible new cultural venue will also house a bookstore, café and starred restaurant.
Did you know that in the Gallo-Roman period, Nîmes was a religious sanctuary for the province of Narbonne? A kind of ancient Lourdes, it was adorned by the Emperor Augustus and his successors with monumental buildings, some of which have withstood the passage of time: The Temple of Diana, Maison Carrée (part of the forum) the Magne Tower, the huge arena...
Here are five things to know about the fabulous new museum of Nimes:
Augmented reality, audio-visual technology, immersive projections and interactive cartography transform your visit to this innovative museum into a vibrant experience of daily life in Nîmes in ancient times.
Architecture inspired by Romanesque style
French-Brazilian architect Elizabeth de Portzamparc envisaged a building which evoked the look of a Roman toga. Through a facade that looks draped, panels are covered with a mosaic of thousands of glass tiles, it is exceptionally striking.
Follow the route of the ancient Roman wall
Around the year 15BC, the Emperor Augustus surrounded the city with ramparts more than 6km long. They were flanked by 80 towers, though today only one remains, the Tour Magne. This was the fifth largest enclosure of the Roman world. The inner walkway that runs through the Musée de la Romanité follows the route of this ancient wall.
A new cultural venue
A brilliant bookstore, a captivating café and a marvellous restaurant opened by Michelin-starred chef Franck Putelat. There’s also an archaeological and Mediterranean garden of 3,500 m². The highlight of the site? A green roof terrace with a panoramic view over the city. This brand-new Museum of Roman History is going to be one of the top attractions for visitors to Nimes.
A celebration of the ancient heritage of the city
The inaugural exhibition of the museum from it’s opening day on June 2 until September 24, 2018, will be dedicated to Gladiators, the heroes of the coliseum. It will highlight the spectacular fights that once animated the monumental area, another awe-inspiring visit, located right in front of the museum.