Nimes, a charming city with her share of Roman Empire’s rise and fall. Nimes has some of the world’s best preserved ancient Roman architecture, including the Nimes Arena and the Roman temple, Maison Carree.
The amphitheater (arena) is extremely photogenic, especially with the matador statue. When we climbed to the top of the cavea, the panoramic view was breathtaking and you realize, wow, Romans are awesome engineers, constructing this fantastic 2-tiered structure at 21 meters with a seating capacity for 24,000 spectators. The amphitheater today is still used for bull-fighting and events.
The pristine and ageless Maison Carree (thanks to the major restoration work) is a favorite hang out place for the locals. People are sitting around the square reading and college kids skate-boarding. The Romans would not have thought the Miason Carree would have evolved for a much leisurely use.
During our visit, Nimes seemed a bit empty but it was good for us because it was one of the rare attraction sites that was not swamped by tourists.