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Photographer's Note

A panoramic view over the old area of Nimes. Taken from the top of the Tour Magne ("Great Tower"), the ruined Roman tower on top of Mont Cavalier. You can see the magnificently preserved 2,000 year-old arena in the centre right of the image. Nimes is the capital of the Gard department. Nīmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and it is a popular tourist destination.

Nīmes became a Roman colony sometime before 28 BC. Some years later a sanctuary and other constructions connected with the fountain were raised on the site. Nīmes was already under Roman influence, though it was Augustus who made the city the capital of Narbonne province, and gave it all its glory.

Augustus gave the town a ring of ramparts six kilometres long, reinforced by fourteen towers, with gates of which two remain today, the Porta Augusta and the Porte de France. The city had an estimated population of 60,000. He had the Forum built. An aqueduct was built to bring water from the hills to the north. Where this crossed the River Gard between Uzes and Remoulins the spectacular Pont du Gard was built. This is 20 km north east of the city. Nothing remains of certain monuments, the existence of which is known from inscriptions or architectural fragments found in the course of excavations. It is known that the town had a civil basilica, a curia, a gymnasium and perhaps a circus. The amphitheatre dates from the end of the 2nd century AD. The family of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius came from Nemausus.

The town was prosperous until the end of the third century. During the fourth and fifth centuries the nearby town of Arles enjoyed more prosperity. Emperor Constantine endowed the city with baths. It became the seat of the Diocesan Vicar, the chief administrative officer of southern Gaul. In the early fifth century the Praetoritan Prefecture was moved from Trier in northeast Gaul to Arles. The city was finally captured from the Romans by the Visigoths in 473 A.D.

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Additional Photos by Chris Chafer (sandpiper) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 767 W: 87 N: 1198] (6788)
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