Nîmes notes

a picture diary from a Roman town in the south of France

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The trambus of Nîmes

trambusThe ending station of the Nîmes trambus is in front of the Arènes.

The trambus is a combination of – as you can guess from the name – a tram and a bus. No rails needed, looks like a long bus, but otherwise the concept comes from a tram. And having now tested it once (no, twice, I went back and forth), it works!

In my humble opinion, the route is much more clear than those of the busses. It’s also fairly fast, and also frequent (at least during the day). It’s not as silent as the modern trams, but it’s supposed to be more environment friendly – the tram bus doesn’t use gasoline or diesel, but electricity. The ride cost one euro, and you can purchase the ticket when entering. Just don’t forget to stamp it!

Some people of course criticize the meaning and the cost (79 million euros) of a new type of bus which has (so far) just one line. It circulates between the Arènes and the commercial centre near the highway entrance. New lines are planned, of course.

Well, I don’t say anything to that. Just that I liked my ride. I will post during the next few days a few pictures taken in and from the bus.


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Romulus and Remus of Nîmes

romulusetremusNîmes is often called “Little Rome”, and of course in little Rome there must be a relief of Romulus and Remus, the symbols of the mother city. You can find it on a wall just opposite of the Porte d’Auguste.

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Statue of Emperor Augustus

statue_augusteThe bronze statue of Emperor Augustus, or Caius Julius Caesar Octavianus Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), is located in the premises of the Porte d’Auguste (hence the naming of the gate).

The statue is a copy of a statue in Vatican, and it was bought by the city in 1934. Rumours, that it was a gift by Mussolini and that the Germans had melted it, are false (so it says here).


Porte d’Auguste, seen from inside

portedaugusteThe European Heritage Day’s are unfortunately always  at the same time as the autumn feria of Nîmes. So, I never remember it, or, have no time to go to see any of the places usually closed to public. This time I did see one, though.

While I was waiting for the folklore parade to start, I went to see the Roman city gate of Porte d’Auguste from inside. Normally you can’t get in (it’s surrounded by fences), but now the small gate was open, and you could stroll around in your own pace. A few people in additition to myself had noticed it.

The lens I had in my camera gave no choice of a wider view, so this time the picture is just of one of the main gateways. In total there are four: two main gates in the middle and two side gates. And what is interesting, is to see how much lower the original city used to be!

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Map of Nismes and Nemausus


Nemausus, Nismes, Civitas Narbonensis Galliae Vestustissima

Next to the smiling crocodile, you will find the city map of the medieval Nîmes, or Nismes as it was called at the time. The city was encirled by a city wall, with a moat in the front. The larger walls are the city walls of the Roman Nîmes, or Nemausus. It was that much bigger in the Roman times!

Do notice also the Pont du Gard (in the map it says “Le Pont du gar, ou gardon”) on the right upper corner. It was built to bring water to Nemausus’ baths and fountains.

The map was drawn in the 16th century by Georg Braun and Frans Hogenberg. To see it more in detail, click here.

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Picture taking

touristsSomehow I wanted to catch this scene, where the tourists are taking pictures of the Temple of Diana in Jardins de la Fontaine. Big cameras are passé, and hardly anyone really uses the iPad for taking photos (anymore), like the woman on the right. Nowadays popular are the cellphone cameras and again the tiny winy pocket cameras. It’s fun to observe the trends, isn’t it!