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Roman Amphitheatre at Nice

Les Arènes at Cimiez

Arènes de Cimiez

The Roman Amphitheatre at Nice stands in the up-market suburb of Cimiez. Located above the modern city, the old Roman town of Cemelenum stood guard over the port.

A Small Amphitheatre

Quite small by normal Roman standards and only 67 x 57m (220 x 184ft), the Amphitheatre could still accommodate at least 4000 spectators. Not as complete as the amphitheatres at Nîmes or Arles, it is impressive nevertheless and it is easy to imagine the gladiators as they fought each other, often to the death, not to mention the soldiers as they practiced some spear throwing.

No Cruelty Here!

Apparently this facility was never used for the more cruel events involving animals and/or prisoners seen in other amphitheatres throughout the Empire. Even today you won’t see bullfighting here like at Arles and Nimes, although special events do take place. However, the famous Nice Jazz Festival no longer takes place here – check out the Place Massena.

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Cimiez & Around


Text © Paul Shawcross

Image by Danny Navarro