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Way back in 56BC, Bordeaux was under Roman rule and was called Burdigala. Practically nothing remains of this period in the city's history - except the ruins of an old Roman amphitheater known in the city as the Palais Gallien (no one is quite sure where the name comes from). 

The shape of the huge amphitheater, which would have been able to hold about 15,000 spectators, is largely covered over by development, but some of the arches have been left standing and revealed. The Palais had been getting progressively knocked down as the years went by: it was not until 1911 that it was put under protection. 

Practical Info

The Palais Gallien is in the center of Bordeaux, close to the Esplanade des Quinconces.

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