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Things to do in  Arles

Welcome to Arles

Arles’ history began in antiquity, as exemplified by well-preserved, UNESCO-listed landmarks such as the Arles Amphitheatre and the Roman Theatre of Arles—visiting one or both is among the top things to do in Arles. However, it’s also inextricably associated with former resident Vincent Van Gogh, who painted hundreds of works that captured the southern city’s energy in all its streaks and whirls. Today, Rhone-side Arles is a popular South of France stop alongside Avignon, Nîmes, and the villages of the Luberon, while its proximity to the wilds of the Camargue, a protected wetland, is another draw.

Top 1 attractions in Arles

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Arles Museum of Antiquity (Musée Départemental Arles Antique)

Arles Museum of Antiquity (Musée Départemental Arles Antique)

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UNESCO World Heritage-listed Arles is often called the ‘soul of Provence’, a photogenic city with a history stretching back 2,500 years and crammed with Roman remains; their extent indicate the importance of the city in Roman times – thanks to its position on the navigable River Rhône – and include an arena, theater and bath complexes. Arles fell from importance around 480 AD but by medieval times was once more a power to be reckoned with, as is proven by the city’s Romanesque masterpiece church of St-Trophime. The priceless collection of Roman artifacts discovered in the region are housed in the sleek, cobalt-blue triangular Arles Museum of Antiquity (Musée Départemental Arles Antique), designed by Henri Ciriani and opened in 1995.Among its treasures, the museum displays a large collection of antiquities, including monumental Roman sculptures, pagan and Christian art and several stunning mosaics. Center stage goes to the model of the water mills that operated in Roman times at Barbegal, thought to be the most complex in ancient times; and the 2,000-year-old barge Arles-Rhône 3, found in the River Rhône and accompanied by a video about its painstaking restoration.More

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