We took a side trip from Arles today and drove to Nimes, about a half hour away. Nimes has ancient Roman ruins that are wonderfully preserved and right in the middle of the city.
We visited the Musee des Beaux Arts first, with masterpieces from the 1400s and 1500s, and others from more modern times (1600s to late 1800s). They have a beautiful restored mosaic in the main room, and some interesting sculptures throughout the museum. It was a nice visit.
The amphitheatre was our next stop. It is right in the center of the city and similar to the one in Arles – maybe a little smaller. The arena was used for bullfights, animal fights, and even public executions back in the day and it is still used for bullfights and miscellaneous performances.
We also visited the Carre d’Art, a contemporary art museum which was featuring an exhibit of Peter Friedl’s presentation: Teatro Popular. This exhibit was honoring 18th century Portuguese street performer Dom Roberto. It was an interesting presentation, although the rest of the museum – its very modern permanent collections – were not as appealing especially after seeing the ancient masterpieces earlier.
We ended the day back in Arles and will drive to Vichy in the morning.
photos: a jug from the 1500s at the Museum des Beaux Arts; the Nimes amphitheatre; part of the Peter Friedl exhibit – puppets