Arles: Romans – Van Gogh – Bullfights

Arles, France sitting at the top of the delta where the Rhone meets the Mediterranean Sea, was an important city for the Roman Empire from about 100 B.C. to almost 600 A.D. Many Roman architectural features and ruins remain today and have been named as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including walls surrounding the city, an arena (or amphitheater), an aqueduct and mill, a theater and baths.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, the arena was fortified and became not only a stronghold against barbarians, but also a walled city within the city, with about 200 homes, two churches and a town square.

Much later, Arles was the home to Vincent Van Gogh, from which he painted over 300 works, including sunflowers and cafe scenes.

20160621_174629
Rhone River as it sweeps by Arles, with the city’s ancient walls nearby.
20160621_174932
Fontaine d’Amédée Pichot, built in the late 1800s.
20160621_180902
Inside the arena. Today, the arena is used for bullfights in the Spring and for concerts and events other times of year.
20160621_182246
Inside the arena. Looking down into the lower levels where shops and homes would have been created after the end of the Roman occupancy of Arles.
20160621_182432
Inside the arena.
20160621_182831
Street scene in Arles taken from the top of the arena.
20160621_181908
Looking over the rim of the arena at a nearby church.
20160621_183443
Brightly colored shutters on the second story of a home in Arles.