Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

Opening hours

Open

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 10:00 am - 12:30 am 01:30 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Wednesday 10:00 am - 12:30 am 01:30 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Thursday 10:00 am - 12:30 am 01:30 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Friday 10:00 am - 12:30 am 01:30 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Saturday 10:00 am - 12:30 am 01:30 pm - 05:00 pm
  • Sunday Closed

Closes at 05:00 pm

Useful information

Location : In town

Province : Saintes and Vals de Saintonge

  • English
    • History


      The Santones tribe lived in the Saintonge region at the time of the Gauls. During the reign of the Emperor Augustus, Saintes (Mediolanum Santonum) became the capital of the Roman province of Aquitania, which stretched (from the Loire to the Pyrenees).

      Mediolanum was one of the first towns to have an amphitheatre, which was constructed during the reign of the Emperor Claudius in 40 to 50 A.D.

      Like many amphitheatres in the Roman Empire, that of Saintes was built on the outskirts of the town on a site that is today called the "Vallon des Arènes" (Small valley of the amphitheatre). lts builders took advantage of the local topography to construct part of the amphitheatre along the slopes of the valley, meaning that they managed to reduce the amount of construction work needed.

      The amphitheatre’s function was to seat the large number of spectators who came to watch such violent and bloodthirsty events as gladiatorial combats and wild animal hunts. Within this large elliptical structure, which is 126 metres long and 102 metres wide, several thousand people – a large part of the local population – couId be seated.

      Today, in spite of the disappearance of its superstructures, the remains give an extremely good idea of what this amphitheatre looked like at its peak. The site is now open for visitors to discover throughout the year.

  • Français

Traveller Reviews Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

4.3 sur 5 3114 reviews

  • Poppy Mills

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Poppy Mills on 11/08/2022

    So gorgeous! The fares to get in are so cheap I couldn’t believe it and although the monument is currently undergoing reconstruction, this doesn’t take away from its impressive features and intriguing history. If you haven’t been before I would definitely recommend for all ages- definitely better on a sunny day though as a party from the cafe and gift shop all is outdoors!

  • Pia Klit

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by Pia Klit on 30/07/2022

    Interesting ruins of the oldest amphitheatre in Gallo-Romain France. Very cheap to visit, so absolutely worth it to get a sense of history. It is a quick visit on the trail through Saintes.

  • Assad Sharifi

    5 sur 5 Reviews posted by Assad Sharifi on 21/06/2022

    If you have watched the popular series of “Spartacus” or have read the Roman Empire’s history, this arena makes a perfect sense of how the Romans used to entertain themselves and enjoy the show while punishing the culprits. A must-visit monument in Saintes. The entry costs around €2 per visitor.

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Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain

Address

20 rue Lacurie
17100 Saintes

GPS coordinates

45° 44'44.52"N, 0° 38'38.1"W

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