Amphithéâtre Gallo-Romain Amphitheatres / Gallo-Roman Sites in Saintes

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

4.2 sur 5 3509 reviews

  • Jane Etherton dite Madame Thermomix

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by Jane Etherton dite Madame Thermomix on 04/11/2023

    The Gallo-Roman amphitheatre of Saintes is an amazing remnant of our long ago past. We rented the audio guides (available in English and French) and spent a fascinating 45 minutes immersing ourselves in history and architecture. Don't miss the photo exhibition on the outer wall; just follow the green line around to the back of the Accueil building. It shows photos of all the phases of the amphitheatre for the last 200 or 300 years. There is an ingenious picnic table to enable someone in a wheelchair to pull up under the top and enjoy a meal at a table. Brilliant idea.

  • 김TH

    4 sur 5 Reviews posted by 김TH on 07/04/2024

    The interior was under construction and submerged in water, so I saw it from the outside. Of all the Roman amphitheaters I've seen, it was the place that felt the passage of time the most.

  • Cary Mcwhorter

    3 sur 5 Reviews posted by Cary Mcwhorter on 08/11/2023

    The construction is significant and it feels as though they're making it a bit too much like an amusement park, but hopefully when they're done there will be more education. We declined to pay and simply enjoyed from outside.

Ride around

Saintes - Le centre historique

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Saintes - Le centre historique

655 m - Saintes

Walking

Saintes - Côté fleuve & côté nature

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Saintes - Côté fleuve & côté nature

1,1 km - Saintes

Walking Velo hybrid Mountain bike

Circuit vélo n°1 Rétaud

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Circuit vélo n°1 Rétaud

10,0 km - Rétaud

Bike / road

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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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