The Great Roman Games
Les Grands Jeux Romains
Nîmes (Languedoc-Roussillon region)
a rich programme of events and a spectacular historical reenactment inside one of the best preserved Roman arena to enjoy the atmosphere of the legendary Roman Games in the amphitheatre and savour the atmosphere that would have been enjoyed by the inhabitants of the ancient Nemausus (Nîmes) at its heyday...
Geographical, cultural and historical context
Nîmes is a popular touristic destination located in the Languedoc-Roussillon region in southern France and has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire as witnessed by several important remains in and around the city, such as the elliptical Roman amphitheater, the best-preserved Roman arena in France still used today as a bull fighting and concert arena, and the Pont du Gard, a well-preserved and spectacular aqueduct crossing the River Gard. Nîmes, which owes its name to the Celtic god Nemausus, was founded as a Roman colony by the veterans of the legions who had served Julius Caesar in his Nile campaigns and reached its golden age and an estimated population of 60,000 in the time of Augustus being also reinforced with a ring of ramparts.
Event description and programme
Every year the whole city of Nîmes lives in Roman time for a weekend offering many spectacular leisure and educational activities for adults and children in coordination with Culturespaces, including historical parades and ceremonies, living history displays, ancient crafts market and workshops, dance show and ancient acrobatics, and a breath-taking historical reenactment inside the imposing Roman amphitheatre. In 2010, the first Great Roman Games were held in the Nîmes Arena: in brilliant sunshine, 250 actors performed circus games in front of the visitors and the Arena welcomed 17,227 visitors during the weekend. Over years the compelling enthusiasm of the 500 plus history lovers who come here from all over Europe to reenact the games, combined with the fervour of the public, have made these Great Roman Games a popular and highly-anticipated event each year.
The spectacular Roman parade recounts the return of a campaign featuring legionnaires, Celts, gladiators, horsemen presenting their war trophies. The programme includes equestrian exercises involving Romans versus Gauls, displays of chariot fighting (races, javelin throwing and ground-fighting), gladiator fights on horseback and on foot. The visitors will have the chance to try legionnaires' weapons and equipment while following their training, maneuvers and drills in the roman camp, while the gladiator school will open its doors to the children!
Please contact the Organizers for confirmation and further details.
Info & Contact
Culturespaces Nîmes Romaine
Arene, Maison Carrée and Tour Magne
Address: 41 rue Fresque, 30000 Nîmes, France
Tel.: +33 466218256 | Fax: +33 466218261
Address: 153 boulevard Haussmann, 75008 Paris, France
Tel. : +33 466218256
Nîmes City Council / Mairie de Nîmes
Address: Place de l'Hôtel de Ville - 30033 Nîmes Cedex 9, France
Tel.: +33 04 66767001
E-mail: contact form available online
Image: © Christelle Champ via Culturespaces
Text: Culturespaces, Wikipedia, Nîmes Town Council
Nîmes and the Roman arena on Google Maps:
Promos and video reportages of the event: