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Orange: the Theater and the Arc de Triomphe, two important Roman remains

This article is also available in: Italian

Orange is an ancient city of Roman origin in the Vaucluse in Provence, just 20 km north of Avignon, located along the Rhone valley, between the plain and the hills, it is crossed by the small river Meyne.

Orange was founded in 35 BC. by the Romans with the name of Arausio (Colonia Julia Secundanorum Arausio), the city became one of the most important Roman centers of northern Provence, it was equipped with civil and religious monuments, including a beautiful theater, a triumphal arch, various temples and a hole.

It was sacked by the Visigoths in 412, later it was erected as a bishopric and starting from the eighth century it became an autonomous county, which in the following centuries became part of the possessions of the Orange-Nassau family, the city remained in their possession until 1713 when it was ceded to the kingdom of France with the treaty of Utrecht.

Orange is known for its Roman architecture, among which the Roman theater is one of the most beautiful in the entire Roman Empire. Both the Roman Theater and its surroundings and the Arc de Triomphe of Orange are part of the places that UNESCO has listed as a World Heritage Site.

The ancient Roman Theater of Orange which dates back to the 1st century AD could hold up to 10,000 spectators, the building was built under the reign of Augustus. The Roman Theater of Orange is one of the best preserved in France, its stage wall measures 103 meters wide and 37 meters high.

The Triumphal Arch of Orange, located at the entrance to the city, was built by the Romans in the 1st century AD. probably to commemorate the victories of Germanicus. The arch is made up of three arches, with the central arch being the largest, and is made up of large dry-mounted stone blocks. The arch measures 19.57 meters long and 8.40 meters wide and reaches a height of 19.21 meters.

In the city there are many other Roman remains including some remains of the Roman walls (Rempart romain d’Orange) and the remains of the ancient Roman Forum and Gymnasium (Gymnase romain d’Orange). In the Orange Museum (Musée de la Ville), located in front of the Roman Theater, there are the remains of a Roman cadastre, dating back to the time of the emperor Vespasian, written on some marble tablets.

Among the religious buildings, the most important is that of the Romanesque Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth), whose current building dates back to the 12th century. Another valuable building is that of the church of the Franciscan convent (Église Saint-Florent) from the 14th century.

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