– The twice millennial city
Inhabited by the Celts, colonised by the Greeks,
Arles became Roman thanks to Cesar who settled his legion veterans
there in 46B.C. He founded a colony under roman jurisdiction, Arelate,
on the territory of this city which supported him during the siege
It was the first golden age of the town.
From this point onwards Arles was transformed and magnificent monuments
were erected : the forum, temples, the theatre, an amphitheatre,
the circus, the baths…Under the reign of Emperor Constantine,
it’s prosperity gave it the title of "Little Rome of
the Gaules". It became from this time a great religious centre
for the beginnings of Christianity.
Arles remained until the 5th century one
of the ultimate bastions of Romanism. Thanks to its dynamic
economy coupled with the significant activity of its port, Arles
was then recognized for its exceptional strategic situation, which
made the Rhone delta an essential milestone in the communications
of the Roman Empire in the West which was submerged by barbarians.
It’s exceptional heritage is not the only asset
that the city offers to it’s many visitors.
It has a unique natural heritage since the Arles region consists
of three different landscapes surrounding the city: the Alpilles
massif which inspired Frederic Mistral, the arid Crau frequented
by shepherds and the Camargue which is located between the two arms
of the Rhone.
The city is also undisputedly associated with the painter
Van Gogh who was attracted by the particular quality of
light and painted here a significant share of his most known works.