Trip Planner: Europe / France / Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur / Bouches-du-Rhone / Arles / Theatre Antique
One of the first theaters in the Roman colony, Theatre Antique offered tragedy, comedy, mime, and pantomime in Roman or Greek. These plays, performed mostly at festivals honoring the gods, were free for all to attend, though some shows were dedicated solely to men. Make Theatre Antique a centerpiece of your Arles vacation itinerary, and find what else is worth visiting using our Arles road trip tool.
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Theatre Antique reviews
The theater dates from around 12 BC, in the reign of Caesar Augustus. It could hold 8-10,000 spectators. Little of substance remains of the original stage and backdrop or set. Just two of some one...
The theater dates from around 12 BC, in the reign of Caesar Augustus. It could hold 8-10,000 spectators. Little of substance remains of the original stage and backdrop or set. Just two of some one... more »
I like how the remains are placed and all the stones are full of history. Though the modern stuff are placed between them which does not fit.
I like how the remains are placed and all the stones are full of history. Though the modern stuff are placed between them which does not fit. more »
You have to use your imagination with this one; as although there are remnants of the original amphitheatre - it’s half the size it once was, and a lot of the steps have been rebuilt to accommodate seating for concerts being held there today. There’s also only two remaining columns. It’s absolutely heartbreaking to think how beautiful this theatre must have once been, and that this is all that exists now. Having said that though, I suppose we should be grateful to at least have this still remaining. Whilst I was visiting I was lucky enough to witness the amazing acoustics of the theatre. An American tourist sang The Star-Spangled Banner; not sure about her song choice! But her vocals were beautiful, and listening to her voice reverberating around the theatre was spine tingling.
At the time of our visit in December it was quite cold and the site was empty, which added positively to the experience. It is hard to imagine how this theatre looked 2000 years ago but thankfully there are some models to help illustrate. The semi-circular seating area surrounds a stage (that used to be 3 stories+ in height). We tested the acoustics of the theatre and it was amazing, one person standing on the stage could be clearly heard throughout the seating area. It was a lot of fun (and easy since no one was on site at the time). The site itself does not offer more than the opportunity to see the structure but it was worthwhile when exploring the other ancient sites in Arles. NOTE: The cost, at the time of writing, was 9 Euro for this site...but we opted for the 12 Euro FOUR site visit pass where you can visit any of 6 different sites within Arles. If you are in Arles to explore its history, then this is a worthwhile cost; as well as all the other sites being within easy walking distance.
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