Arènes de Lutèce

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  • The twisted beech

    Somewhere in the public garden surrounding the arena is a peculiar tree : a "twisted" beech called the "fau de Verzy" ("fau" is ancient french for beech, and Verzy is the name of a 1,000 beechs forest near the french city of Reims). Now your job is to spot it !

The place

The Arènes de Lutèce are among the most important remains from the Gallo-Roman era in Paris (formerly known as Lutèce in French or Lutetia in Latin), together with the Thermes de Cluny. Lying in what is now the Quartier Latin, this amphitheater is considered the longest of its kind constructed by the Romans. The presence of a long stage allowed scenes to alternate between theatrical productions and combat.

Subsequently, the amphitheater was filled in completely following the construction of wall of Philippe Auguste. Centuries later, even though the surrounding neighbourhood had retained the name les Arènes, no one really knew exactly where the ancient arena had been. It was discovered by Théodore Vaquer during the building of the Rue Monge between 1860–1869.

Spearheaded by the author Victor Hugo and a few other intellectuals, a preservation committee undertook to save the archaeological treasure. Standing in the centre of the arena one can still observe significant remnants of the stage.

Source : Wikipedia contributors, "Arènes de Lutèce"

More info
  • Opening hours - Everyday from 8.30am to 5pm (winter) / 9pm (summer)
By iperiago on - Last modified - Report a mistake