If only these old stones could tell their story …Älgbert Elgson
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Glanum is an ancient city in Provence with an eventful and extensive history. Today, the excavation site with an adjoining visitor center can be visited all year round and provides information on the upswing and decline of Gallo-Roman culture.
For the exact opening times, please visit the official homepage.
The city has an eventful history. It was founded by the Celts as an oppidum that blocked access to the pass through the Alpilles. It was named after the Celtic god „Glanis“, to whom the healing spring there is also dedicated. But it was the Greeks who gave the city the name Glanum in the 3rd century AD.
They used the favorable location as a trading base to trade with the backland from today’s Marseille. In addition to their goods, the Greeks brought their writing and architectural style to Provence. They erected numerous structures based on the Greek model in the former Celtic city.
In the 2nd century BC, Celtic tribes increasingly threatened the Greek city of Massilia (now Marseille), whereupon the inhabitants asked the Romans for support.
These posted 125/124 BC BC their consul Marcus Fulvius Flaccus with his army. He completely defeated the Celtic tribes two years later, took possession of the land and made the area a Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis.
So Glanum became a Roman colony. Another large construction phase followed, in which many temples, representative buildings but also functional buildings were erected. Today, the partially preserved water system, the foundations of the thermal baths, the triumphal arch just outside and the mausoleum next to it can be seen here.
After armed conflicts, the city was abandoned in 260 AD and left to decay. However, the place was still marked as „Glano“ in the maps until the Middle Ages.
The finds of the excavations in Glanum are to a large extent in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence in the Hôtel de Sade, which was built in the 15th century by a rich Avignon dyeing family instead of an older mansion and which now houses an archaeological museum.
How to get there?
Glanum is halfway between Avignon and Arles in the town of Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The easiest way to get there is by car. Right next to the visitor center or the triumphal arch is a paid parking lot with no height restrictions.
The archaeological site is very informative and the signs and the audio guide handed out at the visitor center show the visitor the Roman way of living in Provence. If you have a look at the castle ruins of Les Baux-de-Provence or other sights nearby, Glanum is a good addition to immerse yourself in the history of the country.
We were here: 2019
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