France Travel Planner by Tom Brosnahan & Jane Fisher   Roman sites in Orange, France
A grand theater and a triumphal arch—within walking distance of each other!




Orange was important during Roman times as its location was at the north of a large area of settlements. Indeed, Orange is known for its cadastres, or land registers, engraved on marble and visible in the Orange Museum.

But the city is best known for its wonderful ancient theater, built at the beginning of the first century AD. It is one of the best preserved stone theaters in western Europe from Roman times. Seating 9,000, the theater is still used today for performances ranging from opera to rock music to movies.

Climb up to the top of the theater seats and enjoy the view, and be sure to also admire the exterior wall, an impressive structure. For an even better view, walk behind the theater and climb up the Parc Colline Saint-Eutrope. From here you can see the whole theater and get wonderful views of the nearby countryside.

There is also an adjoining restaurant where you can enjoy a pleasant lunch while sitting among the ruins. If you'd prefer to sit inside the restaurant, you'll find yourself in a large cave, decorated with pictures from various musical performances.

As you walk through Orange you will see other Roman ruins, incuding the remains of a great temple. Together with the theater, the two structures would have formed an Augusteum, an important architectural form in Ancient Rome. You may also pass the wall of the ancient Forum.

But your real goal is to head out the aptly named Avenue de l'Arc de Triomphe, an extension of the Rue Victor Hugo, to reach the majestic Arc de Triomphe.

Arc de Triomphe, Orange, France  

L'Arc de Triomphe, Orange, France.


This triumphal arch, which dates from the 1st century AD, was dedicated to the glory of the veterans who founded the Roman colony of Orange. Its carvings include depictions of captive Gauls, said to symbolize Roman domination. It also includes carvings of maritime treasures, a comment of Rome's dominance of the seas.

Today it sits in in a small park-like setting on the edge of town. Groups of school children gather there, cars speed by on the N7 north, pedestrians pass without giving it a glance, and tourists—and travel writers—imagine the glory of Ancient Rome and snap pictures of this amazing Arc de Triomphe.

What to See & Do in Orange

Hotels in Orange

About Orange

Tourist Information

Transport for Orange

About Provence

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Theater, Orange, France

Above, Setting up for a performance in the Ancient Theater of Orange.

Below, Detail of the Arc de Triomphe.


Arc de Triomphe Orange France

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