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Glanum Glorious Views Near St Remy de Provence

Glanum a Roman oppidum, protected by its fortified walls once housed a flourishing community. The settlement stood on a hillside in the shadow of the rocky, crests of the Alpilles slopes. The Franks in 260AD destroyed Glanum. The population was forced to resettle on the valley floor, giving rise to St Remy de Provence.

Today, the busy D5 road, dissects the two well-preserved structures “les Antiques”, the Mausoleum and the oldest triumphal arch in France, from the rest of the Glanum site. The Mausoleum stands 18M high and the arch formerly the southern gate of the community; both are adorned with scenes commemorating the Roman influences. As noisy motorized traffic rushes by, it is difficult to imagine the previous footprint and former glory of this settlement.


Three Phases of Construction

Evidence uncovered from archaeological excavations, which started in 1921, confirm Glanum was actually built in three phases. Glanum I, the initial settlement by a Celtic tribe, the Salyens, dates from the Iron Age about 500BC.  Their choice of the site Glanum was deliberate with easy access to water, building materials and higher ground offering some protection from attackers. The Celtics believed that the spring offered healing powers.

Views above-St-Remy

Roman authority and Teutonic military occupation punctuated the time-frame for Glanum II (2nd century BC); this was not a period of expansion. In the final phase, Glanum III (1BC to 260AD), the powerful Roman influence is evident as the early colony structures gave way to grander public buildings including the forum and baths.


Construction Recycling

Stones from Glanum were used to construct buildings in St Remy de Provence, and the site was essentially left to rot as the ancient sewers and drains clogged with sediment. Excavations and conservation work occurred in several phases and still continues today. Significantly smaller than other Roman cities like Nimes, Orange and Arles, Glanum was still a prominent Roman cultural centre. Glanum is also much easier to manage than those cites, for a brief historical excursion. When you visit, walk up to the highest point, for the panoramic views of St Remy and the Rhône Valley.

More on Glanum:

Step Back in Time a Visit to Ancient Glanum in St Remy de Provence

Uncovering Glanum from a Pile of Rocks in Provence

St Remy History Lessons

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Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

With her camera and laptop close at hand, Carolyne has traded in her business suits for the world of freelance writing and blogging. Her first airplane ride at six months of age was her introduction to the exciting world of travel.

While in Provence, Carolyne can be found hiking with friends, riding the hills around the Alpilles or tackling Mont Ventoux. Her attachment to the region resonates in Perfectly Provence this digital magazine that she launched in 2014. This website is an opportunity to explore the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle (food & wine, places to stay, expat stories, books on the region, travel tips, real estate tips and more), through our contributors' articles.

Carolyne writes a food and travel blog Ginger and Nutmeg. Carolyne’s freelance articles can be found in Global Living Magazine, Avenue Magazine and City Palate (Published Travel Articles).

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