Uncovering Glanum from a Pile of Rocks in Provence
Nutmeg is reasonably certain she is not the first person to walk through the Glanum archaeological site, near St Remy de Provence, and consider that mankind is relatively insignificant in the passage of time.
Ashes to ashes
Dust to dust
Rocks to rocks
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. Allow yourself to step back in time (read more) and take in the glorious views.
The Mausoleum reaches a height of 18M (60 feet) stretching like a needle towards the cobalt sky. The Mausoleum (Le Mausolée) constructed in 30-20 BC was a funeral monument for a local citizen who fought with Caesar’s army and received honorary Roman citizenship as a result. The inscription reads, “Sextius, Lucius, Marcus, fils de Caius, de la famille des Julii, à leurs parents.” Degraded by the elements and the passage of time the historical depictions of Roman triumphs on the sides of the monument were copied and replaced in 2007-08.
The Arc de Triomphe, built in 10-25 AD is now 8M (26 feet) high, it would have been taller at the time of construction with all its decorative embellishments at the top. This municipal arch, the former gateway to the Glanum community, is a smaller version of the majestic one found in the city of Orange.
Important details for your visit to Glanum:
Site archéologique de Glanum
Avenue Vincent Van Gogh
Click here for opening hours
Continue reading here for the original Ginger and Nutmeg article with details on this important settlement that began with Gallic inhabitants in the 7th Century BC and was occupied until the Romans were forced out by the Franks in 260AD. Glanum is a “Must-visit” site if you are staying in or near St Remy de Provence.