Nimes, in southern France, has two wonderfully preserved
Roman buildings, both about 2,000 years old. This is a
temple founded by the Emperor Augustus.
The Temple is open to the public and contains
a display of Roman statues unearthed at Nimes.
A Roman arena, whether this one, or the Colosseum in Rome
itself, would have provided "entertainment" that included
gladiators fighting wild beasts. As the statue of a matador
suggests, Nimes decided to do as the Romans, and their
ancient arena is open for business as a bullfighting ring.
Hard to believe, but there is proof inside.
Roman Temple and Arena
Considering all the Roman sites I have seen, including many
ancient theaters restored for that original purpose, this is
unique. France leads the world in recycling Roman arenas.
The bullfighting ring seems to fit in perfectly. The bulls are
imported from Spain, and probably the matadors as well.
Spain is very close to Nimes, and it's likely the Nimes region
was part of Spain until the border was moved further south.
The Roman arena at Nimes looks normal at first glance,
but it turned out to be something entirely different.
If you have a high speed internet connection, watch the
Intrepid Berkeley Explorer's 2004 video of France by
clicking on Napoleon Slept Here
There also is the longer 1990 film, in which Paris follows
Berlin: Berlin and Paris