The Amphitheatre of Saintes immerses you in an extraordinary experience. Its size, age and atmosphere brimming with history are very impressive.
The Amphitheatre of Saintes immerses you in an extraordinary experience.
What do we want? Bread and games!
“But were there ever gladiators here?” Of course! A day at the amphitheatre typically looked like this… In the morning, animals like bears, wild boars and more would fight each other… In the afternoon, gladiators would face off in the arena, to the sound of the roaring crowd.
Built on the outskirts of town between 40 and 50 AD, the amphitheatre is one of the oldest in all of Gaul. It could accommodate more than 15,000 spectators, or the entire municipal population.
The people would come here during festivals, which could last for several days and which were funded by wealthy local notables.
Cleverly built into a natural slope, the elliptical amphitheatre features imposing dimensions: 126 metres in length by 102 metres in width.
Listed as a historic monument in 1840, lovely remains have endured: the arena and the structure’s foundations. It is still one of the best preserved amphitheatres in Roman Gaul.
One the main attractions of Saintes, the Gallo-Roman amphitheatre was amongst the 18 iconic sites that participated in the Heritage Lottery in 2019.