On the way to Nîmes from Marseille, my husband and I stopped in Arles, a beautiful little provençal city that is more than 2,500 years old. Started as a celtic settlement, it became an important Roman city around 50 B.C.. Its Roman amphitheater was built in the late first century A.D. It was once able to hold 20,000 spectators on 34 seating rows. During the Middle Ages, it became a fortress.
Yes, gladiators once fought here. Today, it is used for bull fights, which almost seems as archaic to me.
More on our visit to Nîmes and its amphitheater soon.