Thursday, August 11, 2005

Arènes de Lutèce (Lutece Arenas)


If you come to Paris, and more particularly to the 5th arrondissement (hi Dev!) you will end up visiting what is called Les Arènes de Lutèces (the Lutèce Arenas). Lutèce was the first name of Paris and these arenas (more precisely a gallo-roman amphiteater) have been built at the end of the 1st century! The funny part is that such a treasure had been completly forgotten over the years until 1869, when a bus company ("La compagnie des omnibus") decided to buy the place to park... buses! After Victor Hugo and Victor Duruy (a famous French writer and a famous French politician) put pressure on the government, the restauration finally took place in 1883.
One thing: if you go there don't expect too much. These arenas are unfortunatly stuck in the middle of "recent" buildings" and it is really hard to feel the "gallo-roman atmosphere" like you can in some ancient theaters.

7 comments:

  1. Part of the charm of Paris seems to be the juxtaposition of ancient and modern--thousands of years compressed into a city block.

    Elisabeth

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  2. Sending a comment from the Pittsburgh airport. I love the Arenes de Lutece, although I have seen them only once in my life, maybe when I was 17 or so... I nearly went back this past Spring but, somehow, did not quite make it.

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  3. Great pictures, thank you.

    Many people walk right near by every day without even knowing it's there. Great place to go read or enjoy a peaceful moment.

    Tomate Farcie

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