"Pay your respects at the (other) Arc de Triomph!" Top 5 Page for this destination Orange Things to Do Tip by CatherineReichardt
Orange Things to Do: 42 reviews and 101 photos
Orange seems like an odd place to find a triumphal arch, but its quiet small town atmosphere belies the fact that a town that justified a 9,000 seater Roman amphitheatre must have been quite a significant place.
The Arc de Triomphe is located a short (10 minute) walk north from the town centre and commemorates the victory of the Roman legions over the Gauls in the Gallic Wars. The Romans were never shy to blow their own trumpets when it came to lauding their achievements, so as you might expect, the Gauls are depicted as a suitably miserable, defeated bunch on the relief carvings.
The age of the Arch was subject to considerable debate but now seems to be accepted to date back to the reign of Augustus Caesar (63-14 B.C.). More interestingly, it is the oldest triumphal arch with this design and thus serves as the template for later, more famous Roman triumphal arches such as the Arch of Septimus Severus and the Arch of Constantine.
In the Middle Ages, the Arch was incorporated into the town walls, which have since disappeared and the Arch was restored in the 19th century. At the time of my visit (September 2011) the Arc was undergoing further renovation.
Orange's Arc de Triomphe (in tandem with its remarkable amphitheatre) have justified the town being granted UNESCO World Heritage status on the basis of its outstanding Roman heritage.
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