Sort of…giving English pronunciations is hard. Well, it was actually harder to give a 10 minute presentation for this, which is why I practiced saying this city’s name about 200 times. But it’s time to get educated on some French culture and history, whether you like it or not. Why? Because it’s good for you, and I hope to be a good influence on the (now!) 500 followers I have – reached this milestone and am so thankful for all of you awesome nerds for hanging out here on the 100.
Oh what a wonderful picture that’s above (taken by yours truly)! This was taken in the Place de la Republique, which is the center of town. Before I recite to you my extravagant research on this topic, let me just make it clear that I’m going to try to make this history less boring than it needs to be. Yet it is important to take note of some things.
Arles is not exactly the “fun” place of France. It’s smaller, the monuments are sort of small and spread out, and it has no castles (boo). But it’s rich in history because it used to be (one of many) Roman city. As a matter of fact, at one in point in time, it was the capital of the Roman Empire and all these emperors would come to the Place de la Republique to make and form military battle strategies. Behind this big-ass tower that’s really a fountain is the hôtel de ville, which used to be the political seat of the city.
One of the biggest rivers in France flows by this city, called the Rhone. This place got lots of commerce because a port was opened there to the Mediterranean Sea. I tried to get to one of the bridges, called the Pont de Langlois, but it was too far away. If you ever get a chance to visit this city, you should go find it because it’s the object of one of Vincent Van Gogh’s famous paintings. This whole city is actually filled with artwork left and right because artists, like Van Gogh, spent time here painting. There’s even a tour you can go on to go find Van Gogh’s famous works and inspirations (which sounds super cool)!
First of all, boo to the fact that there were NO clouds (which are a photographer’s best friend). If you don’t know what this building is (or what type of building it is), that just gives you more reason to read further. This is a big Roman amphitheater (called the Amphitheater of Arles) that sits in the middle of the city where people host a bunch of bull-fighting shows. Wanna know a fun fact though? Right after the fall of the Roman Empire, there were more than 200 houses inside this arena. And let me just say that it’s not THAT big. The houses were probably about the side of your tiny New York apartment, so the Romans probably know how you guys feel up there. Cramped, sweaty, and a little shitty.
Another fun fact: I was too embarrassed to take a picture of this chain-mail bra at the open markets on Saturday morning so I waited until the merchant ducked so I could snap a quick pic. Not bad, but the clothing looks a bit heavy. And incredibly uncomfortable. Plus, I don’t think I would carry that bag around. It would way me down without anything in it. But it’s funny because since France is known for having all these kingdoms and knights, a lot of people associate its history with chain-mail and knights in shining armor. Hell yeah that used to be a thing, but I might have to disagree now. I’m sorry, lady-who-thinks-chain-mail-will-sell, nobody’s going to pay 150 euros for that chain-mail bra.