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It was the Romans who turned the small Gallic village of Nîmes into a city. Their presence is still felt today in the large number of Roman ruins, including the Pont du Gard aqueduct and the Maison Carée temple, considered to be the best-preserved Roman temple in the whole Mediterranean. In early medieval times, Nîmes lost much of its Roman sheen. It went from having a population of 25 000, to a mere 2 500. The residents of the city were left so vulnerable that they took refuge in the amphitheatre and fortified it. Some areas of the city, like La Fontaine, were abandoned completely. Since those days, the city has seen many changes. During the 11th century it once again grew stronger and larger, thanks to its wine, olive and sheepskin trade. In the 16th century, Nîmes was badly affected by the religious war between the French Protestants, the Huguenots and the Catholic Church. Today Nîmes is a well-healed city with a strong focus on tourism. Much of the city is being regenerated, and the old areas renovated, with a keen interest in preserving its Roman heritage. Nîmes has commissioned many accomplished architects to create interesting landmarks such as Carré d´Art. The word Denim has its birthplace in Nimes. It was used for a special fabric originated here and became known as: de Nimes - "Denim".
Nîmes a city with two thousand years of history which are displayed around the city with cathedrals, roman temple, amphitheatre, gardens and the medieval market town of Uzès. Here you can wander through streets and squares and look at the historical attractions. You will find plenty of interesting things to do while visiting Nîmes.
Many nice restaurants can be found hidden among the Roman alleys and buildings. Nîmes is situated in the Languedoc region, but its proximity to Provence makes for an interesting culinary combination.
The squares and alleys of Old Town are full of bars, but there are few clubs. For a city with a population of only 148.000, the nightlife is surprisingly good – especially in the summer.
There are several well-known vineyards in the area, including Château Mourgues de Gres. The best place to sample and buy local wine is at the Les Cave du 41 wine shop on 41 rue Emile Jamais. La Vinothèque on 18 rue Jean Reboul is another good wine merchant. As in so many other French towns and cities, the indoor food market (on rue General Perrier), is worth a visit. This street, together with rue des Marchands and pedestrian streets in the Old Town such as rue de l’Aspic and rue de la Madeleine, form the bulk of the shopping areas. The latter has many expensive fashion stores.
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