Saturday, September 24

Arles, France

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be taking you on a tour of Arles, France. Arles is known for being one of Van Gogh’s homes, specifically the place where he chopped off his ear. Arles is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of it’s very well preserved Roman Amphitheater. Etes-vous prêts?

Arles is on the Rhône River, and in Provence, in the south of France. The town was made famous mostly by Van Gogh, a 19th century painter. 

Van Gogh created the most amount of paintings he had ever made in Arles. This was probably because there are so many beautiful scenes in the city, just like the one shown in this photo!

(photo is filtered, original painting can be found here)
Perhaps one of the most famous paintings from Van Gogh’s time in Arles is the Yellow House. It is currently in the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, which I was lucky enough to visit this summer.

Now for the main attraction of the city.. the Amphitheatre! It was built in 90 AD, around the same time as the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. 

Wondering why there are medieval towers in an amphitheatre?

Well, during the Middle Ages, the amphitheatre  was turned into a walled off town known as the “La Cité Arénoise” or “Arena-Town”. Two Hundred Houses and Two Churches were built inside of the walled off town. Imagine looking into at this only 200 years ago and seeing a town instead of an arena.

This is what it looks like inside of the amphitheatre. 

Here’s a view of the inside from the bottom floor. It’s a bit spooky down there!

Another great place to visit in Arles is the Theatre Antique. Originally, back in the first century, the theatre was a lot bigger. Sadly, it was robbed of its materials back in the Middle Ages.  After hundreds of years of deterioration, the theatre wasn’t able to be fully restored when it was rediscovered in the 1800s. 

Some of the stones from the original theatre still remain, although most of them were used for other buildings. Fortunately, most of the statues and artifacts from the theatre were saved and are in museums all over France. Arles was one of my favorite cities in France and I am really glad I got to visit! 

That brings us to the end of my post today. I only have 1 more week of school left until fall break, so hopefully I will be able to focus a lot more on my blog soon. 

Thanks for reading.



  1. What a beautiful town! Van Gogh is easily one of my favorite artists. It's not hard to see why he was inspired by Arles.

    1. True! Thanks for commenting!

  2. Another great post, Hannah. I also love Van Gogh and got to see a collection of his works at the Orangerie museum (right near the Louvre) last time I was in Paris. It was breathtaking.

    I've never been to Arles (or seen much of France outside of Paris). This post makes me want to explore more, especially Arles.

    1. Thank you! If you get the chance to go back to France, you should definitely visit Arles.

  3. Anonymous27.9.16

    It looks beautiful, and not a lot of people around.

    1. True - I think it's really nice that there aren't so many tourists around.