Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cimiez / Cemenelum

Cimiez was previously the Roman town of Cemenelum and was distinct from the ancient city of Nice, Nikaia Polis/ Nicaea.

Cimiez is now one of the posher suburbs in Nice but it still has extensive Roman remains: an immense bathhouse complex and an amphitheatre.

This photo has been stitched together in Photoshop from 15 photos to try and give an impression of the size of the place. The interior of the amphitheatre measures 45m by 34m and was designed to hold 5000 spectators. Apparently a wooden amphitheatre has been on the site originally but this only had room for 500.

The two entrances were for different classes of spectators- one side for ordinary soldiers and common people and the other for officers and wealthy folk.

The redd-ish building in the distance to the right of the flagpole is the Matisse Museum.

This is another multi-photo picture -only 4 photos though. Its a view over the archaeological site of Cimiez taken from the side of the Matisse museum.


The huge building is the remains of the Magistrate's bathhouse. The baths complex is the largest in Gaul and its an immense site.
The building must have been really impressive when first built- it's still amazing to see now with the layers of white stones and red tiles giving a striped appearance.

The Matisse museum [red building] is beside the Archaeological museum and Roman site
The baths were segregated into mens and womens - lots of carved bone hairpins and earrings were found when the drains of the women's baths were excavated.

The museum is worth visiting-it has a large collection of things found at the site, including altar stones and gravestones. The entry fee for the museum allows access to the park with the remains of the baths.
At the moment there are a lot of reproduction Roman games on exhibition , so my son and i spent ages playing the games. I don't know if the games will end up a permanent part of the museum -I hope so, it was good fun.

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1 comment:

blueVicar said...

Those stitched photos are wonderful!

You know, I think of Cimiez as a mini-tour for the visitor with only a day in Nice. With Roman ruins, art gallery (plus Marc Chagall coming up the hill), monastery, gardens, olive trees...It's a microcosm of the area.

Hoping to get to the graphics gizmo soon...I brought it in my suitcase so I could start playing with it while we are waiting to move in!

Meilleurs voeux!!