This town dates back to the 7th Century BC, as the Roman capital of Provence, then as an important religious center in the Middle Ages and is today the unofficial capital of the Camargue.
It has major Roman sites, such as the Arena and Theatre, which are integrated into the buildings of the town. The narrow, sending streets are truly medieval in character, while a shady park on the Boulevard des Lices, provides a welcome resting place when exploring the town. Most of the sights in Arles are concentrated in a compact area in the “Centreville” bordered by the Rhone and the Blvd. des Lices.
In 1888, Vincent van Gough came to Arles from Paris – staying until the middle of 1889. While he was there, he produced about 200 paintings, spending about 2 months of that time with Paul Gaugin.
Arles is home to the “Courses Camarguaises” or Bull games – the French/Provencal version of Bullfights. In this version, the objective of the Toreadors is not to kill the bull, but rather to remove a red ribbon from the bull’s head. The bull proudly struts off the field at the end of the “game”.
Well known as the gateway to the Camargue, Arles is surrounded by the picturesque Rhone River and marshlands.