Be ready for
Be ready for
« Revealing the roots of the identity of Nîmes in its Roman past,
the Musée de la Romanité is resolutely contemporary and forms
an exceptional showcase for the archaeological collections… »
Mayor of Nîmes
THE PERMANENT ROUTE FOR VISITS
The Roman pediment that decorated the entry to the sanctuary of the spring that marks the founding of the town is right at the entry to the museum. A monumental projection gives life to these remains and takes you on an incredible voyage into the heart of Roman Nîmes some 2000 years ago…
The Iron Age:
the Gauls to the beginnings of the Roman influence
Welcome to the entirely reconstituted house at nearby Gailhan. Share the daily life and astonishing rites of the Volcae Arecomici who settled at the site of Nîmes well before the Roman colony. Numerous traces and objects are used in a reconstitution of a society of considerable economic importance. Enter the Roman world by continuing your route along the Via Domitia and its milestones that ran from Rome to Narbonne.
The Roman world
The ancient town is brought back to life by immersive technological methods. From the museum, see—as if live—the building of the ramparts, the prestigious fortifications that indicated the important status of the town. For you, the Roman villas have regained their fine decoration. Take part in a banquet given on the sublime ‘Pentheus’ mosaic, discovered in 2006, placed in its original setting thanks to projection techniques. Roman everyday life unfolds before your eyes: trades, cooking, toys and even Roman fashion that you can try thanks to augmented reality before learning about the spirits of the gods, the world of the dead and funerary rituals. Projections linked to stelae help you to understand the touching story of the lives of the men and women who lived there nearly 2000 years ago.
The Medieval period
The trip through history takes you into the Middle Ages. Here, the architectural elements are strongly inspired by Roman traditions: columns and acanthus leaves. See bestiaries and stories of biblical characters. Admire the Valbonne sarcophagus, bas-reliefs showing combats with monsters… The Middle Ages reveals all the richness of its imagination.
Let yourself be guided by the spirit of Roman-ness or ‘Romanitas’. In Nîmes, ‘Romanitas’ was reinvented over the centuries. The wise and the erudite, contemporary architects and designers are passers-on of history who each reinterprets Romanitas in his or her fashion. Using various collected items and photographic or film references, control the display on a large screen to set out your contemporary panorama or references to Romanitas.
From 2 June to 24 September
Gla diat ors Heroes of the coliseumexpo gladiateurs
will you survive a day in the arena as a gladiator?
Learn about the often poorly known everyday life of these important heroes who have been immortalised in the imagination by many references in epic films.
The history of gladiators, the famous heroes of the arena, is unfolded in Nîmes. See their daily life, equipment and training and the ingenious construction of the amphitheatres in which they fought—and become one of these heroes yourself for a day.
The exhibition is from the Coliseum in Rome and uses the latest scientific discoveries to show the world of gladiators, with exceptional facilities and interaction.
It is the last chance to see this exhibition as it is finishing its round-the-world trip in Nîmes.
Contemplate exceptional pieces
An archaeological museum of a new generation
More than 5000 items and 65 multimedia facilities for a dive into Antiquity.
Cross the museum, follow the remains of the old rampart and walk beneath the pediment from the sanctuary at the spring…
this is where the voyage in time begins
Brush up your botany in the archaeological garden
Like the inside of the museum, the garden is laid out on three levels to show how the landscape was modelled—under the impulse of the Phoenicians in the Iron Age, by the Romans when species from distant countries were introduced and flourish in the soil of Nîmes, by returning crusaders, etc. Various migratory movements played a role and gradually formed today’s plant landscape. Olive, fig and almond arrived during the Gallic period. The Romans brought lavender, thyme, garlic and chestnut. The Crusades contributed peach, tarragon, chives and plum. And if you would like to know how to cook the condiment plants that grow in the garden, see the Roman kitchen in the permanent exhibition!
Make for the Café du Musée for a snack or La Table du 2, with its gastronomic bistro concept. Both run by Franck Putelat who gained two Michelin stars in Carcassonne. Enjoy a peaceful moment in a unique setting opposite the Roman Arena.
A present, a souvenir?
The bookshop/boutique reinvents the codes of Romanitas for contemporary objects.
Decipher the roman influence
Here, History has a future
“A domus and two mosaics—referred to as the Achilles mosaic and the Pentheus mosaic— were discovered in 2006/2007 during preventive excavations prior to work along Allées Jean Jaurès. In an excellent state of conservation, they are described by specialists as being ‘the finest pieces after those of Pompeii.’
This discovery strengthened my determination to create a contemporary museum to display these extremely rare works, together with those housed in the archaeological museum that dates back to the 19th century.
Revealing the roots of the identity of Nîmes in its Roman past, the Musée de la Romanité is one of the most striking architectural and cultural projects of the beginning of the century for the City of Nîmes and also for the entire region.
Guided by a strong need to show our magnificent heritage and pass it on to future generations, we have done all we can to make this museum an exceptional display facility for our impressive archaeological collections—restored on this occasion”.
Jean-Paul Fournier, Mayor of Nîmes
More than setting up a simple confrontation, Elizabeth de Portzamparc has generated true architectural dialogue between two buildings separated by 2000 years of history.
«The competition explicitly requested the creation of a museum that would be a contemporary response to the Roman Arena. I analysed the Arena for a long time and asked myself about the very notion of a contemporary building and how to exalt the 21 centuries of history separating the two structures. Designing light architecture—made possible by present technology—seemed obvious to me, as did expressing the differences between the two architectures through dialogue based on their complementarity. On one side a round volume enclosed by the verticals of the Roman stone arches and firmly anchored in the ground and on the other a large square volume, set in levitation and draped entirely in a folded glass toga.»
Elizabeth de Portzamparc
The two facing buildings complete each other harmoniously through their forms, lines and masses: the oval and the rectangle, the vertical and the horizontal, the density of stone and the lightness of glass. This dialogue continues inside the museum as both the façade and the glassed inner structure use transparency and a play of perspectives to show the rich heritage of Nîmes (the splendid fragment of the fronton from the entry to the sanctuary of the spring, pillars, the different works of the museographical route and the 2000-year-old amphitheatre facing it). The Museum is thus fully keyed in to the city. Its façade catches all the various lights as the day goes by and reflects each of its emotions.
A technological challenge
Elizabeth de Portzamparc chose ‘sober, light and refined architecture based on the lightening of masses and economy of forms’. This gives the building its impression of lightness and levitation. ‘Silk-screen printed cladding’ fitted by hand to undulating stainless steel framing envelopes the four sides of the museum (surface area 2,500m²). This structure consisting of 6,708 glass tiles similar to mosaic gives the whole a very light drapery effect that brings to mind a Roman toga.
A few figures
2 and 3 June 2018
28 Mar 2018
Save the date!
2 and 3 June 2018: opening of the Musée de la Romanité!
Be prepared for a historical experience. On Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 June, free access to the Museum: Antiquity is expecting you! During the opening weekend you will have free access to the permanent displays, the exhibition ‘Gladiators: Heroes of the Coliseum’ and a fabulous place. Don’t miss the experience!
Direct from the Museum
28 Mar 2018
Installation of the collections:
Strange bestiaries have taken position in the Museum, decorating the capitals, ornaments, friezes and bas-reliefs of the collection covering the medieval period and are now ready for visitors! These splendid items recount many legends and reveal the varied influences and much Roman inspiration that lasted throughout the Middle Ages. You will soon learn all their secrets!
Museum of Romanity
Boulevard des Arènes
Open every day:
from 2/6 to 30/6
and from 1/9 to 4/11
10 am to 7 pm
from 1/7 to 31/8
10 am to 8 pm
except on Tuesdays
from 5/11 to 31/3
10 am to 6 pm
Full price: €8
Reduced price: €6
Free for children
up to 7
(2 adults + 2 children): €19
Groups are welcomed from 10 am every day that the museum is open. Reservation is essential.
Prices (including VAT)
from 02/06/18 to 31/12/19
For 20 persons
Independent visit of the museum
(permanent collection and temporary exhibits) : €6
Guided visit: 1h30 (including independent entry)
on reservation: €9
An unforgettable venue for your prestige events!
The Musée de la Romanité invites you for a trip back in time to discover Nîmes, the ‘French Rome’, thanks to multimedia systems, augmented reality and monumental audiovisual technology. More than a museum, this contemporary venue forms an exceptional setting and purpose-built facilities for your events: seminar rooms, a panoramic restaurant, an archaeological garden and a superb rooftop area with an incredible view of the city.
Tel : (0)220.127.116.11
As soon as the schools start again in September, pupils are welcome for independent or guided visits.