An Introduction to the Roman Sites in France
View Roman sites in France on an interactive map
The nation we know today as modern France has seen the rise and fall of many cultures and civilisations. Once such empire that left its mark on the culture, landscape and society of France was that of Ancient Rome. Today, there’s a wealth of Roman sites, ruins and remains in France and a great number of interesting historic sites to explore. From ancient amphitheatres to aqueducts, temples, forums and more, France is full of interesting Roman ruins. We’ve put together a selection of Roman ruins in France below as well as our top picks, which include some of the most interesting and captivating Roman sites in France. We've also put together a list of other key Roman remains that are worth a look as well as a number of excellent museum's which deal with Roman-era France.
Top Picks | Other Roman Sites | Museums
Our top Roman sites in France
La Maison Carrée
Nîmes: La Maison Carrée is an extremely well preserved Roman temple in Nîmes, France. It is one of the best-preserved Roman temples in the world. It managed to survive the turbulant times that followed the fall of the Roman Empire as it was converted to a church. For those interested in seeing Roman sites and remains in France, La Maison Carrée is a must.
Photo: bani-31 (cc)
Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon
Lyon: The Grand Roman Theatre of Lyon dates back to the late first century BC and was able to seat up to around 10,000 people. It formed part of the ancient Roman settlement of Lugdunum, the city which would eventually come to be known as Lyon. It is one of the most impressive Roman sites of France.
Photo: GenevieveR (cc)
Glanum is an extensive archaeological site of a former Roman settlement near Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. The site itself is thought to pre-date the coming of the Romans, though most of the remains that you can see today are Roman ruins from the first and second centuries AD. While Glanum is slightly lesser-known amongst the Roman sites in France, it is well worth a visit.
Photo: FabriceT (cc)
Arles: Arles Amphitheatre is a brilliantly preserved Roman site in France which was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus. The amphitheatre could hold over 20,000 people and survived exceptionally well through the ages. This UNESCO listed Roman-built sports arena is still in use today. One of the best Roman sites in France.
Photo: Thierry (cc)
Roman sites in France: Other Historic Sites
Narbonne: The Horreum in Narbonne in France are a series of first century roman remains including underground tunnels and Roman storage rooms. One of the more interesting Roman ruins in France for those who like to explore hidden gems.
Arch of Germanicus
Saintes: The Arch of Germanicus is a Roman arch constructed in 19AD to honour Emperor Tiberius, his son Drusus and his adopted son Germanicus.
Roman Amphitheatre - Saintes
Saintes: The Roman Amphitheatre in Saintes was built in around 40AD in the Roman settlement of Mediolanum Santonum.
Pont du Gard
Nîmes: Pont du Gard is an Ancient Roman bridge and aqueduct once used to supply Nimes with water. It is one of the most famous Roman sites in France.
Roman Theatre of Orange
Orange: The Roman Theatre of Orange is a stunningly well-preserved first century theatre in France and is one of several UNESCO listed Roman sites in France.
Triumphal Arch of Orange
Orange: The Triumphal Arch of Orange is a first century Roman arch built during the reign of Augustus.
Paris: The Crypte Archeologique is a subterranean Roman site and museum housing the remains of Gallo-Roman Paris. One of the lesser-know Roman sites in France but a great site to visit.
Porte de Mars
Reims: Porte de Mars is an ornate third century Roman arch in Reims, dedicated to the Roman god of war.
Reims: The Cryptoporticus of Reims is a very well preserved third century AD Roman passageway.
Odeon of Lyon
Lyon: The Odeon of Lyon is a well-restored Ancient Roman theatre and part of a UNESCO World Heritage site. A great example of the many excellent ancient theatres and Roman ruins in France.
Lyon Roman Baths
Lyon: The Lyon Roman Baths are the remains of a second or third century public baths complex.
Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls
Lyon: The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls is the remains of a first century Roman amphitheatre in Lyon.
The Gier Aqueduct
Lyon: The Gier Aqueduct near Lyon is the remains of the aqueduct which served the Roman city of Lugdunum.
The Lyon Gallo-Roman Tombs
Lyon: The Lyon Gallo-Roman Tombs are a trio of reconstructed first century burial chambers.
Arles Roman Theatre
Arles: Arles Roman Theatre was constructed during the reign of the Emperor Augustus.
Arles: The Constantine Baths in Arles are a set of well preserved Roman remains of public baths built in the fourth century. One of a handful of Roman ruins in France that date to the latter stages of the Empire.
Arles: Les Alyscamps was a Roman necropolis which now houses a collection of crowded medieval sarcophagi.
Alesia was the site where Julius Caesar defeated the Gauls in 52 BC and, historically, is one of the most important Roman sites in France.
Arenes de Lutece
Paris: Arenes de Lutece was an ancient Roman amphitheatre, the remains of which stand in Paris.
The Magne Tower
Nimes: The Magne Tower in Nimes is a well preserved Roman tower built under the Emperor Augustus. One of the best preserved Roman sites in France.
Roman sites in France: Museums
Marseille Roman Docks Museum
Marseille: The Roman Docks Museum has a collection of artefacts from Marseille’s thriving ancient port.
Museum of Orange
Orange: The Museum of Orange is a museum of mostly Roman, but also prehistoric, artefacts found in the region.
Narbonne: Lapidaire Museum is a museum of Ancient Roman remains and artefacts in Narbonne, France and contains around 1,300 Ancient Roman exhibits.
Narbonne Archaeological Museum
Narbonne: The Narbonne Archaeological Museum displays Ancient Roman remains and artefacts and explores of this town’s Ancient Roman past.
Lyon Gallo-Roman Museum
Lyon: The Lyon Gallo-Roman Museum displays exhibits relating to the city’s time under the Roman Empire.
Arles Archaeological Museum
Arles: The Arles Archaeological Museum houses an extensive collection of prehistoric and Ancient Roman artefacts.
Musee de Cluny
Paris: Musee de Cluny houses Ancient Roman baths and the national medieval museum in Paris.
Musee du Louvre
Paris: Musee du Louvre is a twelfth century fort turned palace and today stands as one of the world’s foremost art museums. It has a wide and impressive collection of Roman remains, artefacts and statues.
Marseille History Museum
Marseille: The Marseille History Museum chronicles the city’s history since Ancient Greek times.