Maison Carrée


Constructed in gleaming limestone around AD 5, this temple was built to honour Emperor Augustus’ two adopted sons. Despite the name, the Maison Carrée (Square House) is actually rectangular – to the Romans, ‘square’ simply meant a building with right angles. The building is beautifully preserved, complete with stately columns and triumphal steps. There's no need to go inside unless you're interested in the relatively cheesy 22-minute 3D film.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nîmes attractions

2. Musée du Vieux Nîmes

0.19 MILES

Inside the city's 17th-century episcopal palace, the town museum delves into the history of Nîmes from Roman times through to the modern era, with lots of…

3. Les Arènes

0.29 MILES

Nîmes’ twin-tiered amphitheatre is the best preserved in France. Built around 100 BC, the arena once seated 24,000 spectators and staged gladiatorial…

4. Musée d’Histoire Naturelle

0.32 MILES

Nîmes' natural history museum has the usual displays of stuffed beasties, fossils and skeletons, as well as a few menhirs (standing stones) decorated by…

5. Jardins de la Fontaine

0.33 MILES

Roman remains in these elegant gardens include the 30m-high Tour Magne, raised around 15 BC – the largest of a chain of towers conveying imperial power…

6. Musée de la Romanité

0.34 MILES

Opened in mid-2018, this futuristic steel-and-glass structure faces Les Arènes right in the heart of the city. Within, the ambitious archaeological museum…

7. Église St-Baudile


Topped by twin towers reaching 70m, Nîmes' largest church (accommodating up to 3000 worshippers) was built in neogothic style between 1867 and 1877.

8. Musée des Beaux-Arts

0.49 MILES

The city’s fine-arts museum has a fairly pedestrian collection of Flemish, Italian and French works, although it’s worth a look for the fine Roman mosaic,…