The Crocodile of Nîmes
Around town and in tourist literature, you'll see the city's shield: a crocodile chained to a palm tree. It recalls the city's foundation, when retiring Roman legionnaires who had fought with Caesar during his Nile campaign were granted land to cultivate hereabouts.
Nîmes hosts two férias (bullfighting festivals): the five-day Féria de Pentecôte (Whitsuntide Festival) in May, and the three-day Féria des Vendanges on the third weekend in September. Thousands of visitors descend on the city for dances, live music and plenty of other cultural events, and each festival is marked by daily corridas (bullfights). If you do plan to attend a bullfight, be aware that the scene can be very disturbing. The bull is first weakened by lances that pierce its back and neck, then put to death by the torero, who delivers the final sword thrust.