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Country: France
Region: Languedoc-Roussillon
{{ #if: Logo-nimes.jpg|Blason of the City|}}
More Information:
CS Group Wikipedia

{{ #if: |[[:wikivoyage:{{{wikitravel}}}|Wikivoyage]]}} {{ #if: Nîmes|Wikivoyage}}

{{#if:CS Ambassadors in the Area|style="background:#eeeeF7;text-align:center;font-size:110%;border:1px solid #a3bfb1" colspan="3"| City-Ambassadors:
CS Ambassadors in the Area|}}

Nimes is a city in France situated in the Region Languedoc-Roussillon, near Montpellier and Arles. Roman and Hispanic and with contributions from the Camargue and the Cévennes, the Languedoc and Provence, Nîmes is a city of all accents! It has been fashioned for over 2000 years by southern sunshine, wind and various influences. Set at the crossroads of history and human relations' (Christian Liger), it has lived the history of Europe intensely. And although it has many influences and paradoxes, its personality is unique. Welcome. Secretive Nîmes will open its heart to you.


The city derives its name from that of a spring, Nemausus, in the Roman village. The contemporary symbol and shield of the city of Nîmes includes a crocodile chained to a palm tree with the inscription 'COLNEM', an abbreviation of 'Colonia Nemausus', meaning the 'colony' or 'settlement' of Nemausus. Veterans of the Roman legions who had served Julius Caesar in his Nile campaigns, at the end of fifteen years of soldiering, were given plots of land to cultivate on the plain of Nîmes. Nîmes was located on the Via Domitia, a Roman road constructed in 118 BC which connected Italy to Spain. The site on which the built-up area of Nîmes has become established in the course of centuries is part of the edge of the alluvial plain of the Vistrenque River which butts up against low hills: to the northeast, the Mt. Duplan; to the southwest, Montaury; to the west, Mt. Cavalier and the knoll of Canteduc.

The site known as Serre Paradis belongs to the New Stone Age (Neolithic). It reveals the presence of semi-nomadic cultivators in the period 4000 to 3500 BC on the future site of Nîmes. The population of the site increased during the thousand-year period of the Bronze Age. The menhir of Courbessac (or La Poudriere) stands in a field, near the airstrip. This limestone monolith of over two metres in height dates to about 2500 BC, and must be considered the oldest monument of Nîmes. The Warrior of Grezan is considered to be the most ancient indigenous sculpture in southern Gaul.[citation needed] The hill named Mt. Cavalier was the site of the early oppidum, which gave birth to the city. During the third and second centuries BC a surrounding wall was built, closed at the summit by a dry-stone tower, which was later incorporated into the masonry of The Tour Magne. The Wars of Gaul and the fall of Marseille (49 BC) allowed Nîmes to regain its autonomy under Rome.

Nîmes became a Roman colony sometime before 28 BC, as witness the earliest coins which bear the abbreviation NEM. COL, "Colony of Nemausus". Some years later a sanctuary and other constructions connected with the fountain were raised on the site. Nîmes was already under Roman influence, though it was Augustus who made the city the capital of Narbonne province, and gave it all its glory. Augustus gave the town a ring of ramparts six kilometres long, reinforced by fourteen towers, with gates of which two remain today, the Porta Augusta and the Porte de France. The city had an estimated population of 60,000. He had the Forum built. An aqueduct was built to bring water from the hills to the north. Where this crossed the River Gard between Uzes and Remoulins the spectacular Pont du Gard was built. This is 20km north east of the city. Nothing remains of certain monuments, the existence of which is known from inscriptions or architectural fragments found in the course of excavations. It is known that the town had a civil basilica, a curia, a gymnasium and perhaps a circus. The amphitheatre dates from the end of the 2nd century AD. The family of Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius came from Nemausus. The town was prosperous until the end of the third century. During the fourth and fifth centuries the nearby town of Arles enjoyed more prosperity. Emperor Constantine endowed the city with baths. It became the seat of the Diocesan Vicar, the chief administrative officer of southern Gaul. In the early fifth century the Praetoritan Prefecture was moved from Trier in northeast Gaul to Arles. The city was finally captured from the Romans by the Visigoths in 473 A.D.

After the Gallo-Roman period, in the days of invasion and decadence, the Christian Church, already established in Gaul since the 1st century AD, appeared be the last refuge open to civilization. Remarkably organized and directed by men of great worth, it took an increasingly important place in the march of time. After the barbarian invasions the population had to face incursions by Moors from Spain (AD 710). The occupation came to an end in 754 under Pepin the Short. The town, ruined by so many troubles and invasions was now only a shadow of the opulent Gallo-Roman city. The local powers installed themselves in the amphitheatre. Carolingian rule brought relative peace, but feudal times in the twelfth century brought local troubles which lasted until the days of St. Louis. During this period Nîmes was jointly administered by a lay power resident in the old amphitheatre, where lived the Viguier and the Knights of the Arena, and the religious power based in the Bishop's palace complex, around the cathedral, its chapter and the Bishop's house; meanwhile the city was represented by four Consuls who sat in the Maison Carrée.

Despite incessant feudal squabbling, Nîmes saw a certain progress both in commerce and industry as well as in stockbreeding and associated activities. After the last effort by Raymond VII of Toulouse, St. Louis managed to base Royal power in the region which became Languedoc. Nîmes thus entered finally into the hands of the King of France. Nemausus, Nismes Civitas Narbonensis surrounded by its walls, after Sebastian Münster (1569), 1572. During the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries the Rhone Valley underwent an uninterrupted series of invasions which ruined the economy and caused famine. Customs were forgotten, religious troubles developed (see French Wars of Religion) and epidemics, all of which affected the city. Nîmes, which was one of the Protestant strongholds, felt the full force of repression and fratricidal confrontations (including the Michelade massacre) which continued until the middle of the seventeenth century, adding to the misery of periodic outbreaks of plague. In the middle of the seventeenth century Nîmes experienced a period of prosperity. Population growth caused the town to expand, and slum housing to be replaced. Also to this period dates the reconstruction of Notre-Dame-Saint-Castor, the Bishop's palace and numerous mansions (Hotels). This 'renaissance' strengthened the manufacturing and industrial vocation of the city, the population rising from 21,000 to 50,000 inhabitants. Les Quais de la Fontaine, the embankments of the spring that provided water for the city, the first civic gardens of France, were laid out in 1738–55.

Also in this period the Fountain gardens, the Quais de la Fontaine, were laid out, the areas surrounding the Maison Carrée and the Amphitheatre were cleared of encroachments, whilst the entire population benefited from the atmosphere of prosperity. Following a European economic crisis which hit Nîmes with full force, the Revolutionary period awoke slumbering demons of political and religious antagonism. The White Terror added to natural calamities and economic recession, produced murder, pillage and arson until 1815. Order was however restored in the course of the century, and Nîmes became the metropolis of Bas-Languedoc, diversifying its industry towards new kinds of activity. At the same time the surrounding countryside adapted to market needs and shared in the general increase of wealth.

More informations about the History of Nimes on the wikipedia:Nimes !


The Roman Arena
The Fountain Garden
The Cathedral
The Magne Tower

More informations about the places to visit in Nîmes on the wikivoyage:Nimes and even on the Official Website of the Office of Tourism !


Free Internet/Wifi Access

Here are some places where you can get some Internet/Wifi Access:

  • Medi@forum, Peuple et Culture du Gard - Adress: 1, rue Raymond Marc 30000 NIMES - Tel: 04 66 28 79 79
  • Maison de l'Emploi de Nîmes Métropole / Cyber Base Emploi - Adress: Maison de l'Emploi de Nîmes Métropole 8 rue de l'Horloge 30020 Nîmes Cedex - Tel: 0466369860
  • Médiathèque Carré d'Art - Adress: Place de la maison carrée - Tel:
  • Place d'Information Jeunesse-BIJ - Adress: 8 rue de l'Horloge- NIMES CEDEX 9 - Tel: 04 66 27 76 86
  • Espace Multimédia-espace Numérique AJRONAA - Adress: 26 Promenade Newton 30900 nimes - Tel: 0466640334

Nice & Cheap Places to Eat



There are about 60 Couchsurfers in Nîmes and its area. You can check the CS Group of Nîmes or simply a couchsearch to find and contact them.


There are sometimes some meetings organised in Nîmes, just check the CS Group of Nîmes to see what happen in the city and/or the Regional CS Group of Languedoc-Roussillon to see if there is any event in the area.

Coffee or a Drink

Here is a list of persons who are ready to have a drink with you and/or show you the city:


How to get to Nîmes

By Air Low cost airline fly from London Luton, EastMidland, Liverpool or Charleroi.

Check out Skyscanner to find the cheapest time to come. Otherwise try the airline direct:

By Train

By Bus Various couch companies operate services from other parts of France, Europe.

By Road A9 and A54 are two highways from many locations in France, Spain and Italy. Many CS have successfully hitch-hiked to Nîmes from various locations some have even cycled!

By Car




  • Police Station:

Tel: 17

  • Health Urgency:

Tel: 15 or 112

  • Hospital:
  • Fireman Station:

Tel: 18

  • Embassy:
  • Emergency Doctor:

Tel: 04 66 76 11 11 (from 8 a.m to 8 p.m, including the saturdays, sundays and days off)
Tel: 3624 (24h/24)