Fodor's Expert Review Théâtre Antique
Directly up Rue de la Calade from Place de la République, you'll find these ruins of a theater built by the Romans under Augustus in the 1st century BC. It's here that the noted Venus of Arles statue, now in the Louvre, was dug up and identified. The theater was once an entertainment venue that held 10,000 people, and is now a pleasant, parklike retreat. Only two columns of the amphitheater's stage walls and one row of arches remain; the fine local stone was used to build early Christian churches. Only a few vestiges of the original stone benches are left, along with the two great Corinthian columns. Today the ruins are a stage for the Festival d'Arles, in July and August, and site of Les Recontres d'Arles (Photography Festival) from early July to mid-September. During these festivals, check for early closing hours.