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Nice Roman Ruins

September 16, 2010

Just back from a brief holiday break (my only one this year) in Nice (Cote d’Azur, France), one of the more serious attractions there being a Roman arena and remains of a Roman-era baths complex.  There is also a well-ordered archaeological museum linked to the site, which includes a model-reconstruction of the baths and a number of other interesting items.

There is also a smaller but interesting archaeological museum in Antibes, just down the road/rail-line from Nice.

So, in addition to spectacular scenery (bays, beaches, mountains in the distance), great food, and sunny skies, for Roman-era buffs like me these Roman sites make the visit informative as well as enjoyable.  I recommend a visit if you have the chance.

By the way, public baths were very much central in Roman-era cities, often one of the key building projects early on when the Romans came to town to stay.  They were typically elaborate complexes, rather like some modern fitness centres, with hot, warm, and cool pools, exercise areas, etc.  And they were places where people with the leisure time to do so were able to meet, establish and further relationships, etc.  One exercised nude, of course.  So, there were typically different times for men and women.  Oh, and public baths help explain why male circumcision was so much more an issue.  In a public bath, everyone could tell!  I include below a few photos.  The second one features the pool in the lower right-hand area of the reconstruction. 

Nice: Reconstruction of Roman baths complex

Nice: Roman bath pool

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