Arch of Germanicus - History and Facts | History Hit

Arch of Germanicus

Saintes, New Aquitaine, France

The Arch of Germanicus is a Roman arch constructed in 19AD to honour Emperor Tiberius, his son Drusus and his adopted son Germanicus.

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About Arch of Germanicus

The Arch of Germanicus (Arc de Germanicus) is a Roman era arch in Saintes which was constructed in 19AD.

Arch of Germanicus history

The arch was built to honour Roman Emperor Tiberius, his son Drusus and his adopted son Germanicus. Germanicus was the nephew of Tiberius and brother to Emperor Claudius. He was a successful Roman general and won a series of impressive victories against the Germanic tribes, hence his honourary name. The Arch of Germanicus celebrated these victories and honoured the commander, who had died the year before.

The Arch of Germanicus once stood at the head of a Roman bridge  but on the proposal of Prosper Mérimée in 1843, it was moved fifteen metres during works on quays along the river, and was eventually restored in 1851.

Arch of Germanicus today

Today the Arch of Germanicus stands near the river, right next to Paule’s place, and is open to view and visit. 15.9 metres long and 15 metres high, it is one of the best preserved Roman remains in the city of Saintes.

Visitors can sit by the spectacular Arch on a sunny day and watch the boats go by.

Getting to Arch of Germanicus

The Arch of Germanicus stands in the small city of Saintes, which is located in the department of Charente-Maritime of the french region Poitou-Charentes. The city is roughly 120km (1hr 30min drive) north of Bordeaux and 80km (1hr drive) south of La Rochelle on the western coast of France. The address of the Arch is Place Bassompierre, 17100 Saintes.

The site is very accessible from the road with free parking closeby. Brief information is provided at the arch, but a leaflet from the tourist office may very weel prove to be more helpful.

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