Roman Theatre of Orange | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Roman Theatre of Orange

Orange, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur, France

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020

About Roman Theatre of Orange

The Roman Theatre of Orange, known locally as the Theatre Antique, is a stunningly well-preserved first century theatre and one of the best preserved Roman sites in the world.

Roman Theatre of Orange history

Dating back to the rule of Augustus (31 BC to 14 AD), the Roman Theatre of Orange is an incredible site and one of the largest existing theatres of its kind, able to hold up to 10,000 spectators.

Each tier had its own gates and entrance tunnel (ambulacrum), and spectators could not access one tier to another once inside the theatre. The seats of the first three rows were reserved for VIPs such as the municipal councillors (decurions), and some still bear inscriptions. Although now restored, some of the original seating is still in situ at the top sections near either side of the stage.

The façade wall of the Roman Theatre of Orange is an impressive 338 feet long and 121 feet high and the structure still retains its original stage. This is despite the fact that the Prince of Orange, Maurice of Nassau, damaged it in the seventeenth century by using it as a quarry for building materials.

Roman Theatre of Orange today

Today, the Roman Theatre of Orange is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage historic site together with the Triumphal Arch of Orange.

It is still used as a theatre, meaning that visitors can enjoy a play in its incredible and historically evocative surroundings. There are also audio guides included in the entry prices (seven languages) and guided tours are offered.

Getting to the Roman Theatre of Orange

The address of the Roman Theatre of Orange is Rue Madeleine Roch – 84100 Orange. The theatre is located in the centre of Orange, roughly 30 mins from Avignon. If travelling by car take either the A7 or A9 motorways (depending on direction and source of travel), take Orange centre exit or main road 7, Orange centre exit. There is a free car park 800 meters away from the site.

The closest train station is Avignon-TGV station and the nearest airports are in the city of Marseille, Montpellier and Avignon.

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