Triumphal Arch of Orange | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Triumphal Arch of Orange

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

Luke Tomes

24 Nov 2020
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Triumphal Arch of Orange

The Triumphal Arch of Orange (Arc de Triomphe d’Orange) is an Ancient Roman monumental gate, probably built during the reign of Augustus.

Triumphal Arch of Orange history

Originally built on what was via Agrippa, it is thought that the Triumphal Arch of Orange was built in honour of those who fought in the Gallic Wars, particularly the Second Legion. There is debate about when the arch was built, but current research that accepts the inscription as evidence favours a date during the reign of emperor Augustus.

Augustus also built other public works, such as the nearby theatre, to develop the region and more importantly to proclaim the might of Rome.

Tiberius, the successor of Augustus, rebuilt the original arch to commemorate the victories of Germanicus in Germany, which avenged their disastrous defeat in 9 AD at Teutoberg Forest. Interestingly it is believed that the Romans so liked the arch that they began to model other arches on it, including ones built in the Eternal City , as Rome was called by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC.

During the Middle Ages, the citizens of Orange integrated the arch into the walls of the city. It was the northern entrance to the city, and this may have spared it from demolition. In the 18th century, it inspired many French architects interested in classical architecture. The arch was first studied in 1850, and later became a national monument.

In 1983, the arch was awarded the prestigious status of a UNESCO World Heritage site and has been restored many times down the years.

Triumphal Arch of Orange today

Today, the Triumphal Arch of Orange is a UNESCO World Heritage site together with the nearby Roman Theatre of Orange. Extremely well preserved with its relief scenes of military events still decipherable, the Triumphal Arch of Orange is considered to be one of the most important existing relics of Roman Gaul.

There is no charge to view the monument and it is possible to walk around it and witness its remarkable carving, although some of the reliefs are too high to be seen clearly. It is a great site for photographs and people enjoy taking photographs at night when the arch is lit up. Because of the lights, many of the reliefs are easier to see after dark.

Getting to the Triumphal Arch of Orange

The site’s address is: The Arch of Orange, Avenue de l’Arc de Triomphe, 84100 Orange. The arch is situated not far from other wonderful medieval monuments or the famous Roman Theatre of Orange, which is still used as a venue for concerts and theatrical performances.

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

There is parking nearby.

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