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Arles starts as a greek colony around 800 BC, and around 500 BC the celts took it over. It became really important around 50 BC because in one of the internal fights in the Roman Empire, Arles supported Julius Caesar, the winning side. After the war all trade in the area was transfered from Marseille to Arles, and most of the land in and around Arles was given to soldiers from the 6th legion.

In the first centuries AD Arles was an important town with a big influence, but like most towns in the area it was quite damaged under the early Middle Ages.

Later days Arles is often connected to the famous painter van Gogh. Although his stay in Arles was short, he made a lot of his masterpieces in Arles. It was his most productive period in life. Like so many artist before and after him he was fascinated by the special light in Provence.

Climate map of France

The climat is a typical Mediterrainian climat. Arles has more than 300 sunny days per year. The map shows "sun influx" over a year, with red for the most sun.

Climatological information for Arles, mean values over 30 years.

Climatological information for London, mean values over 30 years.

Some sights in Arles:

Amphitheater, built around 90 AD. Part of UNESCOs World Heritage. Built for 20 000 spectators. Today used mainly for bull fights, both the Spanish version (the bull is killed) and the Provancal version (the bull survives).

Roman theater, built in the first century BC. Part of UNESCOs World Heritage. Built for 10 000 spectators. Many musical performancies in the summer.

S:t Trophime's Cathedral. Built in the 10th and 11th century, with a famous roman facade.

S:t Trophime's Cloister, one of the most well known French cloisters.

The baths of Emperor Constantin, built in the 4th century.

Musee Reattu, with a donation from Picasso. Modern art and photos.

Van Gogh spent a year in Arles, towards the end as a patient in the hospital, Espace van Gogh.

In Arles there is an open air market every Saturday and Wednesday. It is in fact one of the biggest markets in Provence. Espescially on Saturdays you will find everything, vegetables, fish, meat, spices, olives, clothes...
Arles has a site with "what is going on in Arles"