Monday, 6 March 2017

Nimes : of fountains, crocodiles and blue jeans !!

What a spectacular history this city has!  Named for Nimausus, the genie of the sacred fountain, Nimes became part of the Roman Empire in 121 BC. 

All around the city you will see the distinctive city logo of a crocodile and a palm tree. This dates back to 31 BC when Octavius defeated Anthony and Cleopatra to conquer Egypt.  A coin was struck to commemorate the victory, and it was minted in Nimes.  It became the city's symbol, and is still prominently displayed.

The Jardine de la Fontaine is centred around the original spring, and the reservoir built by the Romans to hold water transported by the great Pont du Gard aqueduct to be distributed throughout Nimes.

In the first century BC the arena was built for the popular, if somewhat violent games.  The word arena stems from the Latin word for * sand *, as the floor was covered in sand, which was turned regularly during the festivities, getting rid of the sight and smell of blood!

The Jardine de la Fontaine that we see today was designed in 1745, following much of the original Roman layout.   Some of the canals and fountains are partly Roman. The watchtower on the hill is from the 1st century BC, and would have been a part of the city fortifications. 

In the 1700s the city's prosperity was closely tied to the textile industry.   The canal system was expanded and updated to ensure a reliable water source. 

Nimes is where denim originated. .. de Nimes !  In 1873 Levi Strauss ordered their first shipment.  The shipment number was 501, ... which is how Levis  501 jeans came to be.

I love this stuff !!!  Lots of pictures of this gorgeous city.

I'm off to the Pont  du Gard bridge and amazing aqueduct tomorrow!

Photos: February 25: Nimes
Photos: February 26: Nimes
Photos: February 28: Nimes
Photos: March 01: Nimes
Photos: March 02: Nimes
Photos: March 05: Nimes
Photos: March 06: Nimes