Orange, located in northern Avignon, in the Vaucluse department, is a city steeped in history. The tourist destination is famous for its vestiges, treasures of antiquity such as the Roman theater and the Triumphal Arch of Orange. If you are interested in history, visit the Art and History Museum of Orange, which includes a Gallo-Roman section and a section dedicated to the history of the city. A visit to the city center of Orange, alone or with a guide, will take you from the old medieval ramparts to the private mansions, passing by the public fountain and the municipal theater.
Orange is also renowned for its rich natural heritage. The latter favors vine growing. In Orange, you will be able to taste prestigious vintage wines such as Gigondas or Châteauneuf du Pape. On market days, you will appreciate the typical Provencal charm that emanates from the colorful and scented stalls. Local producers offer a wide variety of products, from regional culinary specialties to local crafts.
During your holiday in Orange, take advantage of the events organized by the town throughout the year, and in the surrounding towns and villages. In summer, classical music has the place of honor at the Chorégies d’Orange festival. The event is one of the oldest in France. Every year, musicians and amateurs meet in the privileged setting of the ancient theater to enjoy the show.
Roman Theater of Orange
Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Roman theater of Orange is today the best preserved in Europe, mostly for its stage wall. Dating from the beginning of the Christian era, it could accommodate 9,000 spectators to spread Roman culture and language. Different shows were presented: tragedies, comedies, but also dance, acrobatics and juggling. The building was also used for the defense of the city because of its location at the foot of the hill. The theater finally regained its function as a performance venue in the 19th century. The monument was then restored. The theater, renowned in the country and in the world, now hosts various cultural events such as the Chorégies.
Triumphal Arch of Orange
The Triumphal Arch of Orange is one of the oldest and largest. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it represents Provençal Roman art. It is located on Via Agrippa and symbolizes the supremacy of Rome. Built as a tribute to the founding veterans, it marked the boundary between the world of the dead and the ancient city. Today it is one of the emblematic tourist sites of the city. It is more than 19 meters high and more than 8 meters wide. It consists of three bays, and numerous decorations carved in limestone.
Orange cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Nazareth. Formerly a meeting place for the principality’s general assemblies, it then became a temple of the Goddess of Reason during the French Revolution. The church has undergone various architectural improvements: new frescoes, stained glass windows and neo-classical-style portal. Listed as a historical monument, the cathedral was destroyed then rebuilt several times, always in the same place. Today, it regains its prestige especially during the Mass of the Chorégies. Inside, you can discover seven chapels dedicated respectively to Saint Eutrope, the Sacred Heart, Saint Joseph, Saint Anthony of Padua, the Virgin Mary, Saint Anne and the Blessed Martyrs of Orange.
Art and History Museum
Housed in a 17th century mansion, facing the Roman theater, the Art and History Museum of Orange is organized into several sections, one of which is devoted to the Gallo-Roman period and another to the history of the town, from prehistory to the present day. There, you can discover documents, paintings, decorations, etc. The building also houses Roman cadasters engraved in marble, portraits of personalities who have marked the history of the city, testimonies and reconstructions of decoration of the time.
Garden of Saint-Eutrope Hill
Saint-Eutrope hill overlooks the city and the Rhône. It offers an exceptional panorama from the countryside nearby to Mont Ventoux. This park is ideal for a family outing, thanks to the children’s play areas, or for a sports session. Here you can admire historical relics such as the castle of the Princes of Nassau, but also the platform of the Roman Capitol. The site is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Tourist Office of Orange: http://www.orange-tourisme.fr/fr
- Road service: A7 Highway (from Lyon or Marseille), A9 Highway (from Montpellier)
- Air access: Nîmes Airport (45 minutes), Marseille Provence Airport (1 hour)
- Railroad access: train station