Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange

Roman Theatre and its Surroundings and the “Triumphal Arch” of Orange

The Théâtre antique d’Orange (“Ancient Theatre of Orange”) is an ancient Roman theatre, in Orange, southern France, built early in the 1st century AD. It is owned by the municipality of Orange and is the home of the summer opera festival, the Chorégies d’Orange.

It is one of the best preserved of all the Roman theatres in the Roman colony of Arausio (or, more specifically, Colonia Julia Firma Secundanorum Arausio: “the Julian colony of Arausio established by the soldiers of the second legion”) which was founded in 40 BC. Playing a major role in the life of the citizens, who spent a large part of their free time there, the theatre was seen by the Roman authorities not only as a means of spreading Roman culture to the colonies, but also as a way of distracting them from all political activities.

Mime, pantomime, poetry readings and the “attelana” (a kind of farce rather like the commedia dell’arte) was the dominant form of entertainment, much of which lasted all day. For the common people, who were fond of spectacular effects, magnificent stage sets became very important, as was the use of stage machinery. The entertainment offered was open to all and free of charge.

As the Western Roman Empire declined during the 4th century, by which time Christianity had become the official religion, the theatre was closed by official edict in AD 391 since the Church opposed what it regarded as uncivilized spectacles. After that, the theatre was abandoned completely. It was sacked and pillaged by the “barbarians” and was used as a defensive post in the Middle Ages. During the 16th-century religious wars, it became a refuge for the townspeople.

Outline
The Théâtre antique d'Orange ("Ancient Theatre of Orange") is an ancient Roman theatre, in Orange, southern France, built early in the 1st century AD.

Recommended world heritage video

  1. Ironbridge Gorge

    Ironbridge Gorge

  2. Monastic Island of Reichenau

    Monastic Island of Reichenau

  3. Frontiers of the Roman Empire

    Frontiers of the Roman Empire

  1. Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

    Ensemble of the Ferrapontov Monastery

  2. Medieval Town of Torun

    Medieval Town of Torun

  3. City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg

    City of Graz – Historic Centre and Schloss Eggenberg

  1. La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

    La Lonja de la Seda de Valencia

  2. Engelsberg Ironworks

    Engelsberg Ironworks

  3. Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

    Historic Fortified City of Carcassonne

  1. Upper Middle Rhine Valley

    Upper Middle Rhine Valley

  2. Works of Antoni Gaudí

    Works of Antoni Gaudí

  3. Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

    Citadel, Ancient City and Fortress Buildings of Derbent

  1. La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, watchmaking town planning

    La Chaux-de-Fonds / Le Locle, watchmaking town planning

  2. Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims

    Cathedral of Notre-Dame, Former Abbey of Saint-Remi and Palace of Tau, Reims

  3. Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

    Abbey and Altenmünster of Lorsch

  1. Semmering Railway

    Semmering Railway

  2. Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

    Renaissance Monumental Ensembles of Úbeda and Baeza

  3. The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

    The Four Lifts on the Canal du Centre and their Environs, La Louvière and Le Roeulx (Hainault)

  1. Historic Centre of Évora

    Historic Centre of Évora

  2. Meteora

    Meteora

  3. Schokland and Surroundings

    Schokland and Surroundings

  1. Our Lady of Ljeviš

    Our Lady of Ljeviš

  2. Historic Centre of Riga

    Historic Centre of Riga

  3. Old Rauma

    Old Rauma

  1. Antonine Wall

    Antonine Wall

  2. Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

    Ferrara, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta

  3. Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

    Lavaux, Vineyard Terraces

  1. Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar

    Historic Centres of Stralsund and Wismar

  2. Warszawa

    Warszawa

  3. Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

    Canterbury Cathedral, St. Augustine’s Abbey, and St. Martin’s Church

  1. Wartburg Castle

    Wartburg Castle

  2. Lugo

    Lugo

  3. Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

    Early Christian Monuments of Ravenna

  1. Las Médulas

    Las Médulas

  2. Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena

    Cathedral, Torre Civica and Piazza Grande, Modena

  3. Old City of Zamość

    Old City of Zamość

  1. Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

    Cathedral, Alcázar and Archivo de Indias in Seville

  2. Historic Areas of Istanbul

    Historic Areas of Istanbul

  3. The Wadden Sea

    The Wadden Sea

facebook comments
Comment
To the Top