Rendez-vous at the Antique Théâtre and the Musée d'Art & d'Histoire in Orange
A vestige of imperial Rome: The Ancient Theatre in Orange
Located in the city of Orange in Provence, the Théâtre Antique (Ancient Theatre) is certainly one of the finest vestiges of imperial Rome. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the best-preserved Roman theatre in the West. It owes its fame largely to its magnificent scaenae frons (stage wall), unique in the West for its state of preservation. A focal point for entertainment during the Roman period, the theatre is still used today to the great pleasure of music-lovers throughout the world.
Visit this impressive building erected under Emperor Augustus in the first century CE. An audioguide and a film will allow you to appreciate the history behind the ancient theatre.
Opposite the theatre is the Musée d’Art et d’Histoire (Art and History Museum), installed in a 17th-century townhouse built for Georges Van Cuyl, a Dutchman in charge of munitions at the château of the princes of Orange (which once stood on the hill of Saint-Eutrope above the theatre). The townhouse has retained its original staircase, windows, French-style ceilings and stucco-work fireplace. Today it hosts a rich collection of furnishings and objects, retracing the history of Orange from antiquity to the 19th century.
Finally, experience two thousand years of the theatre’s history via a new multimedia presentation, Les Fantômes du Théâtre (The Phantoms of the Theatre) – a thrilling voyage back to the Roman empire.
Getting to the Roman Theatre
The Roman Theatre is located in the centre of Orange, at 30 mins from Avignon.
- By road: A7 and A9 motorways, Orange centre exit or main road 7, Orange centre exit. Free car park 800 meters away.
- By bus from the railway station.
- By train: Avignon-TGV station.
- By plane: Avignon, Marseille and Montpellier airports.