Museum of Ancient Arles
The sleek, modern Musée de l'Arles Antique (Museum of Ancient Arles), is outside the city center of Arles but well worth the walk for those interested in ancient history. For those with cars, it is exceptionally handy; located right by the freeway and with its own spacious car park.
The Musée de l'Arles Antique opened in 1995, replacing and combining the collections of the former Museum of Christian Art and Museum of Pagan Art. The museum's unusual, ultra-modern triangular structure was designed by Henri Ciriani on the site of Arles' enormous Roman circus.
What to See
The museum evokes Arles at the peak of its importance. It encompasses models of ancient monuments, objects from daily life in Roman times, and a variety of religious art ranging from the prehistoric period to the 6th century AD.
Among the displays are one of the world's most famous collections of 4th-century Roman Christian sarcophagi as well as sculptures, mosaics, jewelry and inscriptions. Eleven detailed models show ancient monuments of the region as they existed in the past.
Many of the Christian sarcophagi are from the necropolis of the Alyscamps and the early Christian burial place of St. Genest in the modern suburb of Trinquetaille. Mostly dating from the 4th century AD, the sarcophagi are richly decorated with some of the earliest surviving Christian sculpture, depicting a combination of scenes from the Old and New Testaments.
One of the finest sarcophagi in the Museum of Ancient Arles is that known as the Sarcophagus of the Spouses (Sarcophage des epoux) or Trinity Sarcophagus (Sarcophagus de La Trinite), dating from the early 4th century. It was found in 1974 at Trinquetaille, still sealed, with the remains of a woman around age 50 and a man around 60 with war wounds. The elaborately carved Early Christian sarcophagus depicts the following scenes, all associated with salvation:
Quick Facts on the Museum of Ancient Arles
|Names:||Musée de l'Arles Antique; Musée de l'Arles et de la Provence Antique;; Museum of Ancient Arles|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||43.672590° N, 4.616404° E (view on Google Maps)|
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Map of the Museum of Ancient Arles
Below is a location map and aerial view of the Museum of Ancient Arles. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.
- Personal visit (June 29, 2008).
- Official website
- Museum of Ancient Arles - Go Historic
- Photos of Museum of Ancient Arles - here on Sacred Destinations
|Title:||Museum of Ancient Arles|
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