|photo credit:Marc Ryckaert |
The arch is looking less triumphant than its original incarnation. Go to Orange if you want to see a really first rate arch. But the arch and the mausoleum both have some nice stone carving.
The site also has a detached feel to it. It is separated from Glanum proper by a busy modern road, and in fact it is next door to the car park for the site. The archway gapes wide, but beyond it there is no sign of the road that once went through it....just a ravine that one assumes is the result of significant post Roman erosion.
The site has additionally suffered over the years from looting, as it was yet another of the places where Nostradamus cryptically hinted at buried treasure. Nostradamus lived just up the road in St. Remy, and knew the site well.
Another undoubted visitor to the site regrettably must have been unimpressed with it. Just across the road, in a medieval building partially made of robbed out stones from Glanum, Vincent Van Gogh spent the most troubled, but also the most artistically productive year of his life there. Here is a listing of the paintings he did while confined at the Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum. The place was of course named for the mausoleum shown above.
But did Van Gogh bother to do a single canvas depicting any Roman relics? No he did not. And the worlds of art and of archeology are the poorer for it.
Tips to visit. "Les Antiques" are just sitting by the side of the road. Supposedly you pay to park but there was nobody collecting money. It is an easy walk, but with narrow road shoulders, from St. Remy about a mile away. The Saint-Paul-de-Mausole asylum is also open to visitors. There is an admission fee. You can see some interesting depictions of scenes as Van Gogh saw them and compare to the current day. There is also a Roman quarry near the site. In the center is an isolated pillar 23 meters high. It is felt that Roman stone cutters left a section au natural to show how much stone they had excavated over the years.