Jan 23, 2010

The Arènes de Lutèce is a public park, accessible by entrances on three sides. One is a passageway through the building at 47, rue Monge, the second is a long open corridor (vomitoir) accessible from rue de Navarre through a gate, the third is through the Square Capitan from its entrance at 10, rue des Arènes.The open seating of the arena is backed by banks of grass, shade trees, and a romantic garden. There are lots of tucked-away places to sit with a book or enjoy a picnic. Standing in the center of the arena one can still observe significant remnants of the stage and its nine niches, as well as the grilled cages in the wall. The stepped bleachers are not original, but historians believe that 41 arched openings punctuated the façade.

The Arènes are pleasant to visit during spring and summer, when the amphitheater is taken over by students enjoying an outdoor lunch, children playing soccer, or men engaged in the venerable game of pétanque (boules). Built toward the end of the first century A.D. on the slopes of the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève outside Lutèce, it used as a theater, circus, and sporting arena. The style of construction is rare for an amphitheater of its period, different from the round or classical oval style.

Station on paris metro : Place monge, Cardinal Lemoine, Jussieu