Arles

Like many in Provence, Arles is ancient city. It was first established in the 6th century BC by the Greeks. The Romans took control in 123 BC and constructed a canal from it all the way to the Mediterranean Sea. The city reached its peak during the 4th and 5th centuries, when it was frequently used as headquarters for Roman Emperors during military campaigns. Arles has a wealth of antiquities and ruins including the medieval wall which still surrounds the city and the ancient coliseum where, unfortunately, bull fights are still fought today. During his stay stay between February 1888 and May 1889, Van Gogh did about 300 paintings and drawings in Arles. It was in this city where he painted The Cafe Terrance, and it’s also where he cut off part of his ear after an argument with Gauguin. On our first full day of our river cruise, we remained docked in Arles. We took an extensive walking tour of the city in the morning, and then went off on our own in the afternoon.