The city of Nîmes has welcomed the inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List of its emblematic Maison Carrée, a Roman temple built in the first century AD. This addition to the list is expected to attract more visitors and increase revenue for the southern French city.
“We will be worthy of this decision,” declared the mayor of Nîmes, Jean-Paul Fournier, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where the 45th is taking place.th The World Heritage Committee has added new sites since Saturday.
This well-preserved temple becomes the 51st temple in Francest site added to list.
The volcanoes and forests of Montagne Pelée and the Pitons of Northern Martinique were added to the list of natural sites at the start of the session.
Built in the Roman colony of Nemausus, the Maison Carrée in Nîmes is an example of early Roman architecture. Several important old buildings remain in the city, including the arenas, which still host shows and concerts.
The neighboring town of Arles, which also has a preserved Roman amphitheater as well as thermal baths and an ancient theater and the Pont du Gard aqueduct were included on the UNESCO list forty years ago.
The city of Nîmes applied for recognition in 2018, but the committee postponed its decision because experts did not like the proximity of ancient monuments to modern buildings.
The city then refocused its applications on the Maison Carrée, reopened to the public last year after a renovation.
The city said heritage listing will “generate an increase in tourism” and be a “real growth tool for the city” with significant financial rewards.