This marvel is the most well preserved ancient monument in France and the only Roman temple in the world that has remained entirely intact. Built between 20 and 12 BC, the Maison Carrée dominated the Forum (the administrative and economic heart of the Roman city).
Dedicated to the emperor Augustus' heirs - Caius and Lucius Caesar - its architecture and decoration were inspired by the temples of Apollon and Mars Ultor in Rome. 26 metres long and 17 metres high, the Maison Carrée presents beautiful and harmonious elements of Classical architecture.
The façades are composed of Corinthian columns, six in front and eleven on each side. Fifteen steps lead to the “pronaos”, the vestibule, bordered by colonnades. Inside, the "cella”, or sanctuary, housed the statue of the divinity which, in this case would have been that of the emperor and his grandsons.
In the centuries that followed the fall of the Roman empire, the building served successively as consular house, canons' house, stable, seat of the first prefecture of the Gard, before becoming the departmental archives. Restoration work in the 19th century, during the 1990s and again between 2006 and 2008 have have restored the temple to its former glory.
Inside, you can watch projections of a 3D film entitled "Nemausus – the Birth of Nîmes".
Corinthian capitals and the 19th century panelled ceiling of the pronaos carved with roses
North façade of the Maison Carrée, Corinthian pilasters and ornaments
The Place de la Maison Carrée in Nîmes
Maison Carrée - Place de la Maison Carrée - 30000 Nîmeshttp://www.maisoncarree.eu