Are you planning a trip to the beautiful city of Nîmes in Southern France? Then don’t miss the opportunity to visit Place de l’Horloge, one of the city’s most iconic landmarks, located in the heart of the old town. In this article, I will provide you with all the information you need to know about this beautiful square, including its history, location, and what to see and do once you’re there.
History of Place de l’Horloge
Place de l’horloge (Clock Tower Square), dates back to the Roman era, when Nîmes was a major regional capital. During this time, the square was used for public gatherings and was home to many important buildings, including the forum, the capitol, and the courthouse.
The square was rebuilt during the 17th century, during the reign of Louis XIV, and was redesigned in the classical style that was popular at the time. The centerpiece of the square is the clock tower, which was built in 1752 and has become an iconic symbol of the city.
Location of Place de l’Horloge
The Place de l’horloge is located in the heart of the old town of Nîmes, a few minutes walk from the famous Roman arena and the Maison Carrée. The square is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings, many of which have been converted into cafes, restaurants, and boutiques.
The easiest way to get to Place de l’horloge is by foot, as it is located in the pedestrianized area of the city. If you are coming by car, there are several public parking lots nearby, but we recommend using public transportation or a taxi to avoid the hassle of finding parking.
What to see and do at Place de l’Horloge
One of the main attractions of Place de l’horloge is the clock tower, which stands at the center of the square and dominates the surrounding buildings. The tower is decorated with beautiful sculptures and features a clock face on each side, as well as a bell that chimes every hour.
In addition to the clock tower, Place de l’horloge is surrounded by beautiful historic buildings and stores that are worth exploring such as the Shopping Mall La Coupole Des Halles or even the 135 years old traditional market Les Halles de Nîmes, located bellow La Coupole des Halles, I recommend you to visit it the morning. If you are looking for a place to relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the square, there are several cafes and restaurants around the perimeter where you can sit and watch the world go by. Many of these establishments offer outdoor seating, which is perfect for people-watching on a sunny day. I recommend you to order a café or refreshing “Perrier tranche” at Le Bistrot de l’Horloge. If you are craving for some snacks, then I recommend you to get a Fougasse at the traditional Bakery Store Maison Villaret
Finally, the Place de l’horloge is home to several events throughout the year, including concerts, markets, and festivals especially during the Feria and Jeudis de Nîmes . These events are a great way to experience the local culture and traditions and to mingle with the locals.
Place de l’horloge is a beautiful and historic square that is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Nîmes. Its impressive clock tower, beautiful historic buildings, and lively atmosphere make it a unique attraction that is sure to leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you are interested in history, architecture, or just want to soak up the local culture, Place de l’horloge has something to offer everyone. So, make sure to add this iconic square to your itinerary and experience the beauty and charm of Nîmes for yourself.