Arles is a city in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.
The Rhône river forks into two branches just upstream of Arles, forming the Camargue delta.
Because the Camargue is administratively part of Arles, the commune as a whole is the largest commune in France in terms of territory, although its population is only slightly more than 50,000.
Its area is 759 km², which is seven times the area of Paris.
Arles is an ancient town, having been established by the Greeks as early as the 6th century BC under the name of Theline.
It was captured by the Celtic Salluvii in 535 BC, who renamed it to Arelate.
The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC.
However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseille) further along the coast.
Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support.
Massalia made the mistake of backing Pompey;
when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward.
The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there.
Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, "the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth."
For a more information about Arles see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arles) December 2005
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in December 2005. E. & O.E.
In 2006 Hui Chin and I spent some time to check out what Arles had to offer us.
The place has some history for sure.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
Thanks for coming, I hope you
have enjoyed it, will recommend
it to your friends, and will come
back later to see my site developing