Now in this famous Roman theatre every summer (in July) the Chorégies d’Orange music festivals are held. The program of each festival includes oratorios, operas and orchestral concerts and throughout the year there are concerts of rock, jazz, folk music and cinematic soundtracks.
The semicircular Ancient Theatre of Orange (Théâtre antique d’Orange) is one of the best preserved ancient theatres. (Its rear wall is over 100 m in length, the central niche contains a 3 meter high beautiful statue of the emperor Augustus). The theatre located in the southern part of the Old City is «built into» the slope of Saint-Eutrope Hill. There is an excellent acoustics here that allows the spectators (which may be not less than 9 thousand) to hear literally every word of the actors. The hill itself (in which the seats are cut down) and the large stretched awning protect the audience from the possible bad weather.
There you can spend a lovely weekend – the spectators are shown dances, songs, clown improvisation and farces. Also, sometimes (in case of senior guests’ arrival) the excerpts from Greek tragedies in Latin are demonstrated.
If you climb the Saint-Eutrope Hill (by Albert Lambert Rise from Pourtoules Street) you will get right above the stage and will be able to view and capture the view of the theatre in general. The short-existed ruins of the Counts’ of Orange castle (in 1673, it was destroyed by Louis 14 and forty years later the principality of Orange became the part of France) are also well seen from here.
Next to the theatre there is the city of the Municipal Museum (where the documents pertaining to the dynasty of Orange, including a portrait of the founder of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, William the Silent) are stored.
In the northern part of Orange one can also see the Triumphal Arch (Arc de Triomphe), 19 meters high with bas-reliefs erected in 20 B.C. in honour of the victories of the 2nd Roman legion and Julius Caesar over the Gauls.
It is worth visiting the old town and see the squares with fountains, the houses with ancient porticoes and charming courtyards. And also the other attractions of Orange: the Castle of the Princes of Orange (Château des Princes d'Orange), the Church of Saint Florent (Église Saint Florent), the Cathedral of Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-Nazareth) and Aristide-Briand Avenue (Cours Aristide-Briand).