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Maison Carrée

The Maison Carrée in the center of Nîmes was built in 16 BC by Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, the original patron of Rome's Pantheon. One of the best preserved temples anywhere in Rome's former empire of Roman Provence. The Maison Carrée was dedicated to Gaius Julius Caesar and Lucius Caesar, Marcus Agrippa's two sons and the adopted heirs of Augustus. The original inscription dedicating the temple to Gaius and Lucius was removed in Medieval times, but reconstructed in 1758, reading: "To Gaius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul; to Lucius Caesar, son of Augustus, Consul designate; to the princes of youth."


The temple owes its preservation to the fact that it was rededicated as a Christian church in the fourth century, saving it from the widespread destruction of temples that followed the adoption of Christianity as Rome's official state religion. It subsequently became a meeting hall for Nîme's consuls, a canon's house, a stable during the French Revolution and a storehouse for the city archives. It became a museum after 1823.

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