NÎMES: (Gard département, Languedoc) Print
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A city and commune of southern France, capital of the Gard département, the city with a population of 130,000 derives its name from Nemausus 'Fro'The Source''. Denim fabric gets its name from this city (de Nîmes). Founded by Emperor Augustus in 2nd century BC, this major Roman colony became a Huguenot (Protestant) stronghold in 16th century. In front of the arena of Nîmes, this imposing Roman monument dates from the end of the 1st century, a period of the big dispersion of Jewish people. Jewish slaves of Rome participated in this building. In her surrounding wall in 7th century, the nîmois who wanted to protect their Jews against expulsion decreed by the Visigoth King Wamba were castigated. Enter the medieval city. La rue de l'étoile adjoined bulwarks; it was allocated to the Jews returning from banishment in 1359, but they, fearing stones thrown from the path around the battlements, asked for another place of residence. It was granted to them in a short distance to the mill on the rue des Juifs (actually rue Fresco), then the rue de Bernis where Bernard LAZARE was born (nice stone tablet). Here is a Maison Carrée, a Roman temple: admire its harmonious lines, its smart Corinthian style, and its rare state of conservation. Facing her is the recent multimedia library where you can ask to see a rich collection of Hebrew manuscripts. Relax in the Gardens of the Fountain, a harmony of greenery and stones, with romantic ruins and the [sommitale?] and the emblematic Tour Magne. From there, go up the hills to Mont du Plan. On the North Slope, in the Middle Ages, were buried our fellow believers with fees to the ecclesiastical owner of these places. Go back down in city with a look at the door of Italy, said to be about Augustus, and reach behind the cathedral where the Jewish quarter was before 1306 with its synagogue the site of which is without trace (Hôtel de la Prévôté). Not far from there, rue Crémieux says that in this city Adolphe Crémieux, future minister, was born, lived, pleaded until the age of 34 years, and rose against solemn promise "more judaïco" and rue St Castor where a plaque signals the birthplace of Gaston Milhaud, mathematician, philosopher, professor at the Sorbonne. Go to the synagogue; two centuries old; its structure and Elie's armchair reminds us of the synagogues of Comtat Venaissin from whence from came its construction workers. You will end this visit by the burying ground. A.C.I.N.G. and Synagogue: 40, rue Roussy - 30000 NIMES, Tél 04-66-29-51-81, Fax 04-66-21-60-68. Centre Communautaire: 5, rue d'Angoulême - 30000 NIMES, Tél 04-66-76-27-64, E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tél 04-66-29-25-29. [January 2008]

 

Cimetière Municipal du Pont de Justice: Rue André Simon. Responsible: M. Albert TARAGANO, Tél 04-66-71-18-55 Discover the tombs of both rabbis delegated to the Sanhédrin of Napoleon, those of the four grandparents of Bernard LAZARE, and there in the middle of Milhaud, Crémieu, Carcassonne, Vidal and other [comtadins], to which were added tombs with Ashkenazi or Turkish names and the more recent tombs of our fellow believers from North Africa whose families now form the active core of our community. And you will not go out of it without having meditated seriously in front of the monument in memory of deaths in deportation among whom appears one fifth of the community of 1939. [January 2008]

Cimetière Mont Duplan: In the 11th century, Mont Duplan, one of the hills within the city walls, was called Poium Judaicum and was the site of a Jewish cemetery. [January 2008]