The Development of Tourism

As of the 16th century, voyagers came to discover the Roman monuments in Nîmes, which were described in the first "travel guide" published in 1552 by Charles Estienne. In the 18th century, many young English and German aristocrats stopped in Nîmes during their "Grand Tour," which lead them toward Italy. Likewise, in the 1770s, the Nîmes scholar Jean-François Séguier welcomed more than 1500 visitors from all over Europe. What was not yet altogether "tourism" would develop extensively with the arrival of the railroad and the founding in 1857 of the Compagnie PLM (Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée) coach lines, which used the images of Nîmes monuments in its advertizing. The establishment of a Tourist Office 1902 marked a subsequent phase in the organization of what had become a true economic activity. The substantial iconography produced as of the late 18th century, and which before the postcard was a souvenir of a trip, permits us to imagine the delight of tourists in the past…

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With funding from the
DRAC Languedoc Roussillon
Préfet du Languedoc-Roussillon
Investissements d'avenir
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