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Nîmes is a city and commune of southern France. It is the préfecture (capital) of the Gard département. Nîmes has a rich history, dating back to the Roman Empire, and is a popular tourist destination.
The city derives its name from that of a spring, Nemausus, in the Roman village. The contemporary symbol and shield of the city of Nîmes includes a crocodile chained to a palm tree with the inscription 'COLNEM', an abbreviation of 'Colonia Nemausus', meaning the 'colony' or 'settlement' of Nemausus. Veterans of the Roman legions who had served Julius Caesar in his Nile campaigns, at the end of fifteen years of soldiering, were given plots of land to cultivate on the plain of Nîmes.
Nîmes was located on the Via Domitia, a Roman road constructed in 118 BC, connecting Italy to Spain.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia