Originally a simple Gaulish settlement built by the Salluvii around a sacred spring in the 6th century BC, the city later expanded due to contact with the ancient Greeks. This resulted in the extension of the residential area and the construction of buildings in the Hellenistic style. In the Roman period, Glanum benefited from the creation of the via Domitia and became a Roman colony in the early years of Augustus’ reign (27 BC – AD14).
Today, Glanum is particularly known for two well-preserved Roman monuments of the first century BC, known locally as “Les Antiques”: a mausoleum (one of the best-preserved monuments from the ancient world) and a triumphal arch (one of the earliest built in France). The ruins of the residential area sit in a narrow valley sloping up from the north to the higher southern end. At the northern end was the residential quarter, with the public baths, and at the south end was the sacred quarter, with the spring and grotto. In the centre was the monumental quarter, the site of the forum and public buildings.