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Tourism in Saintes - Charente Maritime. A trip to the Gallo Roman times with its arcs and arenas

Two thousand years of history in one location, Saintes, along the Charente river, from the Roman era to nowadays...

Book on-line a BnB or a cottage at Saintes for a trip to the Gallo Roman times

Under the emperor Auguste, Agrippa had opened an important way from Lyon, capital of Gaul, which led to Saintes, then a Gallo-Roman city, to the capital of the large Roman province of Aquitaine. The way crossed the river there then continued towards Bordeaux.

On the bridge which crossed Charente was set up the Roman arc of Germanicus built by year 18 or 19 after DC by Caius Julius Rufus. Located close to the arc of Germanicus, the Archaeological Museum gathers one of the most important collections of Gallo-Roman monumental pieces in France with Roman vestiges, columns, capitals, low-reliefs. There one can see also an extraordinary masterpiece, the vestiges of a roman chariot of parade.

The town of Mediolanum Santonum, capital of Santons under the Roman domination, was built on the left bank of the Charente river. The amphitheater, better known under the name "Arenas of Saintes", was built by years 40-50 DC under the reign of the Emperor Claudius. It is resting on the sides of the Small valley named the Arenas valley. It could seat 15 to 18 thousands. At the center of ring, one may easily imagine to be the gladiator with the crowd attending the spectacle...

While strolling, you will undoubtedly go down the Palissy wharf on the left bank of the Charente river and you will stop in front of the statue of Bernard Palissy on the right bank. Bernard Palissy (1510 - 1590) had installed his ceramics workshop at Saintes. The legend says that to discover the secrecy of enamel, he burned his furniture into his kiln. You will also discover several churches remembering the tumultuous religious history of the city.

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Book on-line a BnB or a cottage at Saintes for a trip to the Gallo Roman times

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