Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cassinomagus Gallo-Roman Archaeological Site

My husband Laurent and I began our journey to the village of Chassenon in the Limousin, which marks the beginning of the south of France. You can easily detect if you are in the south of France by looking at the roof tiles; those in the south of France have orange half-circle roof tiles.

At the end of our route through highways and county roads, we crossed into the Charente département where we found Chassenon. Outside this village, you can find the Cassinomagus Gallo-Roman archaeological site, dating around 200 C.E. The French often vex Italians by telling them that their country has just as many archaeological sites as Italy. The French also compete with the Italians to turn these sites into venues for concerts, theatrical works, lectures, and workshops in addition to guided tours.

So far the Cassinomagus excavations have brought to light baths on three levels, a large temple, 49 water channels, two small temples, one theater, and an aqueduct according to the informative brochure from the visitor’s center. If you can understand French, you can download this brochure from their website (www.cassinomagus.fr). Suspended boardwalks allow you to walk above the baths under a roof. You can visit the rest of the site on foot.

Cassinomagus is a prime example of French cultural tourism with English tours now being offered in the summer. The visitor’s brochure, though, lists many examples of how to make an archaeological site part of the intellectual life of a community as well as a site for relaxation, cultural activities, workshops for children, and cultural activities. I have chosen several of the activities at Cassinomagus for the 2012 year in its French-language visitor’s brochure as suggestions for making local historical sites a sought after place to visit no matter where one lives.

Via Belle Vie Reviews and More: Charente, France - Cassinomagus Gallo-Roman Archaeological Site