Saint-Romain-en-Gal, Rhône, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Saint-Romain-en-Gal is a French commune located in the department of Rhône in region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is part of the Vienne Condrieu Agglomeration community. Its population is around 1,850 inhabitants. It is part of the Pilat Regional Natural Park. It shares an important Gallo-Roman site with Sainte-Colombe in the south-east.

The municipality of Saint-Romain-en-Gal is located in the urban area of Vienne and in its urban unit, on the right bank of the Rhône inside a bend in the river, opposite the city of Vienne, and about thirty kilometers south of Lyon. Saint-Romain-en-Gal is a commune in the Rhône department in eastern France. It is located 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Lyon, on the west bank of the River Rhône. Vienne, Isère is on the opposite bank of the river and the two settlements are linked by a footbridge and a road bridge.

History
In Saint-Romain-en-Gal, you will discover at every street corner something to amaze you: a ruin of the Roman wall of the city, stones from the Gallo-Roman period that were used in the construction of the Saint-Maurice cathedral, a Gallo-Roman museum located on the remains of an ancient ancient city…

In Antiquity, Saint-Romain-en-Gal was a vast residential and commercial district of Vienne (Vienna), then one of the main cities of Roman Gaul. There is notably the Palace of the Mirror. The site extends to the south on Sainte-Colombe-les-Vienne after an empty space of a few hectares.

A first pottery workshop was discovered between 1977 and 1978 80 m north of the archaeological site. It is active from the middle of i st century and produces only limestone pulp ceramics (jugs, mortars, pots with two handles and bowls to reentrant edge and rounded lip).

Another workshop is discovered northeast of the archaeological site. It is linked to the first phase of occupation of the site.

A third workshop left a pit in the Maison des Dieux Océan, and seems to have been slightly earlier than that of La Muette in Lyon (the latter being dated15 BC J.-C. at 15 apr. AD). It produces cups of Aco from20 BC J.-C.. It also produces cups glaze, the Muette does not produce but are also manufactured by workshop Loyasse – the latter located in the 5 th district or the 9 th district of Lyon, is generally dated years30 BC J.-C. at 15 BC J.-C.. Goblets of Saint-Romain bear the only signature of Aco, which is rare in Gaul: this signature without partner / s is only found (in 1985) at Bibracte, Gergovie and Puys-de- Voingt and it is not ‘is produced neither by la Muette nor by Loyasse.

On the other hand, Saint-Romain does not have goblets marked PHILARCVRVS or TCAVIVS, which can be found at La Muette where they often carry simplified decorations, with hallmarks not found in Saint-Romain either but which are sometimes found on imitations of Aco goblets made in Lezoux. The series of decorations and punches covers almost all those of La Muette, but is very different from those of Loyasse. Also some vases of La Muette and Saint-Romain was made from the same molds, evidenced by the fact that we find the same faults in each other . So there was a transfer of mussels between Lyon and Vienne, which could just as well have been from Vienne to Lyon. This workshop was able to be active for a very short time. Chronologically, it is located between Loyasse and la Muette, which is a paradox from a geographical point of view since the latter are both in Lyon.

Note that another pottery workshop was found to the south-east of the archaeological site, on Sainte-Colombe.

During the French Revolution, the town temporarily bears the name of Romain-les-Roches.

From the 19th century, a large number of mosaics is discovered. However, it was not until 1967 that archaeological excavations revealed the full extent and richness of this district. Faced with the exceptional interest of the site, the Rhône General Council acquired it in 1970. In 1981, it set up a permanent archaeological team. Since 1983, the site has been classified as a historical monument and has benefited from major restoration work. The Rhône General Council decided to create a site museum there and in 1988 entrusted the task to architects Philippe Chaix and Jean-Paul Morel. The collections are displayed in a glazed building overlooking the excavations.

Historical heritage
The archaeological site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal is one of the largest groups devoted to Gallo-Roman civilization in France. The museum is located in the heart of a 7 hectare cultural park which brings this residential district of Vienna to life. There are the thermal baths, workshops, homes, shops updated since 1967. The museum is organized around four areas: the history of ancient Vienna, the economy and crafts, mosaics, and everyday life in the Roman house. The restoration workshop responsible for the conservation of mosaics is today recognized internationally for the quality of its work.

All year round, come and discover the permanent collections thanks to the discovery trails and children’s workshops. The museum houses temporary exhibitions every year and offers musical entertainment,

With its 86 km long, the Roman aqueduct of Gier is the longest aqueduct used to supply water to the capital of the 3 Gauls “Lugdunum”, in Roman times. Discover this remarkable monument in Chaponost and learn about its history, its operation, its construction materials and the restorations over the years.

Immerse yourself in Roman times by the many remarkable remains on both sides of the Rhône. Cross the footbridge over the Rhône that connects Vienne to Saint-Romain-en-Gal and discover the impressive archaeological site which presents superb remains of the rich residential district from Vienna. In its modern setting, the museum offers you a complete panorama of daily life in the Gallo-Roman era and an impressive collection of mosaics.

Relive the glorious Gallo-Roman past of the city through the many vestiges which mark it out and which testify to its capital importance during antiquity: the Temple of Augustus and Livia, the arcades of the garden of Cybele, the archaeological museum of Saint-Pierre and the ancient theater.

Gallo-Roman monuments
The archaeological site of Saint-Romain-en-Gal is home to many Gallo-Roman remains including:

The Lutteurs thermal baths;
A large Gallo-Roman museum and an archaeological site have been opened there. The site presents the organization of the residential district in Roman times:
habitats, mosaics, shops. It is the construction of the polyvalent high school which is at the origin of the development of the site and the generalized excavations. The site was classified as a historical monument in 1983.
The Palace of the Mirror, ancient Roman baths, is the subject of a classification as historical monuments by the list of 1840.
The stones in cups.

Medieval monuments
The Saint-Ferréol chapel: plaque on the site near the Rhône.
The church of Saint-Romain and its surroundings: vestige of a former commandery of the order of Saint-Jean of Jerusalem, classified in 1972.
The maid’s bridge.
The stele with the effigy of Saint Ferréol located near the second church dedicated to him. The stele is located on Chemin de la Plaine, a place undoubtedly very close to his martyrdom.
The church, founded in the ix th century by St. Barnard, Archbishop of Vienna. The Commandery of the Hospitaller of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, founded in xv th century, adjoined the church. It depended on the Langue d’Auvergne.

Gallo-Roman Museum
The Gallo-Roman Museum and archaeological site invites you to dive into the heart of 2000 years of history! On nearly 7 hectares, discover the remains of the ancient city of Vienna. At the heart of the permanent collections of the Museum, a complete panorama of the daily life of the Gallo-Romans awaits you! Temporary exhibitions, shows and activities will punctuate your visits throughout the year.

Natural heritage
L’ile Barlet: There are still a hundred years it was a land that accommodated goats and sheep transported by boat. Between 1928 and 1939, this island was a military ground occupied by the school of bridges for the maneuvers of pontonniers. After the Second World War, the town’s rescue company will carry out maintenance and development work on the basin used for water sports. Repeated flooding makes it difficult. Today the urban community has carried out the work to allow the site to accommodate an increasingly large public of athletes and walkers.

Experts from the Pilat Regional Natural Park have identified in the town:
the common harrier;
the European beaver;
the yellow-bellied ringer;
the genet;
the European dry heathlands;
St. John’s Wort androsema;
semi-natural dry lawns;
low altitude hay meadows;
sub-Atlantic and mid-European oak groves and charmaies.

Events and festivals

Gallo-Roman Days
A historic weekend at the Gallo-Roman museum of Saint-Romain-en-Gal. Every 2 years, the Gallo-Roman Days take visitors on a journey through time and make them discover known or unknown aspects of life during the time of the Romans. The content of the program and activities will focus on the contributions of experimental archeology, which the museum has made a specialty of for the past fifteen years.

Among the games and sports prized by the Romans, gladiatorialism has a very special place, a universal and unifying subject present in all the countries formerly included in the Empire. An emblematic facet of Antiquity, it gives us the keys to exploring and understanding Roman society but also our own, through the fantasized representations that gladiators have aroused in our collective imagination.

Roman harvest festival
A day around wine at the Saint-Romain-en-Gal museum – Vienne – last weekend of September. Since 2004, the Vinalia have been offering you a unique living experience to discover the pleasures of the table in Antiquity. Uncover the secrets of making wine, beer or mead while tasting authentic Roman recipes. Greek, Gallic or Roman artisanal practices related to wine and gastronomy will also be presented throughout the archaeological site. Tastings, demonstrations and meetings with specialists in ancient food will enrich the program throughout the day.

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