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History under your feet : archaeology in Luxeuil
Archaeological remains dating back 2000 years have been found locally, providing precious clues to the town’s history.
The earliest archaeological discoveries in Luxeuil occurred when major construction began in the 18th century, mainly of the thermal baths. Due to the extent of the work carried out on the
spas and the urban area, the 19th century is the period when the greatest number of and most interesting archaeological remains were uncovered (baths, statues, offerings, inscriptions etc.).
Archaeological site in the Place de la République Having developed as a town in the first centuries of Christianity in France, Luxeuil had an early Christian church, built around the fifth century, before Saint Colombanus had even arrived in the region. It is against the chevet of this church that a funeral building was constructed in honour of a very important abbot, Saint Valbert, who died in 670, to whom the building serves as a memorial. All of the surrounding sarcophagi are the graves of monks and date from the seventh and eighth centuries: the Church of St. Martin thus became, from 670, the abbey’s funerary church. Listed as an historical monument, it is one of the most important sites in Eastern Europe from the Merovingian period.
There are some are exceptionally well preserved potters’ kilns. They produced various ceramics, mainly crockery, in the first and second centuries. One of the kilns has the only design of its kind in France !
Many of the town’s archaeological discoveries are preserved in the La Tour des Echevins Museum, the former town hall, built in the 15th century. From the Gallo-Roman period, there are funeral relics, numerous remnants from thermal baths, and ceramics from the kilns of ancient Luxeuil.