"First Roman colony outside Italy." Top 5 Page for this destination Narbonne by leics

Narbonne Travel Guide: 106 reviews and 330 photos

Narbonne, stopping point between Italy and Spain, between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, between the Massif Centrale and the Pyrenees...............it's hardly surprising that the Romans chose it as their first 'colonia'. There is little of its Roman heritage left in place, apart from the Horreum (underground warehouse) and a section of the Via Domitia excavated in the Place de l'Hotel de Ville, but the museums are full of exquisite mosaics, wall paintings and statuary. The Medieval cathedral of St Just et St Pasteur dominates the centre of the town, its twin archbishops' palaces and the imposing Donjon de Giles Aycelin towering over the narrow, winding streets below. I did not have time to explore much of Narbonne (it was a side-trip from Carcassonne )
but what I did see I liked very much.

The Palais de Archeveques houses two museums...............the Art Museum in the Palais Neuf, and the Archaeological Museum in the Palais Vieux. The latter has an excellent display of Roman artefacts and, unusually, prehistoric implements, grave goods (including trepanned skulls) and cave art. It's possible to climb the Donjon (Giles Aycelin built it to get away from the noise associated with the cathedral, apparently!) to get an excellent view of the city, but I didn't have time on this visit.

I did enjoy the Horreum (first discovered in 1838). It is apparently, very like the one at Ostia Antica (near Rome), but is entirely underground. Two of the 'wings' are accessible, their 'cells' now holding sundry bits of statues and carvings discovered elsewhere in Narbonne over the years. It's very atmospheric, even though some parts have obviously been re-used in more recent times. More of the galleries remain to be excavated

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Some excellent history and architecture
  • Cons:None that I came across
  • In a nutshell:First Roman colony outside Italy.
  • Last visit to Narbonne: Apr 2006
  • Intro Updated Feb 26, 2011
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Reviews (9)

Comments (2)

  • Mar 12, 2008 at 10:56 PM

    its almost depressing... another beautiful french town to add to the growing list, yet not enough time to see them all! hehe. nice little page here, cheers!

  • uglyscot's Profile Photo
    Jul 8, 2006 at 6:14 AM

    Looks like another atmospheric little town

leics

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