I’ve always been interested in archaeology and history so when we came around a corner in the center of Luxeuil-les-Bains to see this, I was thrilled. The Luxeuil Tourist Office website (English version) tells us:
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.
As you can see, the work is ongoing.
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. From the website
The museum first appeared to be unprepossessing. However, it was quite nice. Here are a few of the discoveries we found on the museum’s first floor. The second floor was filled with ceramics, relics, and other smaller objects. The third floor featured a local artist as well as other artists. The winding, ancient, stone staircase led higher and higher, all the way to… Well, that’s a subject for another post. For now, enjoy a bit of ancient history. To see the outside of the museum (worth the look) and a little of the inside, click here. The site is in French, but the English version doesn’t have the same photos.