VESUNNA, Gallo-Roman Museum

Only about a ten minute walk from the centre of Perigueux is the most gorgeous Roman Villa. Encased in a glass structure you can see every detail of what is the remains of a truly outstanding Roman Villa.

The antique town of Perigueux was founded around 16 B.C, after the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar, the province of Aquitaine was established by Augustus, the first Roman Emperor. Originally called Vesunna, Perigueux became the capital of the Petrucores’ territory.

As with the rest of Gaul, prominent wealthy citizens, handled public matters. They personally financed the construction of monuments and owned the most beautiful villas.

After extensive digging in 1959, the ruins of a vast and richly decorated villa were uncovered. Occupied from the 1st to the 3rd Century, the layout is very typical of a large urban home.

A model of the villa at Vesunna.
 

A central garden surrounded by porticoes and colonnades.
The patio around the pond, was decorated with marine life in bright colours. There were also sculptures among the flowers which decorated the area.
 

The kitchens, reception rooms and bathrooms were heated by the hypocaust.
 

A copy of the wall frescoes which adorned the villa.
 

An example of one of the Gods, Diana. Wonderful detail.
 

Romans allowed conquered people to keep their own Gods as long as the Emperor’s Cult was practiced. This came a little fussy over time and often overlapped with the Roman Gods. A bit of both.

Symbolism was important to show the persons power and wealth.
 

Another example of the Gods. The detail is outstanding.
 

I was particularly interested in finding any signs of the slaves that kept the villa to a high stranded for such a long time. Everything of course was below ground, the kitchens, the heating and mostly with very little light in small hot and cramped conditions.

I did find evidence of two “below stairs” occupations…

… that of weaving, stone weaving weights and tools …
 

… and mending.

Gallo-Roman public figures had very good taste in clothing. The workmanship and detail of these buttons are outstanding.
 

VESUNNA, Gallo-Roman Museum, Perigueux
 
 

La Rue du temps qui passe…

Nouveau Perigord Noir.

Recently opened, a museum from the time period of 1860-1940. Originally it was a father and daughter who initiated the creation of a museum to showcase vintage cars. It has developed into streets lined with shops of every description as well as artisan workshops, a garage, a weaving mill and more from the above time period.

This is the start of the walk back in time.
 

At the end of the first street is this magnificent Rolland Pilain from 1924.
 

Wonder along the cobbled streets to peer through the windows where time has stood still.
 

Wow a Harley, Paul and I had to go back and have another look, still beautiful after 100 years.
 

Long ago people would push this cart around the streets shouting “Any knifes to sharpen.”
 

A boulangery.
 

The little post office
 

The cheese makers shop with all the equipment.
 

There are a many more shops than we have included above, visit time is recommended to be between one and one and a half hours, so well worth a visit or two. You can also buy a drink at the bar to enjoy in the little Parisian themed cafe.

The Museum has only been open for a couple of months and is to be found at Allas Les Mines just by the bridge that crosses the river Dordogne. The museum is open from April until November 10h-12h and 14h-18h except Wednesday and Thursday. During July and August opening is from 10h-18h, 7 days a week.

La Rue du temps qui passe…

If you are hungry, the Garbarrier is a rather nice restaurant with magnificent views overlooking the river Dordogne, it can be found across the car park from the museum.
 
 

Event:- Castlenaud October 28th and 29th from 10:00 until 16:00. A Medieval Garrison showing the deployment of men at arms, craftsmen, chamber maids and a demonstration of weapons and armour.