The Roman ruins of Vaison-la-Romaine are among some of the most important in France.
Easily accessible, the two main sites that are open to the public - Puymin and La Villasse - can be found in the town centre, on each side of the tourist office.
The tickets sold at the entrance to the Puymin site also allow access to the La Villasse site. Audio guides in French, English, German and Dutch are available for touring the sites.
At the Puymin site, you stroll through the heart of a magnificent quarter of the ancient town. There you can see the vestiges of beautiful patrician homes: the 2000 m² House of the Wreathed Apollo and the 3000 m² “Maison à la Tonnelle”. The sanctuary with porticos framing a garden and a central building was a place for promenades or perhaps for worship.
Several paths lead to the Roman theatre that dates from the 1st century BC. The stage wall was 25 metres high and its 32 tiers of seats, built in a semicircle, could accommodate 7000 people. Forgotten about for several centuries, it was the Abbot Sautel who unearthed the theatre in 1912. Statues, today exhibited in the Théo Desplans Museum, were found in the pits that hid the machinery. The Roman theatre serves as an outstanding venue for many events: the Choralies, Vaison Danse, Au fil des Voix, the Semaine de Théâtre Antique...
In the centre of the Puymin site you will also find the Théo Desplans Archaeological Museum. Following a great deal of conservation work and inventorying, it today possess a big collection with more than 2000 everyday objects and an antique statuary. It presents the ancient ways of life from prehistoric times to the Gallo-Roman era. The museum is accessible to people with reduced mobility.
As you visit the site, you will see an alignment of sepulchres. In the 5th century, following a policy of rejecting everything that was pagan, the people used part of the theatre's foundations as sarcophagi.
The La Villasse site occupies what had been the affluent neighbourhood, full of shops and life, with the Street of Boutiques, the baths and fountains, the sumptuous homes such as the Dolphin House, which had been a farm, and the House of the Silver Bust.
House of the Wreathed Apollo, Puymin site
Sanctuary with porticos, Puymin site
The ancient Roman theatre of Vaison la Romaine, Puymin site
The ancient Roman theatre of Vaison, columns and portico, Puymin site
Théo Desplans Museum, sepulchres
The Archaeological Museum, polychrome mosaic with a duck
Gardens at the Puymin site and fountain
The La Villasse site, the house of the silver bust
The La Villasse site in Vaison la Romaine
Office de Tourisme de Vaison-la-Romaine - Place du Chanoine Sautel - 84110 Vaison-la-Romaine
+33 (0)4 90 36 02 11http://www.vaison-ventoux-tourisme.com