France > Languedoc-Roussillon

Via Domitia, Narbonne

Via Domitia

In the centre of Narbonne’s town square is a cleverly exposed section of Roman road. This was the Via Domitia, the first Roman road to have been built in Gaul and it enabled the movement of soldiers and traders between Italy and Spain. The town of Narbo Martius was established here in 118 BC, taking advantage of the junction between the Via Aquitania and the Via Domitia, as well as the potential then for a port. It was a successful colony and later became the capital of Gallia Narbonensis. Inscriptions and contemporary accounts suggest that it was a prosperous town, with the largest amphitheatre in the region, many temples, public baths and luxury town houses.

Unfortunately there is very little in the way of archaeology today as much of the town was destroyed by the Barbarians. But the local museum does have one of the finest collections of Roman wall paintings in France. Named after its constructor Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus – a Roman Consul, the Via Domitia linked Hispania to Italy. It is here in Narbonne that the Via Domitia met the Via Aquitania.

Period: Roman
Site type: Road
Facilities at Roman Narbonne:
open-year-round 24-hours wheelchair-accessible refreshments dogs-allowed photographs-allowed parking bus-parking

Where is Roman Narbonne?
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