The approach to Autun is striking. Its cathedral steeple, golden in the setting sun is quite the contrast to the surrounding green of the Morvan hills; it really wouldn’t look out of place in a Disney film or a Tolkien novel.
Autun in August - A Roman Festival
The Gallic Rome
Named after the Emperor Augustus Caesar, he declared Autun “the sister and rival of Rome itself”, quite the accolade from a man who ruled Rome for 4 decades. In Roman times the town would have been home to some 100,000 people and considered a Roman capital to the Gallic people, today that number is just shy of 14,000. Roman influence is evident throughout the town, from its amphitheatre to the Romanesque carvings found on the medieval cathedral, and it is a heritage that is proudly celebrated by the locals.
A Roman Festival
Each year hundreds of “romans” take to the town streets for the Journées Romaines Festival, literally translated as “The Roman Days”, every August it brings to life the unusual history of Autun. Re-enactments of battles from the Gallo-Roman Period, and reconstructions of what life would have been like in those turbulent times. The event invites you to partake of a Roman Market, get involved in archaeological workshops, spectate Gladiator fights and watch authentic Roman theatre, all in the blazing sunshine of the south of France!
And what better way to experience the pastoral scenery and tumultuous history of Southern Burgundy than from the peaceful climes of a luxury hotel barge, winding its way gently along the undiscovered canals and medieval villages at the heart of France.