Cassinomagus or Chassenon – Roman Ruins

The ancient name of the village was Cassinomagus. Cassinomagus is the ancient name of a Gallo-Roman monumental complex built between the Ist and the IVth century BC. on the current commune of Chassenon in the Charente (Dept 16). Installed on a plate bordered by the Vienne. It extended on nearly 300 hectares. Its name, which was to mean “the Market of the Oak” (or “of the Oaks”) and its situation with the crossroads of great ways, on frontier positions and near three other cities (Saintes – Santons, Poitiers – Pictons & Perigueux – Petrocores), confirm that the current small village of Chassenon, had to know the prosperity of the end of Ist to the IIIrd century BC

Its principal center of interest was certainly the vast sanctuary which occupied alone approximately 25 hectares. The modern excavations, which took place between 1958 to 1988, and which began again since 1995, made it possible to locate a large temple and two small temples, an theatre-amphitheatre, an aqueduct, The monumental double thermal baths are the part best studied and more surprising of this sanctuary. They extend on one hectare and are built on three levels always visible and worth visiting. These elements make this pertaining to worship establishment and curative a very rare monument in its kind.

The first description of the site was carried out in 1779, by Pierre Beaumesnil, But Chassenon is far from Pompei, and everyone has not gained yet knowledge with archaeology. In 1888, the needs for the farm result in levelling the last walls of superstructure of the thermal baths and the temple. Little time after, the vestiges of the ancient theatre is attacked by a stone quarry which will remain in activity until in the years 1930. In 1892, the repair of the enclosing wall of the cemetery involves the destruction of the sarcophagi of the Early middle ages which composed it.


I was never impressed with my original shots of this location, so returned for the 2017 Open day at Cassinomagus Parc Archéologique to take so new ones.

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