Travel Guides Crafted by Experienced Archaeologists & Historians

Roman Sites & Museums in Normandy

This northwestern region of France attracts many visitors to see the memorials and monuments of the D-Day Beaches of World War 2, not far from the city of Caen. Further back in time, Rouen was one of the largest and richest cities of Medieval Europe. Also a city where Joan of Arc is thought to have been burned at the stake. Where Monet painted his famous cathedral series. The Seine River Valley is know too for the many beautiful abbeys and monasteries. Normandy was heavily attacked by the Vikings from the 9th century onwards. Normandy has been the site of many conflicts, including the Normandy Campaigns in the early years of the 1200s, the Hundred Years War from 1337, and the 16th century Wars of Religion. Each of these has had a visible impact on the built environment, and what it is that tourists come to see.

Roman Sites in Normandy


After the French Revolution workmen were digging the foundations for a road through the forest near the city of Eu. They cut through the walls of a Roman building. After several decades of excavations the remains of a medium sized Gallo-Roman town have been uncovered, with typical architectural features such as a theatre, a forum and public bath houses. From the 1st century AD the Romans developed a substantial sanctuary complex on the site of what had been a Celtic shrine.

Lillebonne - Juliobona

Lillebonne is located on the north banks of the Seine River. From the 1st to the 3rd centuries AD the town, then called Juliobona by the Romans – a homage to Julius Cesar, was a prosperous supply base on the channel between Gaul and Britannia. The Romans abandoned the town towards the end of the third century when it was invaded by barbarians. The theatre is the most prominent, but not the only Roman feature of the town today. The museum opposite has an extensive collection of local artefacts.

Museums With Roman Collections in Normandy

Musée de Normandie, Caen

Opened in 1963, the museum of the history of Normandy is housed in what was the Governor’s residence within the walls of the Ducal castle of Caen. The building we see today is a restored version of a mansion that was constructed in the 1th century, but badly damaged in WWII. A series of permanent exhibits chart the history of Normandy from prehistory to the Middle Ages; with artefacts from the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages. Displays focus on the transformation of rural communities through time, first with the arrival of Romans in the area, and then with the advent of industry in the region.