Jublains Archeological Site

Jublains, France

The Jublains archeological site is a cluster of ruins, mostly dating back to Ancient Rome, in the current French commune of Jublains.

Roman imperial authorities built a city named Noviodunum on the site of a temple of the Celtic Diablintes, which became the capital of this people in the Augustinian administrative reorganization. Settled in the second half of the 1st century, its public buildings testify to the spread of the Roman way of life: theatre, forum and baths, in addition to the Celtic temple, which was rebuilt in stone. The difficulties the city experienced beginning in the 3rd century can be read in the fortifications built in that period, which are still the most impressive features of the site. In late antiquity the settlement lost its status as a capital when the Diablintes were absorbed into the Cenomani culture.

Jublains is mostly known for its Roman camp. Even though a simple bourg replaced the Roman city, the remarkably well-preserved ruins make Jublains an exceptional site.


The remains of two theatres can be seen at Jublains. The second theatre was built directly on top of the first, probably during the second half of the first century AD. Much of the structure of the second one is very noticeable, including the tiers for seating, the entertainment area and the vomitorium. But the foundations of the first theatre are also visible – and as the second was built on top of the first, it can be confusing. But, there is a very good information board that gives a clear plan showing which is which.

The Baths

A substantial public bath house was constructed towards the end of the first century in the centre of the town. With the spread of Christianity and the withdrawal of Roman control in the area, the bath house was converted into a church sometime during the fifth century by removing inner partition walls and filling in the baths. Consequently, the church retained its Gallo-Roman appearance. In 1877 the church was fully renovated to produce the church we see today. More recently the foundations of the baths have been excavated and put on display. The church is open to see the remains of the bath house during the same hours as the museums’s opening hours.

The Fortress

Of all the Roman monuments in Jublains, the fort is by far the largest and in the best condition. In fact, it is also said to be the best preserved Roman fortifications in France. There are three main components to the fort: a central building that surrounded by an earthen rampart, which is in turn surrounded by quite a substantial stone wall. The exact function of the fort is unclear, as is the reason for its construction. Although always said to be a fortress, some archaeologists also think that the inner building started out as a civic warehouse. The earthen rampart and stone wall appear to have been built at times of known local troubles. So some believe that the civic warehouse was being fortified against piracy acts and peasant revolts.



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Founded: 1st century AD
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Roman Gaul (France)


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kate Swanson (4 months ago)
I found this ‘day out’ on the Mayenne tourist website and was expecting a field with a few stones in it. I was wrong. This ancient city is one of the most impressive Roman sites I have visited and I’ve been to Bath. This is great for all ages. Also very much recommend the baguette machine next to the church for picnic.
Katrina Hunt (4 months ago)
A well presented and fascinating museum. The staff a friendly and very willing to help. The labelling is in French, English and German. The very nice video introduction has a French and an English version.
D C (6 months ago)
I loved this place! Great indoor museum and Shop and lovely staff. I will come back when the walls are available after the restoration works.
Ed Taylor (14 months ago)
Lovely museum, open on a Sunday (lunch hour withstanding of course) with an informative display.
Anke Adams (17 months ago)
It was a very nice experience! Lovely piece of history!
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