The Musée des Jacobins is the town museum in Auch. It houses France's second biggest collection of Pre-Columbian art after the quai Branly, with which it has collaborated for many years. The museum garden is a 1600 square metre containing plants brought back from the Americas by the Conquistadors.
The museum was founded on 16 December 1793 and is one of France's oldest museums, housing over 20,000 objects, including 8,000 Pre-Columbian works. The building housing it, known as 'des Jacobins', was listed as a historic monument and was originally built as a Jacobin convent in the 15th century. The museum moved into it in 1979 after a major restoration project.
One of the major objects is Statue of Trajan, 1st century AD, discovered near Rome in the 18th century.
Built around AD 90 to entertain the legionaries stationed at the fort of Caerleon (Isca), the impressive amphitheatre was the Roman equivalent of today’s multiplex cinema. Wooden benches provided seating for up to 6,000 spectators, who would gather to watch bloodthirsty displays featuring gladiatorial combat and exotic wild animals.
Long after the Romans left, the amphitheatre took on a new life in Arthurian legend. Geoffrey of Monmouth, the somewhat imaginative 12th-century scholar, wrote in his History of the Kings of Britain that Arthur was crowned in Caerleon and that the ruined amphitheatre was actually the remains of King Arthur’s Round Table.
Today it is the most complete Roman amphitheatre in Britain.