Located in the heart of archaeological remains and inscribed in the continuity of the landscape, the museum of Saint-Romain-en-Gal in Vienne (France), is a real must for anyone passionate about history, architecture and mosaic!
Every year, the museum and Gallo-Roman site attracts, just 30 km south of Lyon, on the right bank of the Rhône, over 80,000 visitors including scientists, archaeologists, visual artists, musicians, and anyone curious, whom have travelled to visit this exceptional heritage.
Discovered in 1967, during the construction of a high school, this archaeological site, now ranked among the most important in France, offers it’s visitors the restored remains of the residential and commercial district of the 1st and 4th centuries AD of ancient Vienna.
At the time, Vienna was the capital of a vast territory covering Dauphiné and Savoy. All this on over 3 hectares open to the public!
Philippe Chaix and Jean-Paul Morel, winners of the architects’ competition, knew just how to answer the requirements of a museum and site to ensure the presentation, study and conservation of the collections, through the realization of a museum on two very different buildings in their design.
The first is the reception building. It includes all the primary functions of the museum: ticketing, temporary exhibition, shop and restaurant, as well as a research center and a mosaic restoration workshop.
Along the river, on stilts over a Roman house, is the permanent exhibition building.
Its airy and light appearance contrasts with the imposing concrete structure of the first building to which it is connected by a transparent walkway.
Open to the public since 1996, the museum covers 12,000 m2 where one can discover the Roman era and the ancient art of living: the city and its shops, the craftsmen’s knowhow, the wealth and comfort of the houses, and the exceptional treasure of mosaics and frescoes found on this site!