ORLÉANS IN THE ANTIQUE PERIOD
THE OPPIDUM OF THE CARNUTES
In the Neolithic period, Man began to settle. On the site that would later become Orléans, a few villages and farms gradually began to take shape. In the 2nd century BCE, these settlements became a true agglomeration of the Gauls which, in the following century, was surrounded with a fortification made of soil and wood. The structure did not follow any particular plan. A bridge provided a secure point to cross the river.
At the start of our era, the city changed form. Two straight and perpendicular avenues structured the land: from East to West, the decumanus maximus (Rue de Bourgogne) and from North to South, the cardo maximus (Rue Parisie and Rue de la Poterne).
Secondary streets grew up alongside the decumanus maximus and the cardo maximus. Public buildings characteristic of Roman towns were built. The forum was thus situated at the junction of two new avenues and the performance building, to the east (at the head of Thinat Bridge). However, the exact locations of the thermal baths, military and religious buildings are not known.
To the north-east, in what is now Fontaine-de-l’étuvée Park, a cult complex dedicated to the goddess of water, Aquae Segetae, developed. The city’s domestic water was collected and routed via the aqueduct.
Sources: Orléans Mairie – City of Art and History Department