What a history indeed!
52 BC: The Battle of Alesia was fought by the Gauls, led by Vercingetorix, fighting to keep their independence, and Julius Caesar's armies, who were determined to defeat them.
A longstanding debate…
For a long time, historians have debated over whether this battle took place in Jura or Côte-d’Or.
Today, they are almost all convinced that Alesia is in fact today's Alise-Sainte-Reine.
That is where you can find the MuséoParc Alésia, and where you can learn all about this turning point in the history of France.
See the MuséoParc Alésia and the location of the famous battle on the map
Visit the MuséoParc Alésia
The MuséoParc, an architectural masterpiece
From afar, the MuséoParc Alésia looks like a spaceship that has landed in the hills of the Auxois region. It was designed in a circular shape to reflect the way the Romans surrounded the Gauls.
To really appreciate the sheer size of this former battleground, go to the building's rooftop terrace full of plants. The 360° panoramic view from up there is breathtaking.
The site was created by visionary and talented architect Bernard Tschumi. He is also behind the Parc de la Villette in Paris.
Fun and educational tour
At this interpretation centre, you can learn about this chapter of history in a fun and interactive way.
From summer 2021 onwards, visitors will experience a brand-new tour. The tour will include models, objects found during excavations, multimedia terminals, and augmented reality.
Make sure you don't miss the sections devoted to the equipment used by the soldiers back then. You will even be able to put yourselves in the shoes of a Roman or Gallic soldier and test their weapons, virtually.
Entertainment and commemorative statue
War machines, fighting techniques, legionnaries in uniform: there are often historical reenactments held at the MuséoParc. These events provide the perfect combination of humour and historical facts, to provide visitors with a live representation of what happened here.
While you're here, make sure you go to see the huge statue of Vercingetorix. It was built by Napoleon Bonaparte, is close to the centre and free to access.Practical info for visiting the MuséoParc Alésia
Spoken words fly away, written ones remain
We know the details of the Battle of Alesia mainly from the Roman point of view. This is because Julius Caesar wrote a detailed account of it in his book De bello gallico (Commentaries on the Gallic War), and this remains, even today, the main source of information available for this period.
Weekend in the Auxois region
How about exploring the Auxois region while you're here? This little slice of heaven is full of treasures: Fontenay Abbey classified by UNESCO, the adorable village of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain, Burgundy Canal, and so much more.