This gate, dating from the beginning of the 1st century AD, opened to the north, at the end of the cardo maximus (road running from north to south). It has two large arcades for vehicles and two small ones for pedestrians. Free visit.
No other city in Gaul or Italy has such a well-preserved set of Roman gates as Autun. Three of the four monumental gates are still partially visible.
Like the Saint-André gate, the Arroux gate still has four passages at road level, two large central bays allowing the circulation of carts and two smaller openings in line with the pavements. On the first floor, a gallery pierced by ten arcades corresponds to the extension, at gate level, of the covered way situated at the top of the urban enclosure. A groove in the vault of the central bays allowed the passage of a portcullis, the mechanism of which was located inside the arcaded gallery. Recent archaeological research has demonstrated the existence of an inner courtyard and a second façade on the city side, as is attested to on gates in Gaul (Nîmes, Toulouse) or Italy (Turin, Aosta). Today, nothing remains of this lock-like device, which allowed the flow of people and goods to be controlled and taxes to be collected. Some researchers hypothesise that this device may have been present on the other gates, but without proof.
The central part with openings is built from large quadrangular limestone blocks from the Chalonnaise region, except for the bases of the grey arkose courses from the Antully plateau. The finesse and excellent state of preservation of the sculpted elements in the capitals, fluted pilasters and modillion cornices are noteworthy. The bays were initially flanked by two horseshoe-shaped towers, the rounding facing the countryside, and built from small rectangular sandstone blocks. Unlike the St Andrew's Gate, nothing remains of these flanking towers.
This gate was built during the reign of Augustus and is one of the first buildings constructed at the time of the foundation of Augustodunum, which bears the emperor's name. It is located at the end of the main street called "cardo maximus", which marks the passage in the urban space of the great Roman road known as the Ocean, linking Lyon to Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais). By passing under the Arroux gate, one leaves the city in the direction of Sens, the capital of the neighbouring Senons.
The gate has been a listed monument since 1846.