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A Gallo-Roman Villa

A Gallo-Roman VillaAt the turn of the century between the first and second centuries before Christ, a large architectural construction was erected at the centre of the future Place Saint Lambert. Recent excavations show the layout of this vast construction, with dimensions of 54 m x 35 m. Apparently, this residential complex was constructed in terraces to adapt to the natural slope of the site. It included hot baths and domestic heating by means of a hypocaust. These “Roman-style” constructions (stonewalls, red tiles …) may have been the core of a villa rustica, in other words a large farm, like dozens in the territory of what is now Wallonia. Despite the excavations, there is still some doubt about the real purpose of this construction.

These buildings were probably destroyed during raids at the end of the third century by the Franks, the Alamans and other Germanic tribes. The first traces of Roman presence at Place Saint Lambert date back to the end of the first century AD, but the occupancy was densest in the second and third centuries.