Archaeology Magazine Archive

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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The Jardin de la Fontaine is the main city park, laid out below the Tour Magne in the 18th century and now a lovely place to stroll and people watch. It incorporates important Gallo-Roman remains of a spring sanctuary. The spring was originally dedicated to the pre-Roman eponymous god Nemausus and was the center of a healing cult; a Roman nymphaeum, or monumental fountain house, was possibly added in Augustan times. In 18th century fashion, the water elements were incorporated into an elaborate, symmetrical, terraced design which is what the visitor sees today. The so-called Temple of Diana was part of the Roman sacred complex but it was not a temple, rather it was a library that originally faced onto a portico that enclosed much of the spring sanctuary. The date is uncertain; some scholars suggest the first century, others the second. It was used as a church from the Middle Ages till the 16th century when it was damaged in the Wars of Religion.

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