Thursday, December 7, 2023

Advent postcards, Rom Deux-Sèvres

French Village Diaries cycling adventures Advent postcard Rom Deux-Sèvres
Advent postcards, Rom, Deux-Sèvres

Advent day seven

Today for our cycling advent-ures postcard we are staying in our home department of the Deux-Sèvres and visiting the village of Rom. This is one of the most interesting villages we have revisited this year, as there was so much more to discover than we’d imagined. We had previously visited the cemetery where there are thirty Commonwealth War graves, mostly RAF Special Air Servicemen who lost their lives on 7th July 1944 during Operation Bulbasket. It is a sobering and moving place to visit and the RAF lay blue wreaths in September every year in remembrance.


Working in a museum, I decided that this year I needed to visit some of the other tourist sites locally, so when our visitors ask for information on things to see, I can do more than hand out a leaflet. We started our visit at the church, with its interesting stone tombs and painted chapels, but it was the Rauranum museum next door that we had really come to see, and it turned out to be the star of the visit.


Rom might be just a small rural village now, but two thousand years ago it was a major stage post along the Roman road that ran from Poitiers to Saintes. Rauranum was a vibrant place, home to around four thousand people and with visitors from all over Europe and north Africa. It was equipped with all the facilities you’d expect from an important Roman town and the remains of the stables and baths can be seen as you wander around the village. We visited the museum on a Sunday afternoon and were lucky enough to have it to ourselves. It might not be the biggest museum in France, but there a vast display of the artifacts found locally, and we also learned so much about the Roman history in the area. It is certainly somewhere I can now enthusiastically recommend to local tourists. 

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