Description of the site


Plan du site

This unattended site is open to visitors at any time. There are no facilities and unfortunately, it is often vandalized. Hunters seem to find the notice boards good for target practice and the usual quantities of waste paper build up from time to time. At the last visit (23/2/2001) it had been completely tidied up so don’t let me put you off; the ruins themselves are well worth the visit.

If you face west, towards Senlis, the temple is on the right and the theatre on the left with the baths behind it. The fields around cover a much larger settlement, probably a trading site on this main artery. They were discovered during the 19th century and much restoration work was done by Viollet-Le-Duc, famous, or some would say, infamous for his tendency to push restoration towards rebuilding. It is a matter of opinion, if you wish to judge for yourself, the nearby Castle of Pierrefonds, the Arena of Lutèce (in Paris) or the Basilica at Vézelay (Burgundy) are amongst his many well known achievements.

There are old textual references to a city surrounded by a wall with towers and some old guidebooks talk of a basilica but there is no existing evidence of the latter. Gregory of Tours mentions the site during the Merovingian period and a medieval graveyard has been excavated to the South East (the fields are named “Les Tombes” on the IGN map). During the Great War the area was a military site and famous for the development and testing of the first tanks. An internet search for “Champlieu” throws up several links for those interested.


The Roman road looking West

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