A few kilometres south of Montbard, on Mont Auxois, above the village of Alise-Ste-Reine is Alésia (closed Dec & Jan). It was here in 52 BC that the Gauls, united under the leadership of Vercingétorix, made their last stand against the military might of Rome. Julius Caesar himself commanded the Roman army, which surrounded the final Gallic stronghold and starved the Gauls out, bloodily defeating all attempts at escape. Vercingétorix surrendered to save his people, was imprisoned in Rome for six years until Caesar’s formal triumph, and then strangled. The battle was a fundamental turning point in the fortunes of the region, as Gaul remained under Roman rule for four hundred years. The modern Muséoparc d’Alésia brings the battle of Alésia to life with a visitor centre, a museum and a multimedia exhibition about Gallo-Roman life. You can also visit excavations, including the theatre and a Gallo-Roman house.

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