The archaeological excavations of the thermal baths

The most significant archaeological excavations of the thermal baths of Evaux took place in the 19th century. The ancient bathing pools were found hidden under the landslides of the cliff, with their stunning decorative marble, numerous artefacts and architectural features. This sequence retraces the history of this marvellous discovery.

After Évaux’s thermal baths were abandoned in the 4th century, these hot springs faded from memory throughout the Middle Ages. They were rediscovered little by little and then kitted out as bathhouses in the 18th century. In 1831, the owners of three existing bathing establishments carried out works, over the course of which they discovered the ancient remnants. Significant archaeological digs were then led between 1838 and 1858. These gradually uncovered pools, wells, channels and entire rooms buried under a layer of earth several metres deep. About 20 rooms were discovered in these baths and it was also possible to identify the channels for water of different temperatures.

The east section, which was protected from the cliff collapse, was the best preserved, with walls that reached 2 or 3 metres in some rooms. For the most part, only the bases of walls and the buried parts of pools and channels remained in the west section.

Unfortunately, all of these remnants were destroyed in the 1890s to build a new thermal baths. Except for the outdoor pools, all that remains today are detailed written descriptions, as well as some archaeological items and fragments kept in the Musée de Guéret.

In the 1970s, excavations between the church and the thermal baths revealed the foundations of the arcade leading to the baths. Since then, further investigations have made it possible to confirm and specify the nature, outline and aspect of this covered path, which is unique in Limousin in terms of its size.

More recently, archaeological explorations of the thermal baths brought to light several stages of transforming, restoring and decorating the pools during their use in the antiquity era.

Other stages