Less than 2 km from Talmont, lies the archaeological site of Fâ in the town of Barzan, preserving the remains of an important ancient site. This harbour town was strategically placed on the estuary to transport goods by boat between Bordeaux and the Atlantic coast. It was closely linked to the capital of Gallia Aquitania, Mediolanum, now called Saintes, which was close by and accessible by the imperial road.
This Gallo-Roman settlement was founded around 27 B.C. in an area that had already been inhabited for several centuries by the Gallic tribe of the Santoni. At its peak during the 2nd century AD, it covered about 20 hectares and had a theatre that could seat 5,000 people.
Its port opened out onto the modern Chant Dorat bay, at other side of the Caillaud headland, in an area that is now made up of private estates.
The town’s exceptionally wide main road led to the town’s sanctuary, whose circular temple, about 40m high, was one of the largest in Roman Gaul. Its central and most sacred section, the cella, served as the foundation for a windmill around the 17th or 18th century, before the site was excavated and listed.
The generous public baths were accessible through a portico opening onto the square in front of the sanctuary, bordered by a residential area that housed a taverna and public latrines.
At the other end of the main road, large warehouses were found, used for trade operations at the port.
On the hillside that bordered the town, there was a large theatre with semi-circular stone tiers.
After the decline and abandonment of the city in the 4th century, the site was used as a stone quarry. Talmont and Barzan are both partially built from pieces of ancient buildings.
The site of Fâ and its museum display the remnants of this Gallo Roman settlement.
More informations : the Fâ website