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Gallo-Roman Museum - Martigny
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
N 46° 05.719 E 007° 04.238
32T E 350862 N 5106447
Quick Description: The Gallo-Roman Museum is housed in the Pierre Gianadda Foundation building. Built around the remains of a Celtic temple discovered in 1976, the Foundation displays the main archeological relics discovered in Martigny (Roman Forum Claudii Vallensium)
Location: Valais, Switzerland
Date Posted: 5/26/2007 12:59:26 AM
Waymark Code: WM1KAQ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member RakeInTheCache
Views: 100

Long Description:
The collection includes offerings, coins, pottery, jewellery, clothing clasps, weapons, etc. The collection also houses the famous Great Bronzes of Octodurus, depicting the head of a three-horned bull, discovered in 1883, as well as some pieces of the Délèze Treasure, a replica of Aphrodite at Cnidus by Praxiteles, an Apollo...
The Foundation is located in the course of an interesting archaeological walk that leads visitors through the ancient site, which includes the Domus Minerva, a 5,000-seat amphitheatre, thermal baths, a shrine to Mithras, etc.

Discovered on November 23, 1883, six fragments of three imposing bronze statues, are the most famous discoveries ever made in Martigny. They were buried in the forum basilica and must have been recovered at the end of Antiquity by a bronze smith with an eye towards melting them down. It is unthinkable, in fact, that these statues, the sacred character of which is without doubt, were voluntarily broken during the pagan era. It is rather the act of the first christians.

The best known of these fragments, is uncontestably, the head of the 3 horned bull (the front horn is missing, but one still distinguises the location), belonged to a statue of natural size, the rear hoof of which is also preserved. The animal is of the Herens breed which was very common across of the Alpine regions. The 3 horned bull is a specifically Gallic divinity. The number three had a great importance in the Celtic religion. The horn symbolized power (in every sense of the word), the third one appears to exhalt this strength. The Bull of Martigny is the most beautiful representation of this sacred animal left to us by the Gallo-Romans, and also the only one of monumental proportions.

Two other fragments (a right leg and a left arm) make up the representation of a nude male divinity, larger than life, possibly Mercury. The hand did not hold a lance, as one has represented here for technical reasons (it's only a support), but more probably an attribute of the god, the badge of Caduceus, or a money bag. One can therefore not see in it a representative of Jupiter, as one often thinks.
Most Relevant Historical Period: Roman Empire > 27 B.C.

Admission Fee: CHF 18/€12

Opening days/times:
November - June 10 h - 18 h June - November 9 h - 19 h


Web Site: [Web Link]

Condition: Partly intact or reconstructed

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