Archaeological sites in Bibracte.

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Top choice in Burgundy

For anyone who's ever read an Astérix comic book and wondered how France's Celtic people really lived, Bibracte is a must-see. This hilltop stronghold of the ancient Gauls, together with the attached Museum of Celtic Civilisation, offers a compelling portrayal of pre-Roman France in the years prior to Caesar's arrival. Crowning beautiful Mont Beuvray, 25km west of Autun, the site boasts expansive views and numerous walking trails, including the GR13, through high-altitude fields and 1000 hectares of forest.

Bibracte served as the capital of the Celtic Aedui people during the 1st and 2nd centuries BC. It was here, in 52 BC, that Vercingétorix was declared chief of the Gaulish coalition shortly before his defeat by Julius Caesar at Alésia. Caesar himself also resided here before the city decamped to Augustodunum (Autun). Stone remnants include ancient ramparts and several complexes of buildings, all in varying states of excavation. The adjacent museum explores the fascinating history of the site and its Celtic inhabitants.

You'll need your own wheels to reach Bibracte. The nearest train stations are at Autun, 25km to the east, and Étang-sur-Arroux, 17km to the southeast.

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