The Battle of Alésia was waged by Julius Caesar in September 52BC against a united league of Gallic residents in a French settlement in Burgundy. A major hill fort – Alésia – was the site of the vicious encounter which was eventually won by the Romans, and it is this historic location which has been transformed by architectural theorist and celebrated designer Bernard Tschumi.
So they are building a museum. Part of me is staggered that, around two thousand years later, those ancient acts are being honoured in such a way. Of course, it’s one of those events that has profoundly shaped our own world; you can trace a powerful chain of events through history as a result of that battle. But then again, we’re not exactly short of profound ancient events.
From an artistic point of view, it’s certainly interesting to see a contemporary (i.e. not a classical or neo-classical) monument for the ancient world. Tschumi also created the Acropolis Museum, so he’s clearly no stranger to marrying together the modern and ancient worlds.
For more images of the Alésia Museum, go here.
I had not heard they were building a museum. Not a battle anyone less than an informed enthusiast of history knows about, either.
Yes, now you come to mention it, it’s not a particularly famous battle. I might do a bit of digging as to why they chose this spot – perhaps the architect was a fan of Caesar? I heard that his name still invokes passion in Italy, even to this day (though I’d be happy to be corrected if I’m wrong).
It is a famous battle in France! We just skip the defeat part… Don’t forget one of our best sellers in comics was Asterix, from the “irreducible village”, the one village which didn’t yield to Cesar even after Alesia 😀
Thanks for sharing, Hélène! I had forgotten all about Asterix… 🙂