Saint-Jean-le-Vieux occupies a strategic position at the entrance to the plain of Cize. The Romans settled here as early as 15 BC to set up a road station designated by an ancient document as Imus Pyrenaeus (foot of the Pyrenees). Excavations on the site of Saint-Jean-le-Vieux, discovered in 1965 by Mr. Tobie and classified as a Historic Monument in 1984, have uncovered thermal baths as well as various objects (amphoras, coins, glass, ceramics ...) exhibited in the museum built nearby. A centre for archaeological activities initiated by the Gapo offers various activities ranging from simulated excavations, to flint knapping or animations about life in the Gallo-Roman period. On the left bank of the Laurhibar, Saint-Jean-le-Vieux houses the ruined chapel of Saint-Jean-d'Urrutia which is the former parish church of what was the capital of the Pays de Cize from the 11th to the 13th century. Places of worship for pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela, inns and hostels were particularly numerous. In addition to the modest chapel of Saint-Jean-d'Urrutia, in Saint-Jean-le-Vieux we will visit the chapel of Saint-Pierre-d'Usakoa, the current parish church with its beautiful Romanesque portal, the chapel of Saint-Blaise-d'Aphat-Ospitalia, and the church of the Madeleine or "Recluse". A signposted route of about 10 km around Saint-Jean-le-Vieux will lead you to these remains from different eras. To be done by car but also, for more charm, on foot or by bike. The town hall will entrust you with the leaflet about the heritage of the village.

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