Merovingian heritage in the Lot Valley

On the trail of a mysterious era...

Discover the Merovingian heritage of the Lot Valley around Banassac.

In Merovingian times, the town of Banassac was home to a number of particularly active coin workshops. Coins from this period are still collected and exhibited worldwide.

The village of

Banassacin Merovingian times

Along the way, you may also come across strange shapes carved into the rock: these are Merovingian tombs, known by oral tradition as “Jewish tombs”.

The Merovingian Dynasty

A little history...

The Merovingian dynasty ruled much of France, Belgium, Switzerland and Germany from the 5th to the 8th century. Descended from a line of Frankish aristocrats of the Salian tribe, established in the 5th century in the Cambrai and Tournai regions of Belgium, it took its name from Merovetius, father of Childeric I, himself father of King Clovis. The Merovingian dynasty is known for its close ties with Christianity, notably through the famous baptism of Clovis in 498, but also for its participation in the gradual establishment of the Church in their territory. This period was also marked by an economic recovery following the collapse of the Roman Empire. The dynasty died out in the 8th century, to be succeeded by the Carolingian dynasty.

Banassac and coinage

Buried treasure

After having been the center of extremely active and renownedpottery workshops, Banassac became a very important monetary workshop center in Merovingian times. At the end of the 19th century, two famous numismatists, who wrote a classic work entitled “Les Monnaies Mérovingiennes de Banassac” (Merovingian Coins from Banassac), catalogued the coins found in Gévaudan. They classified them into 143 types, divided into 6 groups. The Banassac workshops are characterized by the Gévaudanese Chalice motif, which appears in all groups except the 1st.

All about heritage


of the Lot Valley
  • Where can I find the Banassac museum?

    The Banassac archaeological museum is located in the village hall, Place de l’église.

    How to get there

    A ZPPA (zone de présomption de prescription archéologique) has been created by the DRAC Occitanie (Direction régionale des affaires culturelles) in the Oasis de Banassac business park, a 2-minute drive from the village center.

    How to get there

  • What are the museum's opening hours?

    You can access the museum during Town Hall opening hours:

    Monday to Wednesday: 8h/12h – 14h/18h
    Thursday: 14h/18h
    Friday: 8h/12h – 14h/17h
    Closed on weekends and public holidays

  • For athletes

    Hiking trail no. 23, called “Jewish Tombs”, is 21km long and departs from Saint-Germain-du-Teil. It takes you to the Merovingian tombs of Malbousquet, known as “Jewish tombs” in reference to the Jewish community that has lived in the area since the Middle Ages.

    Discover our hikes

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