In 56-57 BC Ceasar's Twelth Legion was reportedly ambushed here by 30,000 local Gauls who'd surrounded them during the night. After defending their incomplete fortifications without pause for six hours they managed to sortie out and escape with their lives. They reportedly killed around 1/3 of their opponents. But the result was one of the few defeats of a roman legion. They did not return.
I spent much of the my time trying to convince colleagues the incredible locals were attempting to farm even the highest mountain tops, as evidenced by the terraces seen here from close to the conference venue. (The truth is these were avalanche barriers).
Martigney is a town of pretty streets...
Village street 2
Church & mountain
and is dominated by this very cool castle. Incredibly, I only got this close before I ran out of time. It was extremely frustrating not to be able to explore inside. I'd spent too long exploring the roman ruins.
A roman amphitheatre. What stories these stones could tell.
A roman drain.
More roman ruins, and the story of the Twelth Legion.
Unbelievably, the locals had built a car park, and this ice rink, on poles above the top of these priceless roman ruins, which were still visible beneath.
Best of all of, the town was full of cryptids! This minotaur brazenly occupies the main street.
And we found this winged cow flying around the ceiling of the cafe next to ours one night :)