The most beautiful Roman mosaics north of the Alps lie within a walled Gallo-Roman town measuring 400m x 400m. The fantastic Roman Mosaics in Orbe are composed of several hundreds of pieces on the floor of the original site which was once part of an extremely large Roman villa, a real palace belonging to a rich but unknown landowner. The villa was built in approximately 160 A.D. and abandoned around the year 270 A.D. Four of the mosaics depict black-and-white or coloured geometrical "trompe l'oeil" motifs which, to the delight of their beholders, can be viewed in different ways. The other mosaics contain figurative portrayals and depict various easily-recognisable scenes, including the Minotaur labyrinth, Theseus abandoning the sleeping Ariadne, Ulysses summoning Achilles to battle and the Roman gods (the symbols of the seven planets and of the seven days of the week).


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