Considered as one of the oldest witnesses of Christian Gaul, Saint Johns Baptistery was probably first erected during the 5th century, before being remodelled in the 7th and 11th centuries. On the upper parts of the walls outside, one can still admire an interesting Merovingian décor of pilasters, pediments and ornaments in brick. Mouldings of these are exhibited inside the building.
The former octagonal pool has been conserved, recalling the practice of baptism by complete immersion. Wall paintings of the Romanesque (late 11th c.) and Gothic (mid 13th c. ) era can also be seen.
Since the French Revolution, the baptistery has had several other uses, and was nearly demolished when the very-near rue Jean-Jaurès was opened in the early 19th century.
Purchased by the State in the 1830s, it was then entrusted to the Société des Antiquaires de l'Ouest. This local historical society, very much concerned with the preservation of the small building, chose to exhibit a part of their lapidary collections inside.
Opening from October 1st to march 31 : 14h30 to 16h30. Closed on tuesday
Opening from April 1st to September 30 : 10h30 to 12h30 and 15h30 to 18h. Closed on tuesday