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Néris-les-Bains is a commune in the Allier department in the Auvergne region in central France.EtymologyThe name Néris comes from the Gaul God Nérios, deity personifying the local thermal spring (Latinized in Nerius)Geography8 kilometers southeast of Montluçon, the town is on "départementale" road 2144, which links Clermont-Ferrand to Bourges via Montluçon, and follows the trail of the ancient Roman way.The town is at 352 meters of altitude, on the first foothills of the Massif central, more precisely the plateau of the Combrailles.HistoryThe Gaul era: NériomagosAt that time, Néris is called Nériomagos . It is a village with a booming trade, at the crossroads of two major ways.The Roman colonisation: Aquae NeriiNérios is Latinized into Nérius, and Nériomagos becomes Aquae Nerii . The spring is used for therapeutic purposes and two luxurious thermal baths are created. Numerous monuments are built: temples, villas... The 8th legion Augusta stations there in the end of the 1st century, and a circle theater is built to offer circus games and stage performance to the soldiers and inhabitants. A lot of relics remain from that golden age.Germanic invasions and Merovingian eraAround 275 before Christ, the Germanic invasions destroy a part of the town and the population flees, leaving behind monetary treasures. In the 4th century, the thermal baths and the houses are partly rearranged and occupied again. A new wave of invasions destroys the town again, and the ruins are then used as a gravel-pit by the Merovingian population. Stone blocks belonging to the public buildings are thus used for the sarcophaguses now located under the glass pyramid on the church square.
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