The town's name is of Roman origins and derives from the inscription on a milestone that indicates the distance from the regional capital, Aosta, known at the times as Praetorian Augusta, where a check point was built: ad nonum lapidem. The town is located in the middle of the valley on the left of Dora Baltea that separates Nus from Fénis. It offers interesting excursions on unpaved roads, between fields and woods, like the route that leads from Saint-Barthelemy, through the small town of Porliod towards the plateau Champcombre. The trail offers a splendid view of the peaks of the Alps Graie.
The town has ancient origins: in the downstream district of Lignan relics from the Bronze Age and Iron Age have been found and evidence the presence of a settlement with an elliptical shape plan and a sanctuary. The remains found near the ancient castle of Pilate, including coins and medals, prove the presence of the Romans. Historical documents attest the existence of the Parish of Nus since the XVII century. Between the XI and the XVII century it was the seat of one of the most important and ancient feudal families of the Valley of Aosta, the Lords of Nus, which were responsible for the construction of the two castles: one of Pilate, of which few traces remain today, and a better preserved one, located uphill. During the domination of the Seigneurs de Nus, the Parish of Saint-Barthelemy was founded, and an important hospice was built that was already reduced to ruins as evidenced in an historical documents of 1413. Also during the domination of the lords of Nus, in the XIV century, the Ru de Joux was built, an irrigation canal which led water from the stream Saint-Barthelemy to the pastures of Nus and Verrayes and the Sanctuary of Cuney (1661). The feud was ceded to the Savoy till 1736, when the last of the Lords de Nus, Giorgio Filiberto Maria, died leaving no male heirs.
Not to miss:
The Parish of St. Hilary, built on an existing building dating from the XII century, it was cited for the first time in an official document of 1153. The original building had one major nave ads two aisles and features a central apse and two small semi-cylindrical side apses. There are visible traces of the restorations occurred during the XV century. The current building was built in the late XIX century and has a single nave and a Latin cross plan. It houses a crucified Christ of the XIV century and paintings dating from the XVIII-XIX centuries.
The Church of Saint Barthelemy, attested in 1153, was rebuilt in the XIX century. It features a porch, a particular architectural feature of the period similar to the majority of churches Aosta Valley and proposes a Latin cross plan. Inside it preserves a carved and gilded wooden altar dating from probably the late XVIII century, a painting depicting the patron saint, dating from the XX, a crucified Christ and two angels of the XVIII century and a painting of the Pieta in 1851. The church also featured a statue of St. Peter and a cross of silver dating from the XV century, which are now located in a sacred art museum recently built.
The Chapel dedicated to St. John Baptist. Reported for the first time in an official document of 1236, whilst the present building was restructured at the beginning of the XVIII century. Within it preserves an XVIII century altar.
The Castle of Nus erected in the XIII century, even though at present partially collapsed, it probably dates from the XI-XII century. The building was modified several times over the centuries XIV and XV, until it assumed its present appearance of a round shaped tower. Inside XIX century frescoes representing religious scenes are preserved.
The ruins of the Palace of Pilate. Built by the Roman procurator in Gaul, who after being sentenced to exile by the Emperor Caligula, remained fascinated by Nus during a visit to a friend. In the XIV century, a castle was built on the ruins of the palace, and abandoned two centuries later, when, following a fire, the Lords of Nus were forced to move into the castle situated further uphill, which is still visible today. The building, constructed with rectangular stone blocks features round towers at the sides and originally had three floors. Currently there are only two corner towers and three walls visible, some adorned in carved stone.
The terraced house of Saquignod (1700), the house of Lignan (1672), the house of Rovarey (1596) and the Renaissance houses of Petit-Fenis.