It was founded circa 585–590 by the Irish missionary Saint Columbanus. Columbanus and his companions first settled in cells at Annegray, in the commune of Voivre, Haute-Saône. Looking for a more permanent site for his community, Columbanus decided upon the ruins of a well-fortified Gallo-Roman settlement, Luxovium, about eight miles away. The Roman town had been ravaged by Attila in 451, and was now buried in the dense overgrown woodland that had filled the abandoned site over more than a century, but the place still had the advantage of the thermal baths ("constructed with unusual skill", according to Columbanus' early biographer, Jonas of Bobbio) down in the valley, which still give the town its name of Luxeuil-les-Bains. Jonas described it further: "There stone images crowded the nearby woods, which were honoured in the miserable cult and profane former rites in the time of the pagans".