France was as soon as one of many largest and most necessary areas of the Roman Empire (then known as Gaul). Lots of the trendy cities of France grew out of older Roman cities – e.g. guests can nonetheless see the remains of the Roman city of Lutetia in what is now Paris. Different cities in France, like Nimes boasts some of the best Roman ruins to be present in Western Europe at this time.


The most important French metropolis of Lyon additionally has a wealthy Roman previous. Guests can see not one however two nice Roman theaters within the metropolis. The 2 Roman theaters are situated aspect by aspect within the Fourviere space of town. Each of the theaters are in an affordable state of restore. They’re the Historical Theater of Fourviere (Lyon) and the Theater of Odeon.

View to Roman theatre with Notre-Dame de Fourviere in Lyon
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View to Roman theatre with Notre-Dame de Fourviere in Lyon


Theater of Fourviere: The Massive Roman Theater of Lyon

The bigger of the theaters is the Theater of Fourviere (aka the Amphitheater Gallo-Romain). It is usually older, relationship from round 15 BC, and remains to be typically used for contemporary performances. It’s situated on the hill of Fourviere and is within the historic heart of Lyon. It’s now a part of a UNESCO World Heritage Website that protects the historic elements of Lyon.

Throughout Roman occasions, Lyon was known as Lugdunum and had a inhabitants of fifty,000 to 100,000 or probably extra. Right now Lyon is the third largest metropolis in France.

It was constructed throughout the starting of the Roman Empire – probably throughout the reign of Augustus. It was enlarged within the late first or early second century and grew to have the ability to accommodate round 10,000 spectators.

  • Capability: As much as 10,000 spectators
  • First Constructed: Approx. 15 BC
  • Expanded: Early 2nd Century

With the autumn of the Western Roman Empire, the theater fell out of use. As typically befalls deserted constructions, it was quarried for its stone earlier than being fully buried throughout the Center Ages. The theater was solely rediscovered on the finish of the nineteenth century and later excavated and restored after 1933.

Theatre Gallo Romain, the ancient Roman theatre of Fourvier
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Theatre Gallo Romain, the traditional Roman theatre of Fourvier 

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Odeon: The Second Roman Theater In Lyon

The smaller Roman theater in Lyon known as Odeon or Odeum. In its day, it was used for poetry and musical recitals and as soon as had a marble ground. It could have been constructed throughout the reign of the emperor Hadrian within the second century AD (there have been many intensive development initiatives all through the Roman Empire throughout the reign of Hadrian).

  • Capability: As much as 3,000 Spectators
  • Constructed: Second Century AD

Odeon is without doubt one of the biggest monuments of the traditional Roman metropolis, nonetheless seen in Lyon. It is usually set on the Hill of Fourviere, near the opposite theater (it’s uncommon to seek out two Roman theaters so shut to one another).

The theater is estimated to have had a capability for as much as 3,000 spectators. Like its neighboring theater, it was deserted after the autumn of the Western Roman Empire and was subsequently quarried for its stone earlier than being buried and misplaced.

Whereas these ruins usually are not amongst the most impressive Roman ruins to see today, they’re very a lot price seeing for these exploring the gorgeous metropolis of Lyon.

View of Roman theatre - ancient structure in Lyon
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View of Roman theatre – historic construction in Lyon

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Planning To Go to The Roman Theaters Of Lyon

It’s straightforward to go to the theaters (and all of Lyon) by town’s wonderful public transportation community. One nice choice is to take town’s historic funicular to the theaters. It’s higher to get round Lyon by public transport – town just isn’t so automobile pleasant.

Each of the theaters are free to go to and are open from 7.00 am to 7.00 pm every single day. There’s additionally a close-by archeological museum that everybody ought to go to. For extra details about visiting the theaters and the archeological museum, check with their official website.

Roman Theaters:

  • Opening Hours: Day by day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Entry Payment: Free

Gallo-Roman Museum of Lyon-Fourvière

  • Opening Hours: Tuesday to Friday, 11 a.m. to six p.m. / Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to six p.m.
  • Entry Payment: 7 Euros ($8.00)

The Roman amphitheater on the Fouviere Hill, Lyon
oliverdelahaye / Shutterstock

The Roman amphitheater on the Fouviere Hill, Lyon

Whereas visiting, take the time to consider the traditional occasions, together with theatrical performs and gladiator fights that the Romans held there. These occasions have been typically very brutal and have been a technique to maintain the inhabitants glad.

Plan prematurely and go to the Historical Theater of Fourviere throughout the Nuits de Fourviere competition held within the previous theater.

Whereas in Lyon, take the time to pattern a few of the most scrumptious French delicacies. It isn’t for nothing that Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France.

France can be residence to a few of the finest preserved Roman buildings nonetheless standing at this time – together with the beautiful and intact ancient Roman temple called Maison Carree.



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