Roman Theatre of Fourvière
6 rue de l'Antiquaille, Lyon, France
www.museegalloromain.grandly… - 04 72 38 49 30
Roman Theatre of Fourvière Lyon Reviews
Oldest Roman Amphitheatre in France Feb 27, 2016
Lugdunum is the ancient name for Lyon, which began as a Roman settlement established in 43 BC, on what is known today as Fourvière Hill. In fact, the name Fourvière comes from the Latin forum vetus (old forum). Like many places with Roman origins, amphitheaters can often be found, as they were part of the social and political center of life for Romans.
The Roman Theatre of Fourvière is the oldest in France, built by the Emperor Augustus in 10 BC and seated ~4700 people. It was later expanded under the Emperor Hadrian in 120 AD to seat ~10,700 people. These are guesstimates I suppose on the seating capacity. The seating is steep leading down to the stage, where there are some column remnants. Overall it is 27 meters in diameter. Here there were performed plays of of entertainment in tragedy and comedy.
There is a smaller theater next to this large one called The Odeon which was built later by Hadrian's successor, the Emperor Antoninus, in the mid second century BC (actual date is not known by archeologists). This smaller theater seated only ~2,500 people and was used for political and philosophical oratory, music, poetry and general intellectual elite type of activity. This theatre, though smaller, was more ornate with various stonework from Italy, Greece and Eqypt.
There are the theaters to see here, and plenty of stone blocks with Latin words carved on them around the perimeter, column remnants in the center stage area and some ruins of other buildings above the theater. It all looks fairly original for the most part, and clearly parts have been restored, but in the style of the original structure. There is an indoor museum at this site as well, which one can visit, but can not speak on it as I did not go inside. Don't miss this Roman theater in Lyon!
Part of the Lyonescence Part Deux (Feb 26 - Mar 4, 2016) travel blog
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