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Ancient Roman Theaters in Lyon

Ancient Roman Theaters in Lyon

Lyon was an important Roman settlement and the provincial capital of Roman Gaul. You can still see evidence of its ancient past in the Fourvière district of the city, where not one, but two, well-preserved Roman theaters stand. See below to find out more about these ancient performance venues. 

Ancient Theater of Fourvière

The larger and older of Lyon’s two ancient theaters, this semicircular theater dates back to about 15 BC. In centuries past, the venue was probably used to stage gladiatorial battles in front of audiences of up to 10,000 people. Now, it mostly functions as a historic attraction, though it’s occasionally put to use: Every year in June and July, during the annual Nuits de Fourvière festival, the theater hosts a range of music, theater, dance, circus, and opera events. 


The smaller of the pair, the Odeon theater dates back to around AD 161. In its heyday, it hosted poetry readings and music recitals, and most likely would have been covered by a roof, though no remnants of that remain. This type of theater was common during ancient Greek and Roman times, and is one of only two such theaters in the Gaul region to have survived. The other Odeon theater is in Vienne, south of Lyon. 

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Lyon Attractions & Museums Card & Guide with City Map

Lyon Attractions & Museums Card & Guide with City Map

Maximize your time in the vibrant Lyon with a Lyon City Card, your passport for exploring the UNESCO World Heritage-listed wonders of the city. Explore esteemed museums at your own pace and receive free admission to 22 of Lyon’s most popular cultural institutions. Enjoy free guided tours and river cruises; purchase souvenirs in sophisticated shops at a discount; and see free concerts and puppet shows with your indispensable card. Select from either a 1-, 2- 3-day or 4 day pass and receive a free brochure and map-guide to the city when you collect your card.
  • 1 to 4 days
  • Free Cancellation