Spynie Castle was the fortified seat of the Bishops of Moray for about 500. The founding of the palace dates back to the late 12th Century. It is situated about 500m from the location of the first officially settled Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Moray, in present-day Spynie Churchyard.
The first castle was a wooden structure built in the late 12th century. The excavated evidence suggests that the buildings were surrounded by a rectangular ringwork and ditch which seem to have enclosed an area of roughly the same as the 14th-century curtain wall, i.e., an enclosure of 45 – 65m and is large even by medieval ringworks found elsewhere in Britain. It is likely that the buildings would have consisted of the bishop's house with a hall, a bed chamber and a chapel and also holding a brewhouse and a bakehouse.
The stone buildings first appeared in the 13th century with the establishment of what was thought to have been a chapel and which had coloured glass windows. The remaining wooden buildings were gradually replaced with stone, and this continued through into the 14th century when the first main castle building was erected. This was a near-square structure built within a 7-metre-high curtain wall.
The most significant buildings were established in the later 15th century through into the 16th century when David's Tower was built along with other substantial accommodation areas. The tower is the largest by volume of all medieval Scottish towers measuring 19m by 13.5m and 22m.
Following the restoration of Episcopacy to the Scottish Church in 1662 ownership of the castle passed back to the church, but it was starting to fall into decay.
Major work to stabilise the structure was undertaken during the late 1970s using a large scaffold. Ultimately a curtain wall was reinstated disguising a large concrete plinth that prevents the tower from collapsing.References:
The Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls was part of the federal sanctuary of the three Gauls dedicated to the cult of Rome and Augustus celebrated by the 60 Gallic tribes when they gathered at Lugdunum (Lyon). The amphitheatre was built at the foot of the La Croix-Rousse hill at what was then the confluence of the Rhône and Saône.
Excavations have revealed a basement of three elliptical walls linked by cross-walls and a channel surrounding the oval central arena. The arena was slightly sloped, with the building"s south part supported by a now-vanished vault. The arena"s dimensions are 67,6m by 42m. This phase of the amphitheatre housed games which accompanied the imperial cult, with its low capacity (1,800 seats) being enough for delegations from the 60 Gallic tribes.
The amphitheatre was expanded at the start of the 2nd century. Two galleries were added around the old amphitheatre, raising its width from 25 metres to 105 metres and its capacity to about 20,000 seats. In so doing it made it a building open to the whole population of Lugdunum and its environs.