Valmont Abbey (Notre-Dame-du-Pré de Valmont) was a Benedictine abbey founded in 1169 by Nicolas d'Estouteville with Benedictines split off from Hambye Abbey. It never held more than 25 monks and was destroyed and rebuilt several times, with the abbey church only truly completed in the 16th century – countess Marie II of Saint-Pol is buried in it.
The abbey buildings were built from 1678 to 1782 under Louis de La Fayette (1634–1729), commendatory abbot, who tried to introduce the Saint Maur reforms to the abbey. It was finally reformed in 1754 by the Maurists and was rebuilt during the second half of the 18th century, until the French Revolution, when it was dissolved – its monks were dispersed in 1789 and its buildings sold off to private owners in 1791.The painter Eugène Delacroix often holidayed at the Valmont manor house and the abbey ruins inspired his drawing Ruines de l'abbaye de Valmont, now in the musée du Louvre. The abbey became a monastic site again in 1994, re-founded by Benedictines from Notre-Dame-du-Pré at Lisieux and re-dedicated in 2004.
Its chapel and surviving ruins of other parts of the abbey were classed as a historic monument in 1951 and the facades and roofs of all the abbey buildings were made historic monuments in 1965.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.