The oldest mural paintings in the Netherlands are hidden in a beautiful church on the outskirts of Sittard-Geleen. It might be somewhat confusing that there are two churches with the same name in the same village, but you can probably skip the new church in the centre that was built in 1922. The church replaced the ancient one at the castle, which you definitely shouldn't miss if you're in the region.
The history of the old Salviuskerk can be traced back to the late 10th century, but all that remains of the original church hall is the northern wall made of boulders from the River Meuse. Over the centuries, the church was enlarged several times and the tower was erected in 1458. During a restoration in 1977, murals from around 1300 were found. The paintings have been restored and after almost two years of tremendous efforts, which included the stripping of at least 20 layers of lime paint, are now on display. The paintings depict a Mary-themed cycle with portrayals of the childhood of Christ, the coronation of Mary and the salvation. Another sacred item found in this church is a box that supposedly contains pieces of Saint Salvius' bones.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.