Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls

Lyon, France

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.



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Founded: 0-100 BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in France
Historical period: Roman Gaul (France)

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User Reviews

Tim Kraska (2 years ago)
Amazing history and to see something from the 1st century is a special experience. It's a quick stop because you cannot enter the amphitheater anymore. You are able to walk all the way around it from an elevated path and look down from all sides. The neighborhood is not the safest, so go early during daylight. Parking is also difficult so try to plan around weekends and evenings when everyone has parked for the day. Overall with the effort!
Alfredo Koc Li (2 years ago)
The Amphitheater is very well preserved, access is very easy either by walking or by taking the bus and stop at the town hall of the first district. The place itself is not available for public access, probably due to preservation purposes . Nevertheless, the view is very nice. There are two small texts with brief explanation of the site.
Eric Clermont (2 years ago)
The placard was informative and I'm always amazed at this type of ancient ruins.
joli joli (3 years ago)
Lucy Yarrow (3 years ago)
Great piece of Lyons history! Free to walk around and you can even walk on the amphitheater.
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