Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, the Roman theatre is a Roman ancient structure in
Lyon, France. It was built next to the hill of Fourvière, which is located in
the center of the Roman city.
The theatre was built in two steps: around
15 BC, a theatre with a 90 m diameter was built next to the hill. At the
beginning of the 2nd century, the final construction added a last place for the
audience. The diameter is 108 m, and there were seats for 10,000 people.
Nowadays, the theatre is primarily a tourist site, but it is still used as a
cultural venue. Each year, the Nuits de Fourvière festival takes place in the
The building was discovered in the sixteenth century and was
wrongly considered at the time as the amphitheater where the Christian martyrs
died in Lyon in 177. Sometimes regarded as a theater or auditorium by various
authors (Claude Bellièvre, Gabriel Simeoni, Guillaume Paradin), the monument
appeared in several texts and plans, and was eventually deemed as a cultural
The Odeon was built in the early to mid-second century.
Archaeologists are reluctant on the date of its construction. The excavators
date the building of the same period as the extension of the theater during the
reign of Hadrian. It has a 73-meter diameter and a 3,000-seat capacity, which
justifies its classification as Odeon, i.e. a covered building used for musical
performances and reading public, less popular than the theater performances. It
was also used as meeting room for the notables of the city.