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Climb to the top of Fourvière hill, where the Théâtres Romains de Fourvière (Roman Theatres of Fourvière) looks down upon the city of Lyon. It is part of a UNESCO site with three fascinating ancient structures providing an opportunity to gain insight into Roman life in the region.
The theater was built from the 17th to the 15th centuries B.C. by order of Augustus and could hold about 4,700 spectators. It was later enlarged under Hadrian in the 2nd century. In subsequent centuries, the ancient complex fell into decline and ruin. Following excavations in the 20th century, the theater was restored. Now visit to enjoy cultural events, including concerts, operas and dance recitals.
As you enter the Roman complex, imagine the events that would have been held here in ancient times, including gladiatorial fights, poetry readings and tragedies. Visit the main theater where you’ll be struck by the scale of the site. During the height of its use, it was able to host 10,000 spectators.
Investigate the smaller Odeon theater too, where poets and musicians showcased their new works to members of the Roman elite. Look for remnants of the original rich design, including inlaid geometric marble mosaics and porphyry on the orchestra floor. This Odeon is one of only two Roman theaters of its kind in France. The other example is located in Vienne.
Don’t miss the third and final structure within the complex. Located behind the main theater are the remnants of a Roman temple, which was dedicated to the goddess of nature and fertility, Cybele.
While you’re at the top of Fourvière hill, complement your Roman knowledge with a visit to the nearby Musées Gallo-Romains, which houses a collection of remarkable ancient artifacts, including coins, statues and ceramics.
During summer, the theater hosts an eclectic series of annual live performances as part of the Fourvière Nights festivals. Purchase tickets in advance.
To get to the Roman Theatres, walk up the pathways of Fourvière hill or take the funicular from the Vieux Lyon metro station. The ruins are free to enter and are open Tuesday through Sunday.
How about making your visit to Roman Theatres of Fourviere even more unforgettable? Don't miss the chance to try out one or two of these activities:
Wondering what there is to do at this popular attraction? Our suggestion would be purchasing a Private Lyon Gourmet Food Tour in a Tuk-Tuk.
For many more activities, take a look at our Lyon things to do page.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Roman Theatres of Fourviere, Gallo-Roman Museum (Musee de la Civilization Gallo-Romaine), and Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. Lyon Cathedral and Bellecour Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Vieux Lyon Station is 14 minutes by foot and Gorge de Loup Station is 20 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this romantic hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Part Dieu Mall, Bellecour Square, and Tete d'Or Park. Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière and Confluence Museum are also within 3 mi (5 km). Part-Dieu - Servient Tram Stop is only a 5-minute walk and Palais de Justice - Mairie du 3eme Tram Stop is 6 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this residence is within 1 mi (2 km) of Jean Moulin University and Textile Museum. Musee Lumiere and Bellecour Square are also within 2 mi (3 km). Garibaldi - Berthelot Tram Stop is only a 4-minute walk and Route de Vienne Tram Stop is 6 minutes.
This family-friendly Lyon hotel is located near the airport, within a 5-minute walk of Musée Gadagne and Lyon Cathedral. Gallo-Roman Museum (Musee de la Civilization Gallo-Romaine) and Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière are also within 10 minutes. Vieux Lyon Station and Lyon Saint Paul Station are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this boutique hotel is steps from Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and Place des Terreaux. Lyon City Hall and Lyon Opera are also within 10 minutes. Hotel de Ville - Louis Pradel Station is only a 5-minute walk and Cordeliers Bourse Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this residence is within a 10-minute walk of Place des Jacobins, Lyon Cathedral, and Bellecour Square. Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and Lyon City Hall are also within 10 minutes. Cordeliers Bourse Station is 5 minutes by foot and Bellecour Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Place des Jacobins, Bellecour Square, and Lyon Opera. Lyon Cathedral and Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon are also within 15 minutes. Cordeliers Bourse Station is only a 4-minute walk and Bellecour Station is 6 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Bellecour Square, Lyon Cathedral, and Textile Museum. Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon and Lyon City Hall are also within 15 minutes. Bellecour Station is only a 2-minute walk and Vieux Lyon Station is 7 minutes.