31 March 2012

Did You Know...? Part 6

The ancient theater accommodated 11,000 spectators.
The city of Lyon was founded in the year 43 BC by the Roman politician Lucius Munatius Plancus.  Early on it was given the name Lugdunum and, except for Rome, was the most important city in the western part of the Roman Empire for many years.


Several emperors played a significant role in the development and growth of Lugdunum: Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula and Nero, to name a few.

Though the city would eventually spread to what's known today as the presqu'île (the strip of land between the Saône and Rhône rivers) and beyond, the hub of activity was located at the top of the Fourvière hill where a theater, odeon, houses, and public baths had been built.

The hillside that hides the Gallo-Roman museum.
What's left of these ancient stone structures, including the theater and odeon, are open year round to visitors, and the Gallo-Roman museum, half-buried into the hillside, offers visitors a glimpse of what life was like for a citizen of Lugdunum more than 2,000 years ago.

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