The Amphitheater of the Three Gauls (Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules) is the lesser known of two ancient Roman sites in Lyon. (The other is the Théâtres Romains de Fourvière complex near the basilica.) The amphitheater derives its name from ancient Lyon's role as the capital of the Three Gauls (Lugdunensis, Belgica, and Aquitania), three regions of Roman France.
At the time of its construction around 19 BC, the Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules was the centerpiece of Condate, a Gallic village that predated the arrival of the Romans by centuries. It would have had room for 20,000 people at one time. Various accounts have members of Gallic tribes meeting here in the earliest example of a parliamentary system. Based on that information, France's 2,000th anniversary was celebrated in Lyon in 1989.
It was at this amphitheater that the first Christian martyrs in Lyon were thrown to the lions in 177 AD. The most famous martyr to suffer here was St. Blandine. According to tradition, Blandine was thrown into the amphitheatre with the lions, but they refused to eat her. The lions were replaced by a bull, which also refused to harm her. Finally, Roman soldiers took matters into their own hands and killed her with their swords.
Quick Facts on the Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules
|Names:||Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules · Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules|
|Categories:||arenas; amphitheaters; ruins|
|Dates:||c. 20 BCE|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||45.770674° N, 4.830487° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near the Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules|
Map of the Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules, Lyon
Below is a location map and aerial view of the Amphithéatre des Trois Gaules. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.