The Colline de Fourvière overlooks Lyon and the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. The Rhône Valley is a natural north-south axis that has been used for commercial exchanges between northern countries and Mediterranean ports since ancient times.
In the fourth century BC, the Gauls took advantage of Fourvière's strategic location to construct Fort Lugudunon. In 43 BC, the Romans converted the old Gaulish fortification into a military camp. Lugdunum was the base camp from which their mercenaries invaded Britain and Germany. The community grew and stretched to a second hill called Colline de la Croix-Rousse, as well as to La Presqu'île.
The Colline de Fourvière bears the name of the Roman Forum. Nothing remains of it, as the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica was built in its place, but significant other remnants of Lugdunum remain. The theater was built in 14 BC and has a circumference of 108m. It originally had 4500 seats but was eventually expanded to accommodate 10,000 spectators a century later. It is now a prominent tourist attraction and the site of the annual Nuits de Fourvière festival. The Odeon is the second and smaller theatre; it has a circumference of 73m and can seat only 3000 people.
The museum, which was built near the theater, houses spectacular collections of mosaics, sculptures, and architectural remnants discovered during the excavations. The main attraction, however, is the Table Claudienne - Lyon Tablet, which was preserved in the Sanctuary of the Three Gauls.
While attending the vine that grew on the site of the Sanctuary in 1528, a draper discovered it. Two big parts of this 2,50 m × 1,93 m bronze tablet are etched with a speech delivered before the Senate by Emperor Claudius in 48AD.
The emperor awarded the rulers of the Gallic Nations eligibility for the seats of Roman magistrates and Senators in that speech; Claudius was strongly pro-Gauls, having been born in Lyon.
Gallia Aquitania, Gallia Lugdunensis, and Gallia Bellica, as well as a senatorial province, were created by Emperor Augustus (Gallia Narbonensis). He established Lugdunum as the capital of the Three Gauls and the permanent seat of their governors.
The Trois Gaules represented 60 Gallic nations, whose delegates attended the Council of Gaul on August 1st of each year. In the Amphitheater of the Three Gauls, the assembly served as an administrative and political body.