With its cutting-edge architecture and thoughtfully chosen displays, the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization dazzles visitors and inspires them to learn more about Lyon's Roman, Gaulish, and Celtic ancestors.
Visitors can tiptoe over a 100-meter mosaic while hearing tales of soap makers and barbaricaires—weavers of golden threads, two traditional trades that were active at the period. As tourists explore the enticing goods brought from the Mediterranean to the Rhône and then on to the north of the Empire, they will find fish sauce, and olive oil, delights tightly sealed in amphoras.
Archaeologist Amable Audin stressed the significance of establishing a museum to hold the numerous Roman artefacts discovered in Lyon during the 1930s. In the 1950s, Audin was successful in convincing renowned Lyon mayor Louis Pradel to construct a museum. However, the General Council of Architects rejected the original idea that architect André Donzet had suggested since it was seen to be too neo-classical and took into account the presence of the Odeon. Then, Bernard Zehrfuss' name was mentioned.
One of Gaul's oldest amphitheatres, the Roman amphitheatre, stands directly across from the museum. Together with the Odeon, they make up a unique archaeological partnership; the only other one is in Vienne. The Nuits de Fourvière, an annual concert that lasts an entire month and draws internationally renowned musicians and throngs of music enthusiasts, brings the venue's 10,000 seats to life. The amphitheatre is a place of peaceful reflection when it isn't concert season. Children kick balls, people read books while sitting on the stairs, people meander, and people imagine.
The Odeon Pavement, on the other hand, was made of the most lavishly coloured stones that were available in the Roman world: green porphyry from Greece, yellow marble from Africa, scarlet porphyry from Egypt, yellow marble from Africa, and violet and red marble from Asia Minor. What do you think? Such items are unquestionably a sign of the importance of the monument.
Visit the Roman baths in Rue des Farges, which were found in the 1970s and have been dated to the second and third century BC. Even if only to observe the contrast between old and new in the Saint Just neighbourhood, where only the foundations remain, the walk is worthwhile.
Enter the rose garden, choose a bench, and settle in with a good thriller. or love in Rome.
Snack at La Boulangerie de St Just, Lyon's top bakery. Huge cushions, flawless design, and quite friendly.
17 rue Cleberg, 69005, Lyon, France