Fourvière: the birthplace of Lyon

It is at Fourvière in 43 BC where Lugdunum, a Roman colony which slowly evolved towards the Saône river and the Peninsula was established.

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Today it home to Lyon’s most emblematic monument, Notre Dame de Fourvière, a late 19th century basilica built in shimmering white stone in the neo-Byzantine style, and very similar in this respect to the Sacré-Coeur basilica at Montmartre, in Paris.

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Remaining ancient monuments from the Roman period, an archeological site and the Gallo-Roman museum, can be found here. The intriguing museum that tells the story of the Roman occupation of Lyon. Built into the hillside, it has an unusual entrance down a spiral ramp that leads you to the exhibits. Admire the trinkets and tools that were part of local life 2,000 years ago, as well as collections that pre-date the Romans.

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Descend the concrete slope into the depths of history to view the museum’s unearthed treasures. It is known for its stunning mosaics, including the Circus Mosaic, a true highlight due to its rarity. It is an almost unique portrayal of the chariot races in Lyon. See the remaining parts of the Altar of Rome and Augustus and the Lyon Tablet, which contains a transcribed speech made by Emperor Claudius.

Ahead of your visit you can take a virtual tour of the Musée Gadagne.

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Gadagne provides the people of Lyon with landmarks and objects to help them have a better understanding of the city in which they live and work. With the 80 000 objects in its collection, the Lyon History Museum portrays the key factors in the city’s development : town planning, political and social, economic, cultural, spiritual and intellectual history.

For those discovering Lyons, the museum is the starting point for exploring the city.

Today’s Lyon…