I’m back ! After several weeks without posting, I finally have something to write about. Last weekend was Easter and I spent it in the beautiful French city of Lyon. In the next few weeks I will try posting some of the photos that I took. Meanwhile, here is an overview of one of my first stops in the city, the Roman ruins atop the Fourvière and the Croix-Rousse districts. The théâtre antique of Lyon was built into the hill of Le Fourvière overlooking Lyon and was built in two stages. The first stage was around 15 B.C. under the emperor Caesar Augustus and the second stage took place under the reign of Caesar Hadrian during the early 2nd century A.D. At that time, an extra series of steps was added to the top of the structure increasing its diameter 108 meters and increasing the seating capacity to over 10,000 people. Next to the théâtre antique is a smaller structure called the Odéon. Built between the end of the 1st century and the beginning of the 2nd century A.D., the Odéon antique de Lyon is only one of its kind in Gaul, outside that of Vienne. It is a smaller space than its neighbor the théâtre antique and was used for music performances and rhetoric. Like the larger théâtre, a large wall behind the stage originally enclosed it. The Odéon accommodated about 3,000 spectators, who occupied two tiers of seating. The upper level has now completely disappeared. To improve acoustics, archaeologists believe that it was partly covered by a roof supported by a timber framework. Finally, built into the hill of the Croix-Rousse district is the amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules (for the regions of Lyon, Aquitaine and Belgium). Built in 12 B.C. and enlarged around 120 A.D. under the reign of Caesar Hadrian, this amphiteater seated up to 20,000 people. This is where, near to the federal sanctuary and temple of Rome and of Augustus, the representatives of the sixty-four nations of the three Gauls would meet every year. It is also here that in 177 the first Christian martyrs were tortured and executed. Blandine the slave, Attalus the nobleman and Alexander the doctor from Phrygia were among those whom Marcus Aurelius ordered to be tortured unless they renounced their faith. Ninety-year-old Pothinus, an early bishop, was beaten to death, while Blandine, whom the lions spared, died refusing to swear allegiance to idols. Their torn bodies were exposed to the public before being burned and their ashes thrown into the Rhône.