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Gallo-Roman Civilisation Museum, Lyon

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Contact: +33 4 7238 8190
Open Hours: Tu-Su 10a-6p
To better understand the history of Lyon, you have to start with this museum on the hill of Fourvière. It shows the prehistory and the proto-history of the Lyonnaise region, as well as the birth of Lyon (43BC) up until the 7th century. The museum is made of up 17 areas with 17 different themes - ceramics, glassware, tools, objects showing domestic life, belief systems relating to death, the army, religion, Roman Gaul circus games. More uniquely to Lyon, the key pieces are sarcophagus of the 3rd century, a processional chariot (700BC), which was found intact (area 1), the engraved Claudian table, which is fundamental for the understanding of the Roman state (area 4). There is also a lunar and solar calendar in the Gaelic language but using Latin characters, which allowed them to regulate religious life (area 9) and mosaics of circus games (chariot races), which are truly extraordinary (area 10). You can see that these give a good representation of what Lyonnaise life would have been like under Roman occupation. Worth seeing in the surroundings is the Gaelic-Roman site of the large theater and the Odeon. The shop sells books, magazines, mock-ups, and copies of objets d'art. On top of this there is a workshop to entertain and occupy children.