This article may be expanded with text translated from the corresponding article in the French Wikipedia. (December 2009)
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The building was discovered in the sixteenth century and was wrongly considered at the time as the amphitheater where the Christian martyrs died in Lyon in 177. Sometimes regarded as a theater or auditorium by various authors (Claude Bellièvre, Gabriel Simeoni, Guillaume Paradin), the monument appeared in several texts and plans, and was eventually deemed as a cultural building.
The Odeon was built in the early to mid-second century. Archaeologists are reluctant on the date of its construction. The excavators date the building of the same period as the extension of the theater during the reign of Hadrian. It has a 73-meter diameter and a 3,000-seat capacity, which justifies its classification as Odeon, i.e. a covered building used for musical performances and reading public, less popular than the theater performances. It was also used as meeting room for the notables of the city.