France (Wikipedia)

Lister did not mention Vienne in his memoirs or pocketbook, but he traveled there with Philip Skippon on his journey back to England.

In his travel account, Skippon wrote about Vienne:

after three leagues we din’d at the red cross in Vienne. Just before we entred this city, in a corn field, we saw Pilate’s pyramid made of several stones, and erected upon four pillars, thus:

Skippon, Journey, 8 March 1666

Skippon’s little drawing was a crude representation of the Roman Pyramid of Vienne (La Pyramide de Vienne), a monument which would once have formed the centrepiece of Vienne’s Roman Circus, dating from the 2nd century A.D.  It is now the center of a roundabout, giving its name to a famous nearby restaurant.

Skippon also noted the Roman theatre in Vienne built in the first century A.D. that was said to be one of the largest in Gaul, and the two Roman gates remaining in the city.  He accurately compared the church at Vienne, a repurposed Roman tribunal, to the Maison Carrée in Nîmes:

Lastly, Skippon noted:

S. Maurice is the cathedral church, a stately building, the front of it adorned with the figures of saints, and hath a noble ascent to it of 32 steps. In S. Peter’s church yard are stone statues of two lions.

Skippon, Journey8 March 1666

The Gallery below contains images of the Roman gates, S. Maurice (which does indeed have 32 steps), and the ‘pyramid’.  Two weatherbeaten lumps of stone, the remains of the lions, still are in St. Peter’s yard.


Back to top

Comments are closed.