Basilica of Saint-Martin d'Ainay

Lyon, France

Basilica of Saint-Martin d'Ainay

The Basilica of Saint-Martin d'Ainay (French: Basilique Saint-Martin d'Ainay) is a Romanesque church in Ainay in the Presqu'île district in the historic centre of Lyon, France

Legendary origins of a remarkably large church, which may once have stood on this site, are noted by Gregory of Tours and may be connected to the account of Eusebius, in his Historia Ecclesiae, of the martyrdom of Blandina, the young girl among 48 Christians fed to lions by the Romans in 177 in Lyon's amphitheatre. The lions refused to eat her, according to Eusebius: she and the others were martyred nevertheless. Their bones were burnt, thrown into the river, and washed up downstream where the surviving Christians of the community buried them secretly beneath the altar of what Gregory calls a "basilica of remarkable magnitude." Other candidates for the martyrs' basilica site include the Church of Saint Nizier, upstream, and Lyon Cathedral across the Saône.

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