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Excursion tour in Lyon. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

Lyon Lyon Cathedral, Ancient Theatre of Fourviere, Town Hall, Eglise Saint Georges, Eglise Saint-Pothin, and Chamber of Commerce and Industry are the main candidates that compete for the title of the major architectural symbol of Lyon. Just like in the first part of the guide, you can watch each monument by viewing its colorful 3D model in the Lyon flyover video on the left. Don’t forget to access our photo gallery and an overview of interesting facts regarding every monument. The map of the most important architecture sights of Lyon (located below this guide) will help you to create your own sightseeing tour through Lyon.

Lyon Cathedral, Lyon

» Lyon Cathedral is an oldest temple of the 12th century, which, together with the medieval part of the city, is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist had been built for a long time, until 1481.
»  The 14th-century clock, which, in addition to time and date, demonstrates the astronomical position of celestial bodies and some stars over Lyon, has survived to our days. It chimes four times a day with mechanical human figures showing religious scenes.
»  The cathedral’s 13th-century stained-glass windows have been preserved to the present day. In the burial chapel, there’s Cardinal Bourbon’s tomb (1488).
»  The square in front of the cathedral has a sculpture of John the Baptist made by sculptor Blaise in 1780. The Cathedral is adjacent to a church singing school, which houses a museum of church treasures.
»  The temple witnessed a few remarkable medieval events. In 1600, the wedding of Henry IV and Marie de Medici took place here, and in 1622, Armand Jean du Plessis Richelieu became the cardinal of France here.

Ancient Theatre of Fourviere, Lyon

» The ancient theatre on the hill of Fourvière was discovered during excavations in the 19th century.
»  The Roman city of Lugdunum stood on the hill more than 2,000 years ago. The Romans built a city theatre for 10,000 spectators there.
»  It had very good acoustics. Theatrical performances and concerts by different musicians and singers took place here.
»  After the 1933 renovation, it was decided to hold an annual music festival in the ancient theatre. It was called Fourvière Nights.
»  It’s held in midsummer. Film, circus, drama, and comedy artists, musicians, and singers take part in the festival events.

Town Hall, Lyon

» The city hall that had been built for 26 years (1646-1672) burnt down two years after its completion. It was restored by court architects, including Jules Mansart, who built the Hôtel des Invalides in Paris and participated in the reconstruction of the Palace of Versailles.
»  The City Hall building is decorated with lots of sculptures and bas-relief. The main sculptural image above the entrance is the figure of Henry IV on a horse. However, until 1792, there was a statue of Louis XIV.
»  The city hall has a carillon consisting of 65 bells. It is the largest carillon in Western Europe.
»  The interior of the city hall is in line with its exterior. The interior of some halls has been preserved since the times of Louis XIV.
»  The front door of the City Hall has an original knocker in the form of a bronze cupid. His bottom is the place that is hit. On this occasion, locals say, “Tony Tape-cul” (‘Tony Knock-the-Bottom’).
»  The City Hall has been classified as a national historic monument since 1886.

Eglise Saint Georges, Lyon

» The Church of St. George is a traditional building. It was erected in the neo-Gothic style (the movement dates back to the Middle Ages), which is reflected in the facing of the building.
»  It was originally named the Church of Eulalia in honour of a 13-year-old girl ranked among the Christian martyrs in the Roman Empire.
»  The invasion by Saracens, nomadic robbers, damaged the building.
»  In the 14th century, it became the main house of the Hospitallers. This Christian organization took care of the poor, but parishioners could attend the temple.
»  Restoration works began in 802. It is mentioned as a divine place in Bishop Leidrad’s letter.
»  The church was restored in the 9th century. The temple was reconstructed in 1844.
»  French architect Pierre Bossan created a through stone pattern around the perimeter of the building. The interior of the elongated room is partly decorated with 19th-century drawings and sculptures by renowned craftsman Charles Dufraine.
»  The building is made of red brick. It consists of the main hall. A two-level rectangular tower was built onto it. The exterior of the church is not replete with stucco decorations, which makes the building look strict.

Eglise Saint-Pothin, Lyon

Location on the map:
Facts: » For over 10 years, the Church of Saint Pothinus in Lyon has been under government protection and supervision. It constitutes the cultural heritage of France.
»  The church was named after holy martyr Pothinus revered by both the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church.
»  Each side of the church looks different, so it seems like you see different temples before you.
»  The city authorities did not have enough funds for restoration. In 1830, a restoration project was under consideration, but only in the last quarter of the 19th century did construction works take on a massive scale.
»  The exterior of the construction resembles a Greco-Roman temple. In 1843, architect Crépet recreated the neoclassical appearance of the building, which was popular in the 19th century.
»  Crossing the transverse wall, the dome has features of Italian Baroque. The facade of the building doesn’t have any intricate decorations. The light-yellow walls are smoothly plastered.
»  The construction is characterized by the straightness of angles; proportionality is strictly observed here. The church gives the impression of monumentality and some pompousness. It’s open to visitors.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Lyon

Location on the map:
Facts: » The Palais de la Bourse is a large, skillfully decorated building that attracts tourists and is the pride and landmark of the city.
»  Architect René Dardel used balconies, columns, allegorical statues, and stone carvings to decorate the building.
»  The construction was completed in 1860. Its opening was attended by Napoleon III and his wife.
»  The building housed trade companies, courts, banks. Today, it is the city’s chamber of commerce and industry.
»  In 1894, the Palais de la Bourse hosted an exhibition that was attended by French President Sadi Carnot. During President’s speech, a criminal attacked him and mortally wounded him with a knife.
Lyon - guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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