La Vie à Lyon

Living, learning and loving in Lyon !

Archive for the tag “Fourvière”

Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière

A symbol of Lyon, la Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière looks over the city from Fourvière Hill (traditionally known as ‘the hill that prays’). It was built in the 1890s and is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, a golden statue of whom sits atop the belltower. I think it’s gorgeous, but I have read that it has been referred to as an upside down elephant.

Basilique de Fourvière (Lyon) vue de la Saône

There’s actually two churches within the basilique, the top one is all sparkly and ornate with brilliant mosaics, whilst the lower is much more plain and simple, with little shrines dedicated to Mary around the walls.


Light a candle.

Kitsch Mary shrine in the lower sanctuary.

There’s an English mass there, once a month; and the Lord’s Prayer is displayed around the stircase to the lower sanctuary in many different languages.  There’s also a tour in which you can end up on the roof!

But that’s enough of sounding like a brochure.

We’ll go there when you come to visit!


Théâtre et Musée Gallo-Romain de Lyon

I love exploring the cultural side of Lyon. Sim – not so much!

So at school one Wednesday, when we found out that we had an 8am start on the Thursday for an excursion to Fourvière and the Musée Gallo-Romain, outwardly I groaned with the rest of the class, but my inner dork was gleefully thinking, ‘Woot! Excursion! Museum!’

The museum and theatre are up on Fourvière Hill, and were once the centre of the Roman town Lugdunum – today’s Lyon. I’d been to the theatre a few times (they have an excellent summer music festival called Les Nuits de Fourvière), and wondered what the windows in the hill were. Turns out, it’s the museum!

View from the theatre. Note the windows in the hill!


And voila! View from the window!

The whole site is excellent. The theatre is thought to have been built around 15BC, but the museum’s just a bit newer, built in 1975. It houses a fabulous architectual collection, and traces the history of Lyon up until the 7th century. Even better – the descriptive plaques at each exhibit are in French and English!

And, after a few métro adventures, we also discovered that the international students know their way around Lyon’s historic hot spots better than the teachers! Tourists much?


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