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France is an amazing country with a rich historical past. The sights of Lyon are in one way or another an integral part of this culture. The third most populated city will present what to see in Lyon will be a real pleasure.
First things to see in Lyon
The amazing location of the city has made it especially attractive for tourists. The surrounding Alps and the European Massif Central provide the city with a cozy and warm climate.
1. Lyon Cathedral
Lyon Cathedral Saint-Jean or Cathedral of St. John the Baptist Guillaume Baviere
The main attractions of Lyon are briefly connected in one way or another with the religious heritage of the city. The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is located in the medieval district of Lyon – Saint-Jean. A feature of the architectural masterpiece is not only the century of construction of the cathedral, but also the status of a primate temple. The Archbishop of Lyon conducts divine services in this church. Moreover, a trip to France cannot bypass this temple, since it is here that the oldest astronomical clock in the world is located. On the territory of the cathedral there is an archaeological garden, the historical value of which is invaluable. A tourist who wants to visit the attraction should carefully plan the day, as the cathedral is not always open.
2. Lyon Museum of Fine Arts
Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon ) Tancrede
The sights of Lyon are rich in cultural monuments from different eras. The Museum of Fine Arts is the most valuable museum complex in France. Its historical past is rather ornate. The building used to house a monastery, then the French Revolution brought destruction here. However, the baroque features of the amazing structure have been preserved. The exposition of the museum is replete with monuments of culture of different centuries and peoples. Recommendations for a visit are justified: the richest collection of coins, outstanding exhibits of sculpture, painting and much more. In terms of significance, the museum has the status of an outstanding collection of masterpieces in all of Old Europe.
Official website: http://www.mba-lyon
3. Confluence Museum
Confluence Museum (Musee des Confluences) in Lyon Guilhem Vellut
The dilemma of what to see in Lyon in 1 day can be easily solved with a visit to the Confluence Museum. The futuristic, spaceship-like form of the museum has managed to acquire the status of a landmark in Lyon, which is in line with the modern architectural trend. The unique combination of variegated forms, glass and concrete created a one-of-a-kind architectural structure. “Crystal” or “Hole” – this is how the locals call the museum, was built in 2014 and has already managed to acquire the rating of the most visited place. A feature of the exhibition of the museum is a narrow focus on anthropological topics. Visitors will be able to enjoy an exhibition of unique memos testifying to the process of evolution of the human species.
Official website: http://www.museedescon
4. Antique theater on Fourviere Hill
Antique Theater on the Fourvière Hill in Lyon Andrew and Annemarie
The best sights of Lyon, without a doubt, are concentrated on the hill of Fourviere. The great era of the Roman Empire produced many invaluable monuments. The ancient theater of Lyon was built during the reign of the founder of the Empire – Octavian Augustus. Nowadays, this attraction attracts thousands of tourists every year. In addition, the famous Fourvière Nights festival is held here seasonally. The architectural ensemble also includes an ancient settlement and an odeon. Thanks to the natural acoustics of the theatre, musical events are a resounding success.
Official website: https://lugdunum
5. Bellecour Square
Bellecour Square in Lyon
The sights of France are not only massive architectural structures, but also many spacious squares. Bellecour, which means “Beautiful Garden”, is located in the center of Lyon. According to statistics, this area is the third largest in the country. In the distant past, this place was a large plantation of the same grape variety. Guides in Lyon always lead a tour of Place Bellecour.
Be sure to watch this beautiful video about Lyon!
6. Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization
Museum of the Gallo-Roman civilization in Lyon Ken and Nyetta
Thanks to the rich historical past of the country, tourists have something to see in Lyon. The aforementioned theater on the hill of Fourviere, in combination serves as a haven for the museum. The place, which in the past was occupied by the Roman settlement of Lugdun, now welcomes tourists from all over the world. Thanks to the unique archaeological finds in this area, dating back to the Roman period, the museum was opened at the end of the 20th century. Numerous positive reviews about the museum are not in vain, because the exhibition contains rare finds of Roman culture and life. Thanks to the painstaking work of historians and archaeologists, it was possible to ensure the amazing preservation of the exhibits.
Official website: https://lugdunum.gran
7. Aquarium du Grand Lion
Aquarium du Grand Lyon in Lyon
If the question of where to go in Lyon is still relevant, then the local aquarium will be the best way out. A modern, multifunctional building will allow you to enjoy the richest water world to your heart's content. Rare species of fish, predatory sharks and many other families of the marine world swim here.
Official website: https://www.aquarium
8. Blandan Park
City Park Blandan (Parc sergent Blandan) in Lyon Prométhée
A tourist who did not visit the notorious Blandan Park clearly missed the opportunity to admire the unique beauty of Lyon. A modern, huge park is a vast recreation area, as well as a playground. The skateboard court is a separate perfect structure. And a lot of playgrounds for children will dilute the tedious visit to the city's museums.
9. Municipal Botanical Garden of Lyon
Municipal Botanical Garden in the Parc de la Tete d'Or in Lyon Simlaurent
Connoisseurs of the charms of the local nature should choose excursions in Lyon, which undoubtedly pass through the park of Lyon. It has more than a hundred hectares of clean ecological environment, a large number of recreation areas, clean water bodies. There is also a modern zoo. The Golden Head Park is considered one of the largest botanical gardens in Europe.
10. Jacobins Square
Place des Jacobins in Lyon Koudkeu
As part of the city's exquisite architecture, Place des Jacobins connects the main streets of Lyon. A visit to this attraction will give you the opportunity to admire the graceful fountain, and the close location of the main objects of the city will allow you to plan a successful trip.
Sights of Lyon: what else to visit in Lyon?
Thanks to the above information, photos of Lyon sights with names and descriptions are now available for visiting. However, this does not mean that the interesting places in Lyon are over.
11. Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere
Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourviere (Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere) in Lyon
What to visit in Lyon immediately? Such a place is the Basilica of Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere, in the appearance of which neo-Gothic and neo-Byzantine styles are harmoniously combined. The basilica, due to its location on the top of the hill, solemnly rises above the city. The peculiarity of its design is that the temple consists of two parts: upper and lower.
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Wall of Canutz or “Wall of the Lyon Weavers” (Mur des Canuts) in Lyon µµ
Overcoming Lyon on my own<b>,</b> on the streets of the city you can find realistic frescoes that adorn the facades of many buildings. These murals are so realistic that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish where the drawing is and where the reality is. One of the most famous frescoes is called “Le Mur Des Canuts” – a bizarre painting covers the wall of house 36 Boulevard des Canuts and depicts the daily life of the inhabitants of the house and the quarter – here you can see the stairs, the townspeople relaxing on the terrace and people visiting shops. The stands installed in the arch of this house testify that since its creation, this painting has repeatedly changed its appearance, transformed from a simple drawing into a complex three-dimensional composition. The greater the distance from the observer to the fresco, the more realistic everything that is depicted there seems. In order to see this creation, you will have to make an effort, climbing up the slope, but the beauty of the opened views compensates for all the difficulties of the ascent.
Croix-Rousse hill in Lyon Philippe Alès
An overview of this picturesque area of Lyon needs the tourist to experience the grandeur of the residential area with their own eyes. The massive hill of Croix-Rousse is famous for the fact that the famous Lyon silk is made here.
14. Lumiere Institute
Institut Lumière Museum in Lyon Velvet
Art historians and connoisseurs of world cinema cannot pass by the Lumiere Brothers Museum in Lyon. The institute-museum clearly demonstrates the Kinetoscope, an invention that changed the world and created cinema.
Official website: http://www.institut-lumiere
15. Fresco “Famous Lyons”
Fresco “Famous Lyonnais” (Fresque des Lyonnais) in Lyon dierk schaefer
The undoubted proof that art can change the world is the world-famous fresco on the street of Lyon. The facade of an old house has become a canvas for creating a masterpiece. The fresco depicts prominent people of the city of Lyon: both living and dead. Work on the creation of a perfect facade began at the end of the 20th century and was solemnly completed in 2013.
16. Old Lyon
Sights of the medieval quarter in the western part of the French city of Lyon
Tourists study the historical districts of cities with special awe and interest, and Old Lyon is no exception, the ancient buildings of which reflect the rich history of this French city. This is the oldest Renaissance city in France, located at the foot of the Fourviere hill. Its territory covers more than 400 hectares, so Old Lyon is also one of the largest Old Towns in all of Europe. In the 60s, the city authorities began work on the restoration of these territories, and today everyone can see the historical center of Lyon with their own eyes and immerse themselves in the atmosphere of the Middle Ages. Among the priority places that deserve attention, it is worth highlighting the Saint-Paul quarter with the church of the same name of the 6th century, the Bondi Palace with regular exhibitions and vernissages suitable here, the Saint-Georges quarter, which once housed weaving manufactories, the Jewish quarter of Juivery, the Gothic Cathedral of St. John Baptist with the adjoining archaeological garden.
17. Lyon City Hall
The facade of the City Hall overlooks Place Terreau in the center of the Presquiville quarter in Lyon Strapontin
In the Lyon district of Presqu'il, one of the most elegant and impressive city buildings is located – the city hall of Lyon, which has retained the features of different eras. In the 17th century, the construction of the first building of the town hall transformed the Terro marketplace, but this splendor flaunted only 2 years, after which it was burned to the ground by a strong fire. This time the building was built in a beautiful baroque style, the facade was decorated with numerous sculptures, including two female figures representing the rivers Renu and Saone. The tower houses one of the largest carillons in Europe, consisting of 65 bells. The patio is decorated with bas-reliefs and sculptures of Roman gods, while the interior is replete with baroque elements, gold glittering decor, stucco and carved wooden furniture. In the armorial hall, even the painting of the ceilings from the time of the first construction of the town hall has been preserved. Today, the town hall houses the City Hall.
Traboule in the courtyard of the Voras 1840 Blaise LAUSTRIAT
Lyon traboule from several spans and covered galleries Guillaume Baviere
The historical center of Lyon, in addition to architectural monuments, is remembered by tourists for its special old streets called traboules. This is a typical Lyon concept, denoting a narrow through corridor that cuts through several buildings in a row to connect a series of city streets. It can be both a covered gallery and an open-air alley. In each Traboule, Lyon seems to reveal one of its ancient secrets, leading through mysterious corridors to an unknown goal. The history of some traboules dates back to the 4th century – these passages then served for the descent of residents for water to the Sona River. There are different types of traboules, from simple ones connecting 2 streets to the most complex multi-storey labyrinths – by the way, thanks to such labyrinths, many Lyons could escape and even run away from the enemy during revolutions and wars.
19. Bartholdi Fountain< /h3>
Bartholdi Fountain on Place Terreau in Lyon Chabe01
On Terro Square, you can admire the most symbolic building of Lyon – the Bartholdi Fountain, which is beautiful both day and night – in the daytime, its life-giving coolness saves you from the sweltering heat, and at dusk the composition is lit up with cozy illumination. However, not only the type of structure is of interest, but also the history of its creation. In general, originally the fountain was supposed to be an ornament of one of the squares of Bordeaux. However, the price of the project indicated by the sculptor Bartholdi was regarded as unreasonably high, so the city authorities refused to implement this project. The master resold the building to Lyon, and since then it has graced Place Terreau. The fountain is made in the form of a sculptural composition, the main character of which is a woman driving a chariot with 4 horses. The depicted lady symbolizes France, and the horses symbolize the four great French rivers Seine, Rhone, Garonne and Loire.
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Church of Saint-Georges on the river Saone Matt Neale
In the south of Old Lyon, where port facilities were located in antiquity, and artisans conducted their trade in the Middle Ages, there is the Saint-Georges quarter, the name of which was given by the church of St. George – one of the oldest churches in Lyon, founded in the 6th century. This majestic Gothic building rises on the embankment of the Saone River and has existed for 1.5 millennia, but it acquired its present appearance only in the 16-17th centuries, and the reconstruction of the 19th century returned the temple to its original medieval appearance. The history of the Church of St. George cannot be called simple – it was repeatedly destroyed, restored, and at some point it was even used as a storehouse for hay. Today, the restored graceful structure adorns the city embankment; its neo-Gothic architectural style is a tribute to the memory of the early Middle Ages. Inside, you can see antique furniture and a 16th-century altar depicting the coronation of the Virgin.
21. Church of Saint-Nizier
Saint Nisier Church in the center of Lyon Matt Neale
The Church of Saint-Nizier in the Presqu'ille district is dedicated to Saint Nicetius, who, so to speak, was a hereditary saint – his grandfather was a revered saint, his sons and grandson had the rank of bishop. And after, of course, Niketios was buried in the Basilica of Peter and Paul, after which that place was marked by many miracles. The basilica itself was erected in the 5th century on the site where the remains of the martyrs who were executed here in the 2nd century AD were buried. After the glorification of St. Niketios, the church of Time and Paul changed its name and began to bear the name of Saint-Nizier. In different periods, this ancient temple was subjected to large-scale reconstructions, the last of which was carried out in the 20th century, some parts were rebuilt. Therefore, today the facade has features of eclecticism and some asymmetry, this is especially noticeable in 2 heterogeneous towers erected at different times. On one of the church towers, you can see an astronomical clock, and the facade is decorated with sculptures and stucco decorations. The main value inside the temple is the white marble altar with the figures of Christ and the apostles.
22. Museum of Cinema and Miniatures
Facade of the Museum of Cinema and Miniatures in Vieux Lyon Micka13
The museums of Lyon are real treasures and repositories of the cultural heritage of Lyon. One of the popular trends in French contemporary art is the creation of miniatures, and one of the most famous collections of miniatures is located in Lyon. The collection of the Museum of Film and Miniatures was founded by Dan Oldman, who during his life traveled the world and collected film props. Today, the first part of the collection features miniature models of hotels, bars, hospitals, workshops, temples and other institutions that are copies of the famous buildings of Lyon. The second part is dedicated to the scenery and film props for many world-famous films, including Star Wars, The X-Files, The Da Vinci Code, Harry Potter and many other masterpieces of cinema. A special place here is given to the props for the film “Perfume” – dozens of various jars, test tubes, cones, costumes and furniture – all this allows you to travel into the eerie atmosphere of this unusual film.
Official website: https://www.museem
23. Amphitheater of the Three Gallias
View of the ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater of the Three Gallias on the slopes of Croix-Rousse Lyon Cqui
The ruins of the ancient Roman amphitheater of the Three Gallias are located in the northern part of the historical center, on the slope of the Croix-Rousse hill. The time of construction is known approximately – 1st century BC. The amphitheater got its name in honor of the three Roman provinces that were located on the territory of modern France. Here, representatives of these Gallic provinces gathered for meetings and to resolve various issues. Later, legionnaires took the oath here, and in the 2nd century executions and tortures of the first Christian martyrs were arranged. Among them, one of the most famous martyrs was Saint Blandina, who died in the arena after numerous torments to which she was subjected. In memory of this martyr, a monument was erected in the southeastern part of the amphitheater. Near the building you can see other evidence of the Roman era – the remains of an aqueduct, a temple, an odeon, and in the immediate vicinity there is a museum of the Gallo-Roman civilization.
Official website: https://en.lyon-france
24. Lyon Opera
Eight statues of muses on the central facade of the modern Opera and Ballet Theater in Lyon Manuel Farnlacher
Speaking allegorically, the soul of the hospitable Lyon can be called the Lyon Opera. Her friendly team today includes ballet and opera troupes, an opera choir and a symphony orchestra. The modern theater bears the name of the architect who designed the building – Jacques Nouvel. The opera house was first opened in the middle of the 18th century, but by the beginning of the next century it could not accommodate the growing audience, and in 1831 a new theater was built on the site of the old building, the opening of which was marked by the production of The White Lady. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a number of French and foreign premieres thundered here, and in 1985 it was decided to erect a new building again. The construction lasted 4 years, only the shell remained from the old building, all the premises inside were completely reconstructed, the lower floors were added, the height of the building was increased. And now, a luxurious baroque theater, decorated with a colonnade and marble sculptures of muses, is the bright decoration of Lyon.
View of the 17th century Hôtel-Dieu from the river Rhone in Lyon Phinou
In the heart of Lyon there is an extraordinary complex “House of God”, also known as the Hotel-Dieu. This is a medieval hospital, which became famous primarily for the stay here in the 16th century of the Benedictine monk Francois Rabelais, who wrote the famous work Gargantua and Pantagruel. The building of the hospital, built back in the Middle Ages, was originally a meeting place for pontiffs and a haven for travelers. But after the arrival of the first doctor, the Hotel-Dieu became a full-fledged hospital. Over the centuries, the building of the hospital was repeatedly expanded, supplemented with outbuildings and courtyards. Later, the building housed the Museum of Civil Hospices, which tells about the history of medicine. The Hôtel-Dieu has a chapel, which today has been restored and is available for viewing – a beautiful baroque building has a rich finish with elements of relief and gilding. Here you can see the font, in which at least 40 thousand citizens were baptized from the 40s to the 70s of the last century.
Official website: https://grand< /p>
26. Exchange Palace
The magnificent building of the 19th century Palace of the Exchange in Lyon Chabe01
One of the most beautiful architectural structures in Lyon is the Palais des Exchanges, a magnificent building that combines elements of classicism and baroque, a real embodiment of the financial power of Lyon in the 19th century. This beautiful building with balconies, colonnade and decorative elements of carved stone is hard to miss when passing Places Terreau and Bellecour. The history of the Palace began in 1853, when the municipality decided to build a building that would house not only the stock exchange, but also an art museum, shops and ateliers. Construction started 3 years later, and soon a beautiful building grew up, at the opening of which Emperor Napoleon III himself and his wife were present. Over the history of its existence, the Exchange Palace has witnessed many historical events. At various times, its walls housed a credit bank, a commercial court, a workers' rights council and a community of silk merchants. Today, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the city operates on the premises of the Palace.
27. Mini World Lyon
Mini World Lyon Benoît Prieur exhibits
Cityscape in Mini World Lyon Benoît Prieur animated miniature amusement park
The Mini World Lyon amusement park opened in 2016 at the Silk Square entertainment center in Vaulx-en-Velin in the suburbs of Lyon. Mini World Lyon is a HO 1:87 scale miniature park built entirely indoors on 4,500 square meters. Here you can see: animated scenes from life, moving vehicles, copies of world famous sights, models of famous world capitals. This largest amusement park in France is suitable for all ages.
Official site: https://miniworldlyon
28. Fourviere metal tower
Metal tower on Fourvière hill in Lyon
As you travel to old Lyon, the guide will point out another attraction – the Fourvière Metal Tower, located on a picturesque hill near the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica. This tower has long been one of the symbols of Lyon, and according to the original idea, it was supposed to be an exact copy of the third level of the well-known Eiffel Tower. This metal composition was built just a few years after its famous predecessor was presented at the World Exhibition. An interesting fact is that Fourviere, as it were, ideologically “balances” the neighboring basilica – the Republicans were dissatisfied with the construction of the cathedral, and it was from their submission that the structure grew, which is an example of republican architecture. Today, the tower impresses with its size – the above-ground height of the structure is 86 meters, but over the Rhone River it rises to all 350 meters. A funicular leads up to Fourviere, taking visitors up the hill of the same name.
Official website: https://en.lyon-
29. Golden Head Park< /h3>
Large greenhouses in the urban park of the Golden Head in the north of the French city of Lyon
Among the most picturesque places in Lyon is the Golden Head Park, located north of the historic center. This is a huge territory of 117 hectares with well-groomed alleys, shady paths, beautiful meadows and fragrant flower beds. There is also a large lake where you can swim in a boat, and a zoo, and stables, and various opportunities for outdoor activities – a velodrome, mini-golf, a boule playground. The purpose of creating this park in the middle of the 19th century was to create a landscape complex reminiscent of the famous Bois de Boulogne in Paris. Initially, a dam was created to prevent flooding of the territories, at the same time a zoo with thousands of species of alpine plants, a rose garden with hundreds of species of wild roses were opened. Later, greenhouses with tropical plants, orchids, cacti and azaleas were opened. In the northern part of the park lake there are two islands, where you can swim by boat, and on one of them there is a military monument.
30. Festival of Lights
Riverside Saone illuminated “Thank you Mary” during the traditional Festival of Lights in Lyon
The beginning of December is a magical pre-Christmas period, and in every European city it is famous for something special. One of the best options for what to do in Lyon in winter is to guess the dates and go to the festival of light on December 8, which transforms the city for several days, turning it into a center of mass entertainment and high art. At this time, local cathedrals, monuments, squares and fountains, as if by magic, are transformed into colorful pictures, illuminated by hundreds of various lights from lanterns and searchlights. The history of this bright holiday began in December 1852, when the people of Lyon, in honor of the opening of the statue of the Virgin Mary on the hill of Fourviere, at the same time approached the open windows of their houses and lit candles. Since then, this event has become an annual tradition, technologies have changed, light sources have improved, but one attribute of the holiday has remained unchanged – fire. The Festival of Lights in Lyon is a great excuse to see Lyon in winter and spend three nights of magic here on the eve of the New Year. Lyon is a city where many world cultures meet. The architectural richness of the city will give the guests of France an unforgettable experience. Fashionable boutiques, restaurants and hotels in Lyon will allow you to fully experience the unique atmosphere of the city.
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