Due to the long history in which the French city of Lyon was known as an important city of the Romans, silk production, gastronomy and as a place of pilgrimage, Lyon has always welcomed many visitors. Where the two rivers Rhône and Saône meet is the most historic part of the city, Vieux Lyon. Here you can stroll through the cobbled streets that still exude the atmosphere of the Renaissance period. Thanks to the many preserved legacies from the past, districts such as Croix-Rousse, Vieux Lyon and Presqu’île have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
According to SHOEFRANTICS, there are also a number of modern architectural structures that shed light on the city of Lyon from a different perspective. For example, a futuristic building has been erected on the Rhône in which the science museum ‘des Confluences’ is housed. And every year around December 8, the city of Lyon is completely dominated by lights. With the ‘Fête des Lumières’, the festival of lights, the city attracts millions of tourists eager to attend the spectacle. For four days, Lyon has been transformed into a place full of light, color and conviviality.
Lyon ‘s Top 10 Things to Do
#1. Notre-Dame de Fourvière
This beautiful basilica of Lyon bears the name ‘Basilque Notre Dame de Fourvière’. The appearance is just as chic as the name suggests. Built in the 1880s, it has since taken a well-deserved prominence in the city known for its many historic sites. The French architect Pierre Bossan has tried to bring together both the Romanesque and Byzantine architecture in this building. Even inside, no expense has been spared with many golden details and impressive mosaics. The Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica also houses an art museum containing a variety of religious art.
#2. Ancient Theater of Lugdunum
The theater of Lugdunum can now be admired on the site where the Roman colony of Gaul used to settle. Since Lyon was an important city of the Roman Empire, entertainment had to be provided as well. In the theater mainly musical performances were shown for an average of eleven thousand spectators. The ancient theater of Lugdunum was built in the fifteenth century BC. Fourvière’s smaller and later built Odeion theater could seat about three thousand spectators.
#3. Vieux Lyon
In this largest and oldest district of the city of Lyon in the fifth arrondissement, you can discover a number of special places of interest. You can visit the Saint Jean Cathedral with the Museum of Miniatures, the Lyon Historical Museum with lots of information about the capital of Gaul, the Temple du Change the former stock exchange building and the ‘Rue du Boeuf’ perhaps the most beautiful street in the world. the city.
#4. Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization
Near the Roman theaters of Lyon is the Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilization. This museum is very informative if you would like some more background information about the period at the beginning of our era. The museum was opened in 1975 in a specially designed building. Architect Bernard H. Zehrfuss was called in for the design. The special building is completely embedded in the slope of the hill of Fourvière and almost indistinguishable. In the museum you can admire collections that span some five centuries.
#5. Place Bellecour
This beautiful square in the center of Lyon is not only impressive, but also huge. Place Bellecour measures no less than fifteen hectares. In the center of the square is the diamond statue of Louis XIV, also known as Louis the Great. As the first king of France, he also gained a lot of prestige in cities such as Lyon. The same Louis also had the Palace of Versailles built. Place Bellecour is an excellent starting point to explore the city of Lyon. Well-known shopping streets such as Rue de la Republique, Rue Victor Hugo and Rue du President Edouard Herriot start from here and lead you along nice shops and other places of interest.
#6. Parc de la Tête d’Or
This beautiful park of Lyon is located on the right bank of the Rhone. Around the lake are several gardens to discover, such as the ‘Jardin botanique de Lyon’, the botanical garden, the zoo and rose gardens. But the park is also visited by various sports enthusiasts. There is a special cycling track, but you can also enjoy fantastic running, walking, mini golf or other sports.
#7. Lyon Cathedral
Among the various churches and cathedrals of Lyon is the église Saint-Jean-Baptiste-et-Saint-Étienne or Cathédrale Saint-Jean for short. The construction of this cathedral started at the end of the twelfth century. Three centuries later, it was finally finished and even had an astronomical clock. Pay particular attention to the many stained glass windows, especially the rose windows above Ahrend’s organ.
#8. Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon
The Museum of Fine Arts is located in a former Benedictine monastery on the Place des Loges. The museum offers exquisite art with collections spanning several episodes. In addition to works of art from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, you can also admire more modern works such as those by Pierre Bonnard, Picasso and Gauguin. There is also Islamic art to admire, you can view sarcophagi inside and there are regular performances.
#9. Musée des Confluences
The remarkable science museum is located in the second arrondissement of Lyon. In addition to the origin of the universe, topics such as evolution, society and social issues are also covered. The building, which was designed by the Austrian company Coop Himmelblau, can be called controversial. Its location at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône has been central to the design. The whole has different spaces, ramps and levels that lead you to events, interesting facts and other stimulating aspects.
#10. Metal tower of Fourvière
When seeing the ‘Tour metallique de Fourvière’ metal tower of Fourvière, the link to the Eiffel Tower in Paris is quickly made. However, we are talking about a television tower less than ninety meters high. It is not Gustave Eiffel who is responsible for the design, but Eugene Collonge and engineers Collet and Bauffaud. The metal tower of Fourvière was built between 1892 and 1894 on the occasion of the World Exhibition. In the evening the tower is beautifully lit.