Lyon, France


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Our last stop in France on our road trip was the Chicago to Paris' New York: Lyon.
Situated on the Rhône and Saône rivers, Lyon is France's most historic and culturally important city after Paris and has been a leading city since Roman times. Within the city are two very unique sections: the Old World, cobbled alleys, with Renaissance mansions of Vieux Lyon and the more Parisian feeling shopping streets of Presqu'île.
Even though it is a big city, it feels small and inviting.
Fox pondering the beauty of Lyon with the Notre-Dame Basilica up on the hill behind him.
Looking out at the Saône river while crossing the Pont Bonaparte.
We rode the funicular train up the hill to check out the beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica.
Built in 1872, this ornate church was built in thanks after the city was spared from Prussian attacks.
Not the Eiffel Tower.
Such a pretty building.
Behind the church is a terrace with breathtaking views over the city.
Just downhill from the basilica are the remains of two Roman theaters. The city was founded in A.D. 43 and soon became a central metropolis for the Roman administration of Gaul. As such, it had all the luxuries of a major Roman city including this 10,000 seat theater.
Just below the larger theater is a small theater called an Odeon which was specifically and acoustically designed for speeches and songs.
Leaving the Roman ruins we rode the train back down to Vieux Lyon.
Old Lyon offers the best concentration of well-preserved Renaissance buildings in all of France. The city grew rich from trade and banking as well as the silk industry during 16th to 19th centuries. Vestiges of this golden age are found in the pastel colored mansions in this part of the city.
The Cathedral of St. John stands in the heart of the old town. It took almost 200 years to build this beautiful Gothic church.
The interior shows off some wonderful stained glass windows from the 13th century behind and above the altar.
Back outside we wandered the charming alleys.
A unique thing about the city is the multiple traboules, or passageways, that crisscross through the buildings. These acted as walking shortcuts linking the town's three main streets and provided important shelter from the elements as silk goods were being moved from one stage of production to the next. Today, these hidden pathways give visitors an opportunity to discover pastel courtyards, loggias, and archways.
Out along the river is the Neoclassical Palais de Justice.
Looking across the river to the Presqu'île part of town.
This bit of land is a peninsula between the two rivers and is Lyon's home to shops and cafes all with a Parisian vibe.
Lyon's lovely opera house.

And finally, a view back towards Vieux Lyon. What a surprising, wonderful city.

A little video from our time in Lyon:
Our family in Lyon, France on Friday April 7th 2017.
Our very last stop of this spring break road trip: a chocolate factory in Switzerland!

2 comments

  1. What a gorgeous city! And because of his orange shirt, I could spot Fox in most of the photos! :) I love that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. I love Lyon! Went to visit my brother there. Did you see all the beautiful carroussels for the kids? And the bikes, gosh, they do everything to ride a bike around the city and limit the cars! Wish it would happen in Prague, too.

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