Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

Jean Bernard, guide cathédrale Saint Jean
Cathédrale Saint-Jean
Une gargouille de la cathédrale Saint-Jean
Cathédrale Saint-Jean et Basilique de Fourvière

Instead of noise: silence and tranquillity...

Jean Bernard, guide

Jean Bernard, a tourist guide at the Cathedral of Saint-Jean, takes us for a behind-the-scenes discovery tour of the site.

What's the best way to begin your visit to the Cathedral of Saint-Jean

If you're visiting the cathedral, don't be in too much of a rush to go inside. Take the time to walk around it and approach it through Place St Jean where you can admire the magnificent facade which was recently fully restored and which is now absolutely sensational.
Linger for a while at either side of the portal, where you will find 320 medallions carved into the stone. Next you can enter the building itself.
Once you have gone in, don't charge ahead too quickly but instead just watch the people entering the building, as the first thing they usually do is to look upwards at the vaults. This is exactly the reaction the cathedral builders sought to achieve.



How would you describe the artistic style of the Cathedrale?

It's built in the Gothic style. Cathedrals were often built back then over the space of just a few decades but the construction of this one took between 200 and 300 years.
It began with the chevet in the Roman style, continuing with the Gothic style on the facade, while we see a more flamboyant note emerging further down, as the Renaissance arrived.

What's the best time to visit the cathedral?

You need to come here when the sun is shining, when you can clearly see the walls and pillars coloured by the sun's rays as they pass through the stained glass windows at the top of the cathedral.
It's also worth visiting the cathedral at sunrise on the equinox. Instead of noise you'll find silence and tranquillity. Instead of death, eternal life.
After taking all of this in, you'll be ready to move on to the cathedral's inner sanctuary.


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