Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

Claude Javodin, guide
Basilique de Fourvière
Cathédrale Saint-Jean et Basilique de Fourvière
Vue sur Fourvière des quais de Saône - Fête des Lumières
© Spencer Lowel

At a height of 58 m, the basilica offers a 360° view across Lyon and its region

Claude Javodin, a tourist guide

Claude Javodin, a tourist guide, tells us the story of the Fourvière Basilica

Could you give us a potted history of the Fourvière Basilica?

This basilica was built as a result of a wish made by the people of Lyon during the war against Prussia. The Prussians had invaded France and the local population had fled to the small chapel located near the basilica to pray to the virgin and ask for protection. After making this wish, Lyon's women promised to build a large church if they were protected from this invasion. The first stone was laid in 1872.


What makes the Basilica so unusual?

Firstly there is the basilica's central gallery which can be discovered from a height of 19 m, offering a magnificent view. There's the bell tower which chimes regularly to create a happy atmosphere. There is also the gallery containing the small statues produced by sculptors at the time the basilica was built before being passed on to copyists to have the life-sized versions produced.

What makes the Basilica so charming and unique?

What makes it particularly charming is the fact that it can be admired from up on the roof. This is quite rare and is not frequently found on other churches. At a height of 58 m, the observatory tower offers a 360° view across Lyon and its region.




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