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Vieux Lyon, France

Vieux Lyon is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in France. It is the second biggest renaissance area in Europe after Venice. This area alone makes it worth to visit Lyon. The hidden courtyards and secret passageways of Vieux Lyon makes a little guidebook indispensable. In this book I will take you on a walk through the neighborhood and show you all the beautiful and interesting places.

Place Saint Jean, Lyon

Place Saint Jean

Here we are in Vieux Lyon. There is more than a thousand years of history between these houses. This used to be the city during the middle ages and the renaissance. It became rich thanks to the trade fairs that often took place during those times. Lyon was the main hub for trade with Italy and in those times, Italy was the trading hub of the world. Spices and exotic goods were imported through Venice and Florence was a main producer of Fine cloth. If French or English kings and nobility wanted to buy these goods, they first had to pass Lyon. Now Vieux Lyon is a UNESCO world Heritage site. It is the biggest renaissance area in France and the second in Europe, after Venice.

Saint Jean Cathedral, Lyon

Saint Jean Cathedral

This cathedral is dedicated to John the Baptist. 300 years were needed to construct it. It was started in Romanesque style and finished in the Gothic style. It is the most important church in Lyon. The archbishop of Lyon has the title of Primat des Gaules, which means ‘The first of the Gauls’. This is because Lyon was the first diocese of France. On the facade you can see 300 medallions with scenes from the bible and of daily life. Go a bit close to check them out. Nobody ever seems to look at them, but some are very nice. See if you can recognize some scenes from the bible. It should not be too hard! During the Middle Ages Lyon was the most visited city in France by the popes, after Avignon (which belonged to the Papal States). Clement V was even crowned in this church. On this occasion, a wall on the nearby hill fell down. Onlookers fled, the Pope fell and lost one of the precious stones on his tiara. The stone was never recovered. Inside, you can see that the cathedral is not very richly decorated. The choir and apse were recently completely restored. The most interesting artifact inside the cathedral is the astronomical clock from the fourteenth century. It is nine meters tall and indicates the position of the moon, sun, stars and earth (besides of course the time). The last restauration in 1954 reset the clock’s calendar and it will now be accurate until 2019. Then, it will have to be reset again.

Posted 29-6-2016
alice tips blog Lyon, France

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alice tips blog Rome

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alice tips blog Vatican