Fourviere is a special place for its connection with the origin of the city of Lyon. In this city the second Catholic church of Europe can be found and with your imagination you can see what kind of experiences the people of the time had who watched between the two rivers, the Saone and the Rhone, the ability to give rise to a city like Lyon. It is charming.
The Parc de la Tête d'Or in Lyon is an amazing place. The meadows, lakes and countless animals provide for a wealth of activities. Any season of the year, it's nice good to walk on the paths, but if what we want is a more varied plan, it's best to head there in spring-summer. We opted to get there by the trolley that leaves you near the park entrance. Just like in the movies, you roll out your red checkered tablecloth and sit down to start the feast!. It is very common to see people picnicing in the park. After lunch, we chose to cruise around the lake by boat, but you can also explore the park by bike. The free zoo inside the park is the nigh point. You can see everything from small monkeys and porcupines to tigers, lions and giraffes, among others.
Quite a small zoo, but at least it is free, and it is in the most beautiful park in Lyon which is la Tete d'Or. This historic space which was bought originally by the city council from the city's hospitals lets families discover the animals of the world, their way of life, and how to help the animals' survival ...It was bought to give the citizens a green space. The zoo brings together birds, monkeys, mammals elephants ... And if they appear sad and missing their African land, most animals seem to have adapted well to the climate of Lyon. Many animals come from afar, from antelopes to lions or bears. It is a strange mix it is surprising to see it in a public park. There are 6 acres and more than 300 animals. Before they were in sad cages, veterinary services now are trying to make landscapes that resemble, as closely as possible, the natural habitat of the animal so it it feels at home.
The Cathedral of Saint John Baptist de Lyon is a Roman style cathedral, which is next to the Rhone River, in the district of Old Lyon. If you take the subway there, you have to get off at the Vieux Lyon stop, or you can go on foot, or by Vélov, free bikes you'll see all over teh place and, at 1 euro per week,are the best way to discover Lyon. Then, you reach the courthouse walkway or Bonaparte Bridge. If you're coming from the Place Bellecour, the largest beach in the city, then the church is just on the other side. As the streets of Old Lyon are very narrow, you don't see the wall unless you go in the square in front of the church. It is beneath the hill and the Basilica of Fourvière. It was built in the 15th century on the ruins of an old church originally built in the 6th century. There's an old astronomical clock which is pretty nice and dates back to the 14th century. Before the construction of the Basilica of Fourvière, this was the was the main church of Lyon. We visited it at the same time we were exploring old Lyon which still retains a very nice medieval look.
For many people this is the most beautiful square in the city. It is located in central Lyon, in the most central first district. It is a closed square, rectangular in shape, with the town hall on one side, a fine arts palace which is now a museum and a shopping arcade on the west side. In days gone by there was a wall that protected the city and a tower that allowed monitoring the area, particularly the bridge du Change, the only way across the river into the heart of Lyon. The square is considered a historical monument and has also been named a UNESCO world heritage site together with the rest of the old district of Lyon. In the sixteenth century, the walls were destroyed. Then they began developing the area with gardens and the town hall. It became an important place in the city. Today it is a very nice pedestrian location, with a large fountain, which was renewed in 1994 by Daniel Buren, who also made the squares of the royal palace in Paris.
The National Opera of Lyon promotes the arts, dance and music of Lyon and its region. The building's main hall can accommodate 1,100 people. Then there is a small amphitheater of 200. It is a modern building that was built in 1983, looks quite modern, and is behind the town hall. Only make works of ballet and opera, with a symphony orchestra dedicated solely to the place. Now the orchestra is directed by a Japanese, Kazushi Ono, since September 2008. The stage for more than 600 square meters and the center is one of the largest in France. It's a very nice building that integrated well in the theater square, next to the River Rhone.
The Terreaux square is the central plaza of the medieval part of Lyon. In the center you can see a beautiful fountain, built by Bartholdi. Bartholdi created it in 1889 when the city decided it needed renovations. He had just finished creating the now famous Statue of Liberty, in two sizes, the largest, which the French gave the United States and that is at the entrance of New York's port, and a smaller one that is on an island in the river Seine in Paris. The fountain, which was commissioned by the city council, was the start a work for the city of Bordeaux, but ended up being too expensive for them, so Lyon bought it instead. It's called Freedom Cart and it depicts the Garonne, the river that runs through Bordeaux, and its four tributaries, throwing herself into the ocean. Having been featured in the universal exhibit in Paris, it was then dismantled and was rebuilt in the Bellecour square in Lyon. Relocated in 1992, the fountain is now in front of the entrance of the Museum of Fine Arts, and the place where it used to be became and underground parking garage.
On 8 December every year, the city of Lyon serves as the headquarters of the Festival of Lights. The windows of the houses and apartments and the streets are adorned with a multitude of colors. Many artists transform the facades of historic buildings and invite the public to a wonderful show, full of magic.
The Traboules (roots from the Latin "trans ambulare, walk through) are corridors or passages that allow you through buildings and down the hills of Croix-Rousse and Fourvière faster. These passageways were used by the" canuts " or silk workers when they were on strike and were chased by police in the 19th century. traboulesp also went down the cargo ships faster down the river, where the boats waited for them. Several pages offer tours of these circuits that are somewhat hidden, unfortunately the pages are in French: Http: / / www.Lyon-visite.Info/traboules-croix-rousse/ http://www.Lyontraboules.Net/parcours.Php . And obviously to get information in your language you can go to the tourist office in the city. Another option is to go on an adventure, departing from the Bellecour or opera (metro Hotel de Ville), following the symbols that I put in photo with this corner.
A mandatory stopping place if you do not know the city! The rue de la République is a great street style "Hausmannien". This term refers to the count of Hausmann, who, during the nineteenth century, sent to renew a part of Paris with wide, straight streets, instead of the medieval streets. Other French cities such as Lille, Lyon or Marseille then imitated the style. The Republic street is full of shops, stores, but is also one of the liveliest in Lyon. It measures a little over a mile, and stretches from the Bellecour Place, the largest pedestrian square in Europe. The street is also pedestrian. It has had this name since 1878, and is where the French president Sadi Carnot was assassinated. It is one of the main streets of the city, is located in the neighborhood of the Presqu'ile, the part that looks like an island, between the Rhone and Saone rivers.
The area of Old Lyon (Vieux Lyon), which was declared a World Heritage Site, is full of medieval and Renaissance buildings, and you can not miss the "traboules" which are a type of passage through the interior of the houses, which allow you to move from street to street by going through them. They were mainly used so that you wouldn´t get the silk wet, (Lyon was a major city in the trade and industry of silk), and they were also widely used by the Resistance during the Nazi occupation in WWII.
Fourvière is a hilltop district in Lyon that overlooks old Lyon and the Saone River, with magnificent city views. It's where the Romans created the ancient city of Lugdunum, in the year 43 BC. To climb up to Fourvière, you can go behind the Saint Jean Cathedral and take the stairs up to the Basilica of Fourvière, or you can take a funicular train (two different lines) and it's the world's oldest operating line. On top of the hill is the Fourvière metal tower, one of the city's most emblematic buildings, built to rival the Eiffel Tower, but it doesn't come close. However, since Fourviere is the highest point of the city, the elevation of the tower is higher than that of the Eiffel Tower and it serves as a TV antenna for the entire region. There are Roman ruins on the south of the hill. The theatre is from the year 15 BC. There is a perfect garden to have lunch in after visiting, and in the summer, there are concerts and plays.
The Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets is located in the old town of Saint Jean. It houses over 100 scenes of daily life represented in miniature. Lyon is the city where the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumiere first invented cinema, and the sets were among the first ever used in movie-making. There is an old screening room too, and many objects like old cameras. The museum was created in 1990, and since 2005 has resided in a sixteenth-century building donated by a fan of miniatures. It's beautifully maintained, and the concept is unique in France. The idea is to present a behind the scenes aspect of film-making. Admission to the museum costs 7 euros and only 5.50 with a student card. It's open daily from 10am, except Monday when it's only open in the afternoon.
Taking a walk along the quays is a popular activity with all kinds of people - and if you go in the afternoon on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday, you'll see plenty of folks out and about, especially families. There's lots of fun for the kids along the way, while in the evening the atmosphere changes completely and becomes far more adult. Most of the barges moored here are actually bars or restaurants. If you don't have kids or money to spend in bars, you can still enjoy a pleasant walk around the area.
This is one of the main squares of the city. The building of the city-hall is big and the fountain that presides in its place is impressive. It is a place to visit if you find yourself in the city. Near you can also find the opera building, which you have to visit.
The Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon is a municipal museum located in the Bellecour Square, a landmark. The building was formerly a Benedictine nunnery. Between 1988 and 1998 it was renovated but remained open to the public. Its collections include works ranging from ancient Egypt to modern art. It is one of the most important museums in Europe and one of the most competent. Temporary exhibitions are generally of high quality, Braque, Laurens and Géricault in past years. After that the building opened to the public, at the beginning of the twentieth century, the Palace of Arts collection expanded, and became the Museum of Fine Arts. Inside, there is a beautiful garden free to access, perfect for a rest or to have a sandwich at lunchtime. The paintings include works by French, Lesueur, Gauguin, Manet or Delacroix, Spanish, Dutch works (Rembrandt, Rubens ..), Italian and there is a large sculpture department featuring works from the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
The Saône is a river which flows through in the city of Lyon, that backs on the Rhone. At the height of Lyon, the river is very close to the Rhone, which makes the neighborhood of the Presqu'ile seem like an island. On the banks of the Saône the first inhabitants of Lyon, Lugdunum in Roman times, settled there. Lyon was the first Christian city of France, built beside the river, where early Christians used the river water for baptisms. The Saône has several beautiful bridges that stretched from Presqu'ile to the old part of Lyon, as Masaryk bridge, built in 1830. Each person or car has to pay a tax to cross the bridge, one of the first tolls. Then there is the more recently built bridge Clemenceau, which stands at the level of the street Marietton. From the banks of the Saône you can get the best views of the Old area of Lyon which features the Cathedral of St. John and the Fourvière hill overlooking the town and the medieval quarter.
A large part of Lyon has been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1998, so it's no surprise that if you're wondering what to do in Lyon, you'll find a huge number of possibilities. Here there is an enormous artistic, historical, and cultural heritage, all of which is reflected in the city's beauty.
Within its protected areas there are four essential places to visit in Lyon. The first is Presqu'ile, which is currently the authentic city center. It is near Vieux Lyon, another of the stunning Lyon attractions. This is a medieval and Renaissance district, situated on the banks of the Saone, where you can take a look at the past of this historical city. The third on our list of unmissable things to see in Lyon is the Croix Rousse, a neighborhood on a hill which was once a center of the silk industry. Last but not least among the top attractions in Lyon is Fourvière, where you can see the Roman theater and the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.
For more cultural Lyon activities, there are several museums of great importance: the Museum of Fine Arts, Gadagne Museum, and the Lumiere Institute. If you've got any interest in history or art, you'll never find yourself searching for things to do in Lyon! The basilicas, churches, plazas, and parks provide even more stuff to do in Lyon.
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