One of Lyon’s iconic ground-breaking attraction is the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica, which is located on the top of the Fourvière Hill. The building is visible from almost all of the city corners. If the weather allows, Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, is visible from the Fourvière Hill. I heard that, symbolically, Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica belongs to all the Lyonnais, Lyon’s inhabitants.
The Basilica honours the Virgin Mary, who, according to local believes saved the French city of Lyon from the bubonic plague that occurred in 1643. Each December 8 the Lyon’s inhabitants light candles to honour the memory of the Virgin Mary. Nowadays the Fête des Lumières (the Festival of Lights) is organised each December to put the event in a wider context of modernity.
To get there we took the driverless metro and an old funicular, which has been climbing the Fourvière Hill for the past 150 years.
Once we arrived to the top of hill, the view of Lyon and of the rivers, the Saône and the Rhône has been spectacular.
The history of the Basilica goes back to the 12th century. Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a perfect example of Eclecticism. The architectural style combines the Romanesque, Gothic and Byzantine architecture.
The Basilica interior is richly decorated with mosaics, stained glass windows and high columns. All of them are so well harmonised so that we could not stop from admiring each detail. All of them are truly breath-taking.
The Basilica stays on four impressive corner towers. Each tower measures 48 meters and bears a name, based on the four cardinal virtues: Force, Justice, Prudence and Temperance.
Some masterpieces housed by the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica, which I captured with my camera:
Mary queen of the holy virgins by Poncet
Mary, Heavenly Queen
A suite of 6 stained-glass windows, by Georges Decôte, picturing aspects of the royalty of the Virgin Mary in Heaven
Mary throughout history
The 6 wall mosaics honours the Virgin Mary.
There are 3 cupolas picturing Mary and the Holy Trinity: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Lyon’s Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica Photo-Album