Do you want to have Lyon at your feet? Then get ready to climb the Fourvière Hill. Accessible by foot, car, bike or funicular, the views you will have of the city will be unforgettable. You will also be able to see the famous Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière and get closer to the metal tower, which bears some resemblance to the famous Eiffel Tower.
To get to the hill from the cathedral square, look straight ahead with your back to the cathedral, and a small street opens up before you. This same street, with asphalt and several bends, takes you straight up the hill. If you prefer to go up more quickly, you can take the funicular, located in the small street to the right of the cathedral, looking straight ahead. The journey takes just one minute.
Whether on foot or by transport. You can´t miss it!
Lyon is a gastronomic city par excellence, and it is impossible to stroll through its streets and not come across a "Bouchon" or, in other words, the typical Lyon taverns.
Well-known dishes such as onion soup, "andouillette", a pork sausage with spices and wine, or "quenelle", a fish croquette, are cooked in these taverns. And speaking of "quenelles",... there is also the sweet version, a praline based on hazelnuts or almonds, covered with a thin layer of smooth white chocolate or with hints of coffee. And finally, the Lyon praline, almonds dipped in caramelised sugar and tinted pink. We will find it in caramel, or if crushed, in cakes, brioches, sponge cakes. Anyone can resist!
LE PETIT PRINCE
How can you not take something typical of the place you are visiting? In the case of Lyon, it can be not easy to choose: a bar of handmade chocolate, a postcard, a luxury item from Galeries Lafayette.
However, something more unique and original would be a copy of "The Little Prince". Why? Because its author was born here, in this city, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a great traveller, writer and aviator, was from Lyon.
THE "FRESCO OF THE LYONNAIS".
Lyon is one of the world´s leading cities in terms of mural painting. We can find many trompe l´oeil paintings all over its streets. The "fresco of the Lyonnais" is one of them, one of the best, a great example of Lyon´s identity as it shows its most famous neighbours, from antiquity through Emperor Claudius to the present day with the chef Paul Bocuse. A photo in this mural of more than 800m² is a must in your album.
To get there, leave the old town of Lyon behind and cross the Saône River to the area known as the "quasi-island". If we do so by the Saint Vincent footbridge, we will find the fresco just in front of us.
A CURIOUS SCULPTURE, TO SAY THE LEAST
We are used to visiting the famous and well-known monuments wherever we go, but what about those that don´t appear in the guidebooks? In front of the Palais de Justice, a disturbing sculpture stands at the beginning of the Pasarelle du Pont du Palais de Justice (they didn´t bother with the name). "Le poids de soi-même", The weight of oneself. The authors of the work, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, say it is the story of a man trying to save himself. In the sculpture, a standing man carries in his arms another man who happens to be identical.
If there is one curious thing in Lyon, it is the "traboules". These passages cross the interior courtyards of one or more buildings, allowing you to pass from one street to another by crossing the block´s interior. It is and was a shortcut, as they were initially used by the silk weavers installed at the top of the hill to gain quick access to the lower part and thus negotiate with the merchants.
These shortcuts played a vital role during the Second World War, as the resistance sometimes used them as hiding places.
Nowadays, many of them give access to private homes, so they are closed to the public, but many others can be crossed. Do you dare to visit a traboule?
THE CATHEDRAL CLOCK
The Cathedral of Lyon, dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, with its mixture of Gothic and Romanesque style, could be just one cathedral among many. But it has a unique feature inside: a 14th-century astronomical clock. It marks the date, time and position of the moon, sun, earth and stars above Lyon.
It was built according to the knowledge of when the sun was said to revolve around the planet, so be careful when looking at the date, as it does not always give the exact date.
LYON FROM THE EARTH TO THE SKY
A pleasant stroll through the former capital of Gaul would start at the Palais de Justice and go into the old town, walking along a straight, stone street lined with shops, cafés and bustle. At the end of the road is a large square with the Cathedral of St John, reminiscent of Notre Dame de Paris, and behind us, at the top, Notre Dame de Fourvière, presiding over the city and serving as our next stop. Whether by funicular or on foot, we climb up to appreciate the grandeur of Lyon. The easy descent, through a beautiful garden, is also worth enjoying.
Being a tourist is demanding, and that´s why it´s necessary to take a break and recover your energy. On Ennemond Fousseret square, you can see the Saône river, a trompe l´oeil, benches to relax your legs and several cafés to have a drink and move on.
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