Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Rotherham, United Kingdom
June 15, 2012
From journal On the Rhone
July 7, 2010
From journal A Long Weekend in Lyon
by UK Flower Girl
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
May 13, 2005
The mosaic inside is an absolute masterpiece. It depicts several scenes from Joan of Arc and Louis XIII’s vow to the dogma of the Immaculate Conception. Gold tiles magically shone off of each piece of art. The designs are so intricate and fine that you have to get up close to see the detail, for this will make you appreciate it even more. I sat for a good twenty minutes just looking at the mosaics. I tried to learn mosaic and I know that cutting these tiny little pieces of tile are not easy like it looks, yet each design looked almost perfect.
Another area to discover is the stained glass. It is all dedicated to Mary and depicts her in several scenes, Mary the Queen of Martyrs, Mary the Queen of Confessors, and so on.
The church was built as a devotion to the Virgin Mary, protectoress of the town of Lyon since the 12th century. The town of Lyon sought the Virgin’s intercession so that the Prussian armies could not enter the city. When their prayers were answered, they decided to build the basilica as a token of their appreciation.
The people of Lyon celebrate two dates in devotion to the Virgin. The eighth of December is the feast of the Immaculate Conception that commemorates the installation of the golden statue of the Virgin on the old chapel bell tower in 1852. The eighth of September is the feast of the Virgin Mary’s Nativity to carry on the aldermen’s vow of 1643, after which, thanks to the Holy Virgin’s intercession, the plague epidemic was stopped for good.
Outside of the basilica you can pay €2 to take the (very large number of) steps up the northeast tower named Prudence, after one of the cardinal virtues. Make sure you take some time to rest as the climb is not easy. It is 48 metres high and the entrance is located near the restaurant and town overlook. At the top you will find a detailed table d’orientation showing what you are looking at all the way around the tower. Looking out from the tower you can see the Presqu’île, or peninsula, of Lyon sitting between the Rhône and the Saône rivers. You can see the old Roman theatres and fine views of Cathédrale St-Jean just below. The old buildings of Lyon, with their terracotta-coloured rooftops and chimneys, are most remarkable from above!
From journal Rhône Valley: Lyon, vineyards and gastronomy!