Lyon Cathedral, Lyon

Lyon Cathedral, Lyon (must see)

The Lyon Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste de Lyon) is an archbishopric church and thus is the main church in the city.

It was built between 1165 and 1480 on the site of the ancient Sainte Croix and Etienne churches, whose vestiges can be seen in the nearby archaeological gardens.

Because of the time it took to build, the cathedral has two distinct architectural styles: the eastern end containing the apse and the choir is in Romanesque style, while the nave and the façade are in Gothic style. Above the main portal there are several medallions representing the signs of the Zodiac, the Creation and the life of Saint Jean.

While the church may seem austere, if you visit the Basilique de Fourvière, in the choir you will see lovely 13th century stained glass windows, and on the left and right of the main altar there are two crosses dating back to 1274. You can also admire there several paintings, including the “Adoration des Mages” by Houyez, “La Circoncision” by Vignon and “Le Christ et la cananéenne” by de Plattemontagne.

The most compelling item within the cathedral is the magnificent astronomical clock in the north transept. Built in the 14th century, it is a marvel of technology for the era and it still works today. When it chimes on the hours of 12, 2, 3 and 4, a cock crows and the angels make a triumphant sound – reminding us of St Peter denying Christ before dawn and His subsequent entrance into Heaven.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lyon. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Lyon Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Lyon Cathedral
Sight Location: Lyon, France (See walking tours in Lyon)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lyon, France

Create Your Own Walk in Lyon

Create Your Own Walk in Lyon

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lyon is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Food Tour in Lyon

Food Tour in Lyon

In addition to its architectural beauty, Lyon is also known as the food capital of France. An ideal place to discover French cuisine and to fall in love with it, there is no shortage of addresses in Lyon to stock up on quality and delicious products, be it the Halles de Lyon market or the Georges Reynon charcuterie, to mention but a few. If you want to treat your taste buds to something truly...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Lyon's beautiful religious buildings showcase the richness of the city's culture and architecture. All the churches on this tour date back centuries and capture the architectural style popular at the time when they were built. Take this self-guided tour to discover the best-known and the most beautiful religious buildings in Lyon.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Lyon's Architectural Landmarks

Lyon's Architectural Landmarks

Founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C., over the course of the past millennium Lyon played a major role in the political, cultural and economic development of Europe. The city's long history is clearly imprinted in its urban fabric, manifested in numerous buildings of various epochs and styles. To explore some of Lyon's most notable architectural landmarks, embark on this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Lyon – capital of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region – has been around for 2,000 years, sitting at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Established in 43 BC as a settlement for Roman refugees of war, it was also the capital of the Gauls at the time of the Roman Empire; two Emperors – Claudius and Caracalla – were born here. Due to its foundation on the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Gastronomic Delights: 10 Places to Buy Great Food in Lyon, France

Gastronomic Delights: 10 Places to Buy Great Food in Lyon, France

The city of Lyon is famous for its contribution to the culinary arts. Here food lovers will find hundreds of specialty shops throughout the city offering some of the world's finest and award-winning products fit to delight any epicurean palate. Let your taste buds lead you on this voyage into...