Metallic Tower of Fourviere, Lyon

Metallic Tower of Fourviere, Lyon

The Metallic Tower of Fourviere is a true landmark of Lyon, bearing striking resemblance to the Eiffel Tower in Paris which was built three years earlier. Some of the locals refer to it as the “Eiffel Tower” or the “Picon”; a fairly widespread rumor attributes its paternity to Gustave Eiffel, although no kinship has been proven.

The steel framework structure stands 85.9 metres high and weights 210 tons. Atop the Fourvière hill it marks the highest point in Lyon, culminating at an altitude of 372 metres. The tower opened to the public for the first time on May 3, 1894.

Originally, it had a restaurant on the ground floor, and a Roux-Combaluzier lift capable of carrying 22 people to the summit observatory, 80 metres high, for a fee of 1 franc. The latter was particularly popular during the Exposition Universelle of 1914 held in Lyon.

In 1905, the Gay family – the then owners of the land on which it stands – acquired the tower and kept it in their possession for nearly 40 years, using it as an observation facility, complete with restaurant and souvenir shop.

At some point, the commercial affairs came into decline and, in 1943, the tower was dangerously close to being destroyed for scrap metal. Luckily, the ensued legal fight managed to repeal the already issued requisition order and the tower was saved. In 1953, it was bought by the French Radio-Television (RTF) company, which sought an elevated point for broadcasting the only channel of the local TV station inaugurated a year later.

In 1963, the tower became a relay antenna for RTF, and has since been no longer open to the public. Its decoration at the base has given way to concrete, the upper terrace has been removed, and the original hydraulic piston elevator replaced with an electric model carrying 4 passengers only.

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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Metallic Tower of Fourviere on Map

Sight Name: Metallic Tower of Fourviere
Sight Location: Lyon, France (See walking tours in Lyon)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lyon, France

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles
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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles

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