Lyon Cathedral

Lyon, France

Lyon Cathedral was founded by Saint Pothinus and Saint Irenaeus, the first two bishops of Lyon. The cathedral is also known as a Primatiale because in 1079 the Pope granted to the archbishop of Lyon the title of Primate of All the Gauls with the legal supremacy over the principal archbishops of the kingdom. It is located in the heart of the old town, less than five minutes away from the banks of the Saône river, with a large plaza in front of it and a metro stop nearby providing easy access to and from the city center.

Begun in the 12th century on the ruins of a 6th-century church, the cathedral was completed in 1476. The building is 80 meters long (internally), 20 meters wide at the choir, and 32.5 meters high in the nave. The cathedral organ was built by Daublaine and Callinet and was installed in 1841 at the end of the apse and had 15 stops. It was rebuilt in 1875 by Merklin-Schütze and given 30 stops, three keyboards of 54 notes and pedals for 27.

Noteworthy are the two crosses to right and left of the altar, preserved since the council of 1274 as a symbol of the union of the churches, and the Bourbon chapel, built by the Cardinal de Bourbon and his brother Pierre de Bourbon, son-in-law of Louis XI, a masterpiece of 15th century sculpture.

The cathedral also has the Lyon Astronomical Clock from the 14th century.

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Address

Place Saint-Jean 3, Lyon, France
See all sites in Lyon

Details

Founded: 1180
Category: Religious sites in France
Historical period: Late Capetians (France)

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Kirk Regalia (3 months ago)
I just went into this church in the old town section of Lyon to look@ the architecture and stained glass windows and organ. It was very beautiful! Kirk Regalia Lauderdale by the Sea, Florida U.S.A.
Andrea Nori (3 months ago)
It is truly a very beautiful cathedral, I think one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. Absolutely recommended to visit it, as it is one of the symbolic monuments of Lyon
Prince Andrew Ardayfio (4 months ago)
Wholesome and solemn. Very serene atmosphere. Loved the location with what seemed like an old town square in the 14th century. The architecture is breathtaking.
Kevin Mies (4 months ago)
Beautiful, historic building on top of a mountain in Lyon. It offers beautifully detailed artwork especially looking at the colourful windows and amazing architectural details. - The fact that it is situated on top of a hill also creates an unmatched view onto Lyon. Don't forget to bring your glasses. ?
Curt Stolp (10 months ago)
A little slice of history in amongst the modern world. A place of inspiration and beauty.
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Saint-Eustache

The Church of St Eustace was built between 1532-1632. St Eustace"s is considered a masterpiece of late Gothic architecture. The church’s reputation was strong enough of the time for it to be chosen as the location for a young Louis XIV to receive communion. Mozart also chose the sanctuary as the location for his mother’s funeral. Among those baptised here as children were Richelieu, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, future Madame de Pompadour and Molière, who was also married here in the 17th century. The last rites for Anne of Austria, Turenne and Mirabeau were pronounced within its walls. Marie de Gournay is buried there.

The origins of Saint Eustache date back to 13th century. The church became a parish church in 1223, thanks to a man named Jean Alais who achieved this by taxing the baskets of fish sold nearby, as granted by King Philip Augustus. To thank such divine generosity, Alais constructed a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Agnès, a Roman martyr. The construction of the current church began in 1532, the work not being finally completed until 1637. The name of the church refers to Saint Eustace, a Roman general of the second century AD who was burned, along with his family, for converting to Christianity, and it is believed that it was the transfer of a relic of Saint Eustache from the Abbey to Saint-Denis to the Church of Saint Eustache which resulted in its naming. Jeanne Baptiste d"Albert de Luynes was baptised here.

According to tourist literature on-site, during the French Revolution the church, like most churches in Paris, was desecrated, looted, and used for a time as a barn. The church was restored after the Revolution had run its course and remains in use today. Several impressive paintings by Rubens remain in the church today. Each summer, organ concerts commemorate the premieres of Berlioz’s Te Deum and Liszt’s Christus here in 1886.

The church is an example of a Gothic structure clothed in Renaissance detail. The church is relatively short in length at 105m, but its interior is 33.45m high to the vaulting. At the main façade, the left tower has been completed in Renaissance style, while the right tower remains a stump. The front and rear aspects provide a remarkable contrast between the comparatively sober classical front and the exuberant rear, which integrates Gothic forms and organization with Classical details. The L"écoute sculpture by Henri de Miller appears outside the church, to the south. A Keith Haring sculpture stands in a chapel of the church.

The Chapel of the Virgin was built in 1640 and restored from 1801 to 1804. It was inaugurated by Pius VII on the 22nd of December, 1804 when he came to Paris for the coronation of Napoleon. The apse chapel, with a ribbed cul-de-four vault, has at its centre a sculpture of the Virgin and Child of Jean-Baptiste Pigalle that the painter Thomas Couture highlighted by three large paintings.

With 8,000 pipes, the organ is reputed to be the largest pipe organ in France, surpassing the organs of Saint Sulpice and Notre Dame de Paris. The organ originally constructed by P.-A. Ducroquet was powerful enough for the premiere of Hector Berlioz" titanic Te Deum to be performed at St-Eustache in 1855.