Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviére

Lyon, France

The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière was built with private funds between 1872 and 1884 in a dominant position overlooking the city of Lyon. The basilica, which offers guided tours and contains a Museum of Sacred Art, receives 2 million visitors annually. At certain times, members of the public may access the basilica's north tower for a spectacular 180-degree view of Lyon and its suburbs. On a clear day, Mont Blanc, the highest point in Europe, can be seen in the distance.

The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan. Fourvière is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, to whom is attributed the salvation of the city of Lyon from the bubonic plague, the Black Death, that swept Europe in 1643.

The design of the basilica, by Pierre Bossan, draws from both Romanesque and Byzantine architecture, two non-Gothic models that were unusual choices at the time. It has four main towers, and a belltower topped with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary. It features fine mosaics, superb stained glass, and a crypt of Saint Joseph. Fourvière actually contains two churches, one on top of the other. The upper sanctuary is very ornate, while the lower is a much simpler design. Work on the triumphant basilica was begun in 1872 and finished in 1884. Finishing touches in the interior were not completed until as late as 1964.

Fourvière has always been a popular place of pilgrimage. There has been a shrine at Fourvière dedicated to Our Lady since 1170. The chapel and parts of the building have been rebuilt at different times over the centuries, the most recent major works being in 1852 when the former steeple was replaced by a tower surmounted by a golden statue of the Virgin Mary sculpted by Joseph-Hugues Fabisch (1812-1886).



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Place de Fourviére, Lyon, France
See all sites in Lyon


Founded: 1872-1884
Category: Religious sites in France


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User Reviews

Erik Hagen Nymoen (7 months ago)
The Basilica of Notre Dame of Fourvière in Lyon, France, is a beautiful building with a stunning view of the city. The road leading up to the Basilica adds a touch of romance to the visit. A must-see landmark that showcases the architectural beauty and charm of Lyon.
Tirthankar Shom (7 months ago)
Very beautiful place. Just outside is the splendid view o of the city. Try to get the timing. Right so you can see the sun setting over the city. It’s really breathtaking.
SES SPECS (7 months ago)
The most representative of the monument at Lyon city. It is a very famous place, where often for the 14th July 2023 (national day) fireworks have been launched and seeable from the Saône river.
AAP KI SEBA MEIN (8 months ago)
Really great place. Inside church u can see great art of design. Back side of church you can see Lyon city n River . U can take metro from Lyon part dieu ( west side mall)/ sax gambetta. Get down at cathedral. 2 euro is ticket price. From Cathedral u go to Another car train to reach the mountain top to see church in the same station. Best visit time is 8am to 9:30 am. Post that it will be crowded.
Melvin Liew (8 months ago)
Suggestion. It is anice place for outdoor walks. 1. Recommend to take the train up because the walk can be really tiring. Perhaps buy one way and walk down after. 2. Stay hydrated and bring water. It's slightly pricey to get drinks by the Basilica. 3. Wear comfortably. It's more like a hike. 4. There's a proper toilet upstairs.
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