Search for hotels near Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport that you can rest and relax at.
Basilique de Notre Dame de Fourviere
Basilique de Notre Dame de FourvièreDistance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 30.1km
The Basilica of Fourvière dominates Lyons, sitting as it does on top of the hill where the Romans first set up camp, and is visible from almost any point in the city centre. During the Franco-Prussian war, the Catholics of Lyons vowed that they would construct a giant church on Fourvière Hill in honour of the Virgin Mary, if she would spare the city from the enemy. The city was spared and so the church was built. The basilica was inaugurated in 1896, and represents a somewhat chaotic mixture of styles and materials. Even though it has been much criticised for its rather confusing architecture (and has been given nicknames like ‘the upside-down elephant’), it remains an important focal point in the lives of the Lyonnais. The adjoining esplanade gives a panoramic view of Lyons’ different quarters.
Colline de Fourvière
Tel: (04) 78 25 13 01. Fax: (04) 72 38 28 35.
Cathédrale St-JeanDistance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 37.4km
This beautiful cathedral is situated at the foot of the Fourvière Hill. It was built between the late twelfth and fifteenth centuries on the remains of a fifth-century church, and offers a perfect illustration of the transitions from Roman to Gothic architecture. The crypt offers the opportunity to see the foundations of the cathedral. The stone medallions and glass mosaics are worth a closer look, with some of them dating from the fourteenth century. The cathedral has maintained a fourteenth-century astronomical clock equipped with a surprisingly sophisticated system of automatons.
Tel: (04) 78 42 28 25. Fax: (04) 78 38 07 41.
Musée des Beaux-Arts (Museum of Fine Arts)Distance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 29.5km
The Museum of Fine Arts is located in the very heart of the city and is housed in the former Abbey of the Ladies of St-Pierre. The origins of this former Benedictine convent stretch back to the seventh century, although it was entirely rebuilt in the seventeenth century. Known as ‘little Louvre’, the museum, with its 7000 sq metres (8400 sq yards) of exhibition space, offers a complete retrospective of Ancient Greek and Egyptian arts and civilisations, as well as sculptures and paintings from the Middle Ages to the present day. Although the museum boasts a varied collection of different art forms, it is dominated by paintings. An overview of European painting from the fourteenth century to the second half of the twentieth is on display with works from artists such as Tintoretto, Rubens, Manet, Monet, Picasso and many others. Lyonnais painters are also well represented in this museum.
20 place des Terreaux
Tel: (04) 72 10 17 40. Fax: (04) 78 28 12 45.
Musée de la Civilisation Gallo-RomaineDistance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 40.8km
(Museum of Gallo-Roman Civilisation)
On the archaeological site of Fourvière, this museum contains the richest archaeological collections from Gaul, after the National Museum of St-Germain-en-Laye. The museum was built around the remains of the archaeological site, partly underground, with underground passages through the site connecting the various exhibits. Its collection comes primarily from discoveries made in Lyons and throughout the Rhône-Alpes region. Of special interest are the extraordinary series of inscriptions, statues, mosaics, sarcophagi and everyday objects of Gallo-Roman life. One of the museum’s most prized possessions is the Claudius Tablet, which contains fragments of a speech made by Emperor Claudius in front of the Roman Senate.
17 rue Cléberg
Tel: (04) 72 38 81 90. Fax: (04) 72 38 77 42
Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)Distance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 28.7km
The construction of Lyons’ City Hall began in 1646, although it was renovated later on in the seventeenth century following partial destruction by fire in 1674. The original structure was Louis XIII in style, but later embellishments made the outside more elaborate and Italianate, with sculptured pediments and domes gracing the pavilions. The interior, with its extravagant Baroque-style decor, is the result of nineteenth-century renovation. Highlights include Thomas Blachet’s seventeenth-century allegorical frescoes, and the most impressive room, the ‘Grand Salon’. However, the great staircase is literally the unmissable centrepiece and visitors should look up at the vaulted ceiling celebrating ‘L’éternité de la gloire de Lyon’ (‘the eternal glory of Lyons’). The bell tower is also impressive, with three of the original 1675 bells, and a twentieth-century carillon – one of the most important in Europe.
Place de la Comédie
Tel: (04) 72 10 30 30. Fax: (04) 72 10 31 53.
Musée de la Résistance et de la DéportationDistance from Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport: 25.9km
(Museum of Resistance and Deportation)
This beautifully well-designed museum puts Lyons’ role in the resistance and deportation of World War II into context. Ironically, the museum is located in the former headquarters of the Gestapo – the place where the local Gestapo leader, Klaus Barbie, known as the ‘Butcher of Lyons’, tortured or killed his victims and sent thousands of others to concentration camps. The curators of the permanent exhibition have made a conscious effort to illustrate the somewhat ambiguous position of France during its occupation, while also portraying the importance of Lyons as a centre of organised French resistance.
14 avenue Berthelot
Tel: (04) 78 72 23 11. Fax: (04) 72 73 32 98.