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Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Listed under Cathedrals in Lyon, France.

  • Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
  • Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Photo of Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière
Photo by flickr user Diego Cupolo
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The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière sits high atop the Fourvière Hill in Lyon, France. It was built between 1872 and 1876 in the typical Baroque style of the period and offers a magnificent view over the city.

Like the Basilique Sacré-Coeur in Paris, Lyon's basilica was built to underline the might of the Roman Catholic Church after the Prussian defeat of France in 1870 gave rise to the birth of the anticlerical Third Republic. Both basilicas also have in common a Byzantine style and hilltop site.

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière was built on an ancient Roman forum by the architect Pierre Bossan. Erected next to the existing Chapel of the Vierge, the basilica was constructed between 1872 and 1876. Inside, it was richly decorated to demonstrate the Church's wealth and power (although in reality, it had only the former).

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière, visible from all over the city, rises fortresslike on a hill with four octagonal towers and crenellated walls. Its austere and imposing exterior contrasts with the richly decorated interior.

Gilt, marble work, stained glass windows, and colored mosaics cover its interior, and an ancient chapel adjoins the church. Daylight streams into the extremely large Saint Jean crypt. A gilded statue of the Virgin surmounts the belfry.

Find out more about the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

Written by  Martin Gray.

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

In the garden below the basilica there are carved roses and numbers in the walkway pavement. What is the significance of these?

S. Kendall Harris

Richmond VA

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