Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon

Must see · World heritage site · Architectural Building · Church
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Emperor Trajan once tread the ground of the Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, now it's your turn. The basilica rests on top of the site of Trajan’s Roman forum; in fact, the French still refer to the site at Vieux-Forum (Old Forum). It wasn’t only Trajan who recognized the import of this location. Several French historical figures also made pilgrimages to the hill. Today, the basilica built on the site offers you a panoramic view of the city from its north tower. Private funds went to build this impressive structure in 1872 as a grand thank you to the Virgin Mary for saving Lyon from a cholera epidemic in 1823. With the Gothic detail of its edifice, the vaulted arches gracing the nave, and the colored light refracting from the stained glass, it may be one of the world’s grandest thank-you cards. Work out when and for how long to visit Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere and other Lyon attractions using our handy Lyon road trip site.
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Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
11,527 reviews
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  • You can walk up to this magnificent church if very fit but the funicular is the easy choice that allows all age groups see a magnificent building and great views of Lyon. Walking down makes for an... 
    You can walk up to this magnificent church if very fit but the funicular is the easy choice that allows all age groups see a magnificent building and great views of Lyon. Walking down makes for an...  more »
  • Another incredibly gorgeous European church. The church is high atop a hill overlooking the city. Be kind to your legs and take the funicular! 
    Another incredibly gorgeous European church. The church is high atop a hill overlooking the city. Be kind to your legs and take the funicular!  more »
  • This is a must-see when visiting Lyon, get there with a funicular at the Vieux Lyon metro. Go early to avoid the crowds and respect parishioners present to worship. 
    This is a must-see when visiting Lyon, get there with a funicular at the Vieux Lyon metro. Go early to avoid the crowds and respect parishioners present to worship.  more »
Google
  • Beautiful inside and out. The funicular was closed so we hiked up and despite the heat it was a nice journey. Wish we'd researched the guided tour - after getting inside there was more I would have liked to see, including the view from the top. Even so, the plaza provided a great view of Lyon. Unfortunately we arrived late in the day and we couldn't get a table at any of the restaurants nearby, so we ended up walking back down to the old town for dinner. I'd suggest planning ahead or taking a taxi.
  • A majestic masterpiece of Baroque art dominating over the picturesque city. Although the lighting on the mosaics and decorations was unnervingly absent and you cannot get too close to the altar to appreciate it. Other places of worship use mirrors, binoculars or displays to catch the details and stories of the place, so it can stay in the visitors heart forever with a meaning. Not the best I have ever seen.
  • While 'the upside down elephant' as it is described locally may appear somewhat stark outside, the interior features impressive mosaics and stained glass windows along with a painting dedicated to victims if the cholera epidemic. The lions on the main door are impressive. The lower chapel, while simpler, is also enjoyable.
  • Perched high on a hill overlooking the city of Lyon, this stunning Basilica takes your breath away. We happened to be visiting on Good Friday when 800 French children were participating in the stations of the cross and it was an incredibly moving experience. The walk up to the Basilica from the city was also spectacular.
  • Money, power, wealth.... Plenty to see and learn. Excellent viewpoint overlooking both the city and the two rivers. Funicular train is the best way up the hill - takes only 2 minutes.

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