Underground sights in France
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Step into the underworld of Croix Rousse's traboules at 9 place Colbert, crossing cours des Voraces - renowned for its monumental staircase that zigzags up seven floors - and emerging at 29 rue Imbert Colomès. Other well-known traboules in this fashionable quarter include those linking 1 place Colbert with 10 montée St-Sébastien and 9 place Colbert with 14bis montée St-Sébastien; and the plethora of passages on rue des Capucins: at Nos 3, 6, 13, 22 and 23.
The most celebrated of Vieux Lyon's traboules include those linking 27 rue St-Jean with 6 rue des Trois Maries; 54 rue St-Jean with 27 rue du Bœuf (push the intercom button to buzz open the door); 10 quai Romain Rolland with 2 place du Gouvernement; 17 quai Romain Rolland with 9 rue des Trois Maries; and 31 rue du Bœuf with 14 rue de la Bombarde. Although a couple of Vieux Lyon's traboules date from Roman times, most were constructed by canuts (silk weavers) in the 19th century to facilitate the transport of silk in inclement weather. Resistance fighters found them equally handy during WWII. Guided tours available.