LYON, FRANCE - JUNE 5: Exterior of St. John the Baptist cathedal in Lyon downtown with people passing by. June 2015; Shutterstock ID 405341626; Your name (First / Last): Daniel Fahey; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Lyon BiT

Shutterstock / Dinozzzaver

Cathédrale St-Jean-Baptiste


Lyon's partly Romanesque cathedral was built between the late 11th and early 16th centuries. The portals of its Flamboyant Gothic facade, completed in 1480 (and recently renovated), are decorated with 280 square stone medallions. Inside, the highlight is the astronomical clock in the north transept.

A small but impressive collection of sacred artworks (including 17th-century Flemish tapestries and a striking 10th-century carved ivory chest from the Byzantine era) is housed in the adjoining treasury. During the Fête des Lumières, the cathedral plays a starring role, with vivid projections lighting up the main façade.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Lyon attractions

1. Musée Miniature et Cinéma

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2. Palais de Justice

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Facing the river in old Lyon, the grandiose neo-classical Palais de Justice is well worth a gander.

3. Le Petit Musée Fantastique de Guignol

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4. Musées Gadagne

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5. Basilique Notre Dame de Fourvière

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6. Place Bellecour

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7. Musée Gallo-Romain de Fourvière

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8. Théâtre Romain

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