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Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Lyons)

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Lyons)

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was constructed between 1872 and 1884 on funds gathered by the private residents. Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière is a magnificent Catholic church that stands on top of a Fourviere hill overlooking Lyon. The name of hill is a reference to the Roman word "forum vetus" that can be translated as the Old Forum. This part of the hill once housed Ancient Roman Forum that was constructed during Roman Emperor Trajan.

 

 

 

8 Place de Fourviere

Tel. +33 478 25 13 01

Official site

 

 

 

 

History of Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was constructed between 1872 and 1884 on funds gathered by the private residents. It was designed by architect Pierre Bossan who combined two architectural styles, Romanesque and neo- Byzantine, in his creation. It was not the first Christian church on this site. The first cathedral Notre-Dame here was built in 1643 and dedicated to Virgin Mary. It occurred shortly after raging plague that swept through the region. Several residents of Lyon prayed for the health of the town and soon the plague was stopped. This miraculous salvation was credited to divine powers and a new church was constructed to thank Virgin Mary. Two centuries later residents of Lyon celebrated bicentennial of a miracle by hoisting a statue of the Virgin Mary to the church steeple. Since then every on December 8 Lyon residents hold Festival of Lights to honor the event.

 

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Lyons)

An idea for construction of a new Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière first appeared in 1823 after a new epidemic of cholera swept through a region. Low number of casualties among citizens of Lyon convinced local residents that it was divine intervention that saved them against this deadly and fairly frequent disease. First sketches were made by famous architect Bossan in 1846, however it wasn't until several decades later when the idea was finally realized.

 

Current Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was constructed to thank Virgin Mary for another event in the Lyon's history. During Franco- Prussian war of 1870 Lyon was approached by the German army of Otto von Bismarck. Residents of Lyon prayed to Virgin Mary and German troops turned back, preserving the town. New Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was constructed in 1872- 84 and renovated again in 1964 completing the interior with mosaics, sculpture and magnificent stained glass windows. Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.