Notre-Dame-De-Fourviere, Lyon

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière sits high atop the Fourvière Hill in Lyon, France. It was built between 1872 and 1876 in a neo-Byzantine style and offers a magnificent view over the city.


History of Notre-Dame-De-Fourviere

Like the 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 and the birth of the anticlerical Third Republic. Both basilicas also have in common a neo-Byzantine style and hilltop site.

The Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière was built between 1872 and 1876 over an ancient Roman forum and next to the existing Chapel of the Virgin. It was designed by architect Pierre Bossan of Lyon, who also designed the city's Église Saint-Georges.

What to See at Notre-Dame-De-Fourviere

Visible from all over the city, the gleaming white Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière rises like a fortress on Fourvière Hill, with slender turrets on its four corners and crenellated walls. A gilded statue of the Virgin surmounts the bell tower.

This relatively austere exterior contrasts with the richly decorated interior, which was intended to demonstrate the Church's wealth and power (although in reality, it had only the former). Gilt, marble work, stained glass windows, and colored mosaics cover virtually every surface. Beneath the main level is the crypt of Saint-Jean, which is unusually large and well-lit.

Adjoining the basilica is the ancient Chapel of the Virgin and a terrace that provides a panoramic view of the cathedral and city of Lyon. An even better view can be had by climbing 287 steps to the basilica observatory.

Also nearby are the gardens of Rosaire, designed by Bossan, and the pleasant Hauteurs Park.

Quick Facts on Notre-Dame-De-Fourviere

Site Information
Names:Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière · Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière · Fourvière Basilica · Notre-Dame Basilica · Notre-Dame-de-Fourviere
Styles:Byzantine Revival
Dedication: Virgin Mary
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:45.762149° N, 4.822419° E
Address:8 Place de Fourvière
Lyon, France
Hours:Basilica: Daily 8am-7pm
Observatory: Easter-Oct, daily 10-noon and 2-6; Nov-Easter, weekends 2-6
Lodging:View hotels near Notre-Dame-De-Fourviere
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Personal visit (October 2004).
  2. Notre-Dame de Fourviere - Planetware
  3. Basilique de Notre-Dame-de-Fourvière - Fodor's France

More Information

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