The Old-Lyon Quarter
A Unesco Gem
The Old-Lyon quarter has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 20 years. In this district of narrow streets, you mainly move around on foot, going through the mysterious traboules, discovering spiral staircases, glowing façades and ancient gargoyles. It’s enough to make you think you came from another age!
At the foot of "the praying hill", Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Old-Lyon quarter stretches out to the Saône. Keep your eyes open: hidden here is some outstanding historical heritage! An old-world charm which is the setting for the Cour des Loges.
From the Saint-Georges footbridge to Saint-Paul’s Square and Saint-Jean Cathedral, with both Gothic and Roman art, you can observe two millennia of history in condensed form… Built in the heyday of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, Lyon city centre then shifted towards the East, so keeping intact the spirit and the charm of the Italian Style.
Saved from being destroyed on the 60’s thanks to support of André Malraux and the tenacity of the "Renaissance du Vieux-Lyon" Association, the quarter can pride itself on being listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1998. What’s the area’s special feature? The district is for the most part pedestrianised and is and is crammed with narrow alleyways featuring all the architectural details of the era. While you are wandering around, if you would like to see the longest of the traboules, make your way to 54, rue Saint-Jean. It goes through 4 courtyards… But to decide which one is the prettiest, ask our Clefs d’Or Concierge to help you: Lyon has no fewer than a hundred of them! Don’t miss out the Saint-Jean Cathedral, either. It is crammed with a large number of curiosities, and the astronomical clock with its moving figures will delight both young and old. When darkness falls, don’t forget to watch the rose window of the Lamb above its doorway; the setting sun shines through it to create a light which can only be described as… divine! Finally, take advantage of the metro nearby and catch the "ficelle" (string), a funicular that climbs up to Fourvière and embraces the whole Old-Lyon quarter which "is a stunning illustration of the progress and evolution of the architectural design and urban planning over several centuries," as declared by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.