Statue of the Virgin Mary, Shrine of Notre-Dame de Fourvière.

Two hills characterise the ancient city of Lyon (‘Lyons’ in English). On the west, Fourvière hill is the site of the Roman city which originated two thousand years ago. On the east is Croix-Rousse at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers.

When UNESCO declared the ‘Historic Site of Lyons’ World Heritage Site in 1998, the citation noted: ‘Lyon bears exceptional testimony to the continuity of urban settlement over more than two millennia on a site of great commercial and strategic significance, where cultural traditions from many parts of Europe have come together to create a coherent and vigorous continuing community.’ It was also observed: ‘By virtue of the special way in which it has developed spatially, Lyon illustrates in an exceptional way the progress and evolution of architectural design and town planning over many centuries.’

During the nineteenth century, the expanding wealth and mercantile interests of the city of Lyon contributed to distant commercial developments in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. In parallel, Lyon also became a major source of Catholic foreign missionary activities.

Spire, Église Saint-Paul, Lyon.

St Peter Julian Eymard is directly associated with a number of places in Lyon. He began his novitiate as a Marist at Lyon, and it was in Lyon that he began to lay the groundwork of his future eucharistic congregations for men and women. He also influenced some of the leaders of the great missionary apostolates that originated in Lyon. Eymard’s awareness of his own special vocation to the Eucharist emerged with clarity during experiences of deep personal prayer at religious shrines in Lyon.

Some of the Eymardian places in Lyon are:


Lyon – Tourism [French]

Lyon – Tourism [English]

Lyon – City [English]

Lyon – City [French]


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