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Standing proud in the center of Lyon, St. Jean Cathedral is a mishmash of architectural styles, with a Gothic nave and façade and a Romanesque apse and choir. Come to admire its eclectic collection of design features, which range from the traditional 13th-century stained-glass windows and Gothic masonry to the atypical astronomical clock.
The cathedral, which is also known as the Lyon Cathedral, was built over the course of around 300 years, beginning in the 12th century. The lengthy construction period, combined with later renovations and remodels, has resulted in an array of contrasting architectural styles. Despite the lack of harmony, the structure is nevertheless beautiful.
Before venturing inside the cathedral, examine the exterior, which features typical Gothic church elements including flying buttresses. The west façade is completed in the Flamboyant Gothic style and the portals here are decorated with hundreds of stone medallions. Look closely at them and you’ll see they depict scenes from the Zodiac, the creation and the life of St. John.
Enter the cathedral and look for the gorgeous stained-glass windows in the choir and the attractive Gothic window tracery in the side chapels. Seek out the north transept to find the cathedral’s star attraction: the astronomical clock.
The cathedral’s astronomical clock has been tracking the passing time since the 14th century. Look up at its central tower, which is home to several automated figures, including a Virgin Mary, an angel, a dove and a Swiss guard. Listen for the sound of mechanical bells chiming and roosters crowing during your visit. If you time your visit to coincide with the turn of the hour at noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., you’ll get to hear its unique chime and see the mechanical spectacle in motion.
St. Jean Cathedral is located in the heart of old Lyon, just a short walk from the Saône River. To get there by public transportation, ride the metro to the Vieux Lyon stop. The cathedral is open daily and entrance is free. Mass is held on Sunday mornings and tourists are discouraged from visiting during this time.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this romantic hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Part Dieu Mall and Bellecour Square. Tete d'Or Park and Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière are also within 3 mi (5 km). Part-Dieu - Servient Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Palais de Justice - Mairie du 3eme Tram Stop is 6 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Place Carnot, Lyon Confluence Shopping Center, and Textile Museum. Centre d'Histoire de la Resistance et de la Deportation and Bellecour Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Suchet Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Lyon Perrache Station is 5 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Bellecour Square and Place des Jacobins. Lyon Opera and Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière are also within 2 mi (3 km). Guillotiere Station and Guillotiere Tram Stop are within a 5-minute walk.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Bellecour Square and Lyon Cathedral. Lyon City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and Lyon Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux Arts) are also within 2 mi (3 km). Saint-André Tram Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Rue de l'Universite Tram Stop is 2 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Theatre des Celestins and Bellecour Square. Terreaux Square (Place des Terreaux) and Lyon City Hall (Hotel De Ville) are also within 15 minutes. Bellecour Station is 5 minutes by foot and Vieux Lyon Station is 8 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lyon Opera, Lyon City Hall (Hotel De Ville), and Terreaux Square (Place des Terreaux). Bellecour Square and Part Dieu Mall are also within 1 mi (2 km). Cordeliers Bourse Station is 8 minutes by foot and Liberte Tram Stop is 9 minutes.
Located in Lyon City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Place des Jacobins and Bellecour Square. Lyon Opera and Lyon City Hall (Hotel De Ville) are also within 15 minutes. Cordeliers Bourse Station is only a 4-minute walk and Bellecour Station is 6 minutes.
This family-friendly Lyon hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Musée Gadagne, Bellecour Square, and Terreaux Square (Place des Terreaux). Lyon City Hall (Hotel De Ville) and Lyon Opera are also within 15 minutes. Lyon Saint Paul Station is only a 5-minute walk and Vieux Lyon Station is 7 minutes.