The Fourvière district has two types of architecture : ancient and religious. This heritage is composed of the Basilica of Fourvière, the ancient archaeological park with the Roman theater and the Odéon, the Gallo-Roman Museum, the remains of the public baths, the Rosary Gardens and the Parc des Hauteurs (hilltop park) ... Visitors will discover an exceptional panorama overlooking the city, tracing the evolution of urban Lyon.
Fourvière is accessible from Vieux Lyon by winding streets or steep stairways, the oldest and most interesting of which is Gourguillon. It is also accessible via funicular.
History of Fourvière District
It was on the Fourvière hill that Lugdunum was established in 43 BC. The selection of the site was guided by its strategic position: at 300 meters above sea level, it allowed settlers to monitor the Roman communication channels. The Roman colony founded by Lucius Plancus Munatius grew towards the Saône and the Presqu’Ile (the peninsula), quickly becoming the capital of Gaul. Under the reign of Emperor Augustus, the city grew and developed: monuments were constructed, a forum was created, aqueducts were dug, baths were built and trade developed. It is also in this period that the two structures that remain today, the ancient theater and the Odéon, were built.
The city was underwent a period of great prosperity, but from the 3rd century AD, its center moved to the Saint-Jean district. Fourvière was then abandoned by the population. During the first millennium, it hosted mainly vineyards and farm buildings as well as some religious sites. The remaining Roman monuments served as a stone quarry. The intensity of religious life took over during the 16th century, all the way to the 19th century, during which a large number of monasteries were implanted on the hill, though they disappeared after the Revolution. The nickname "the hill that prays" was then given to the district. In the 19th century the Loyasse Cemetery was constructed and thereafter, the Basilica of Fourvière was built between 1891 and 1894.