This particular cathedral was one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have seen in my entire life. The stained glass was amazing as were the statues! The rich history of the cathedral definitely made me fall in love with this amazing town.
Just down the ally is a small French Cafe that I highly recommend for a great view of the cathedral and a tasty bite to eat.
The tours of St. jean are very short but differ in their decoration and are best seen from different sites. The transept towers are best seen from the walking bridge across the Saone. The only large group of sculptures remaining are about 300 medallions each about one foot square upon the jambs of the main west portals and over the lower face of the Manecanterie. All are of the early 13C.
In the center of the Place St-Jean is a fountain with four basins and above this a set of statues recreating the Baptism of Christ. East of the square is the Cathedral. On the north east aspect of the church are pieces of the foundations of the previous church of St. Etienne started in the 4C with a baptistry and an arch from a 15C church of Ste. Croix. On the south side of the Cathedral is the choiir school (or Manecanterie) built in the 12C.
In the north transept is the famous clock made in the 14C. This is one of a number of them of this period. It has many automata including a crowing rooster. On the lower levels are various timepieces that record various aspects of earth time before Copernicus.
The lower windows of the east end of the cathedrals are set with medallions of early stained glass. The central panel is the Redemption window with Jesus at the top in a mandorla. The six scenes starting from the bottom are an Annunciation, Birth, Crucifixion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension. In the next panel are scenes from the early life of Jesus (we illustrate one showing the Three Magi Asleep. In the clerestory above are later 13C windows, one showing Mary and John centrally and two Apostles in the next window. (We also show a detail from the North Rose Window).
The apse of the cathedral was started as Romanesque in 1180, but the style converted to Gothic art the lateral walls of the transepts and the finishing of the apse. Thus the end of the apse includes fine 13C stained glass windows and prominent Rose windows in each transept and another in the West end. The nave is tall with clusters of pillars around each pier and plain flat Corinthian tops. The apse is Romanesque as high as the clerestory with a Crucifix and two lines of ancient friezes.
The most prominent aspect of the west facade are the 15C crisp lines of the three tall gables, all that remains of the fine facade whose statuary were all destroyed during the Wars of Religion in the 16C. In fact the only statues remaining are the Eternal Father at the very top of the church and statues just below this of Mary and John. A modest Rose window sits just below these set into the interior west wall.
This gothic cathedral was constructed in the 1100-1300's. It includes an Astronomical clock from the 16th century, which makes a visit worthwhile in itself, and some beautiful stained glass windows. From a pure appreciation of history and old architecture, this is definately a church to see, but if you've seen plenty of other gothic churches throughout Europe, you won't see anything unique about the church itself.
The old part of the city settles down on a hill of the small river Sonna, on its right coast. Some constructions of the city were kept from the Roman period, it is an ancient theatre located on a slope of a hill, turned to the river Sona. The medieval city is located on the right coast. The oldest district of the city - Vier Lyons - "Old Lyons" is kept there, it is the most beautiful city area in style of Renaissance. There is the Gothic Cathedrale Saint-Jean which construction proceeded from the XII till the XIV century. There are well-known astronomical hours of the XIX century. At midday, at 13, 14 and 15 hours, under a sound of bells shout of the cock is distributed, doors open and there are figures of the dolls playing stages of the Lady day. In the same area there is the Hotel de Gadagne - one of the most beautiful private residences of Lyons in style the Renaissance. There is the city historical museum and the collection of the dolls collected from all over the world is located there.
Although the Basilique de Fourviere dominates the skyline, the Cathedrale de St. Jean below on the banks of the Saone river has its own merits. Highlights include an astronomical clock from the 16th century, and several nice stained glass windows.
Bottom-line: Not all that spectacular, but worth a quick visit.
French gothic at it's best, says rui_bijie with her background in art history!
The church was erected in the 12th century in replacement of three churches whose vestiges can be seen in the archeological garden right next to St. Jean.
The jewel in the crown is without doubt Church of St Jean and its cathedral built between the 12th and 15th century. Many a king came to kneel in the vast nave where the mortal remains of St Louis, who died during the Crusades in 1271, are laid to rest. Construction work began in 1180 but was to last for three centuries which is why the church has ended up with such an interesting mixture of styles.
The large rose window dates from 1392 and the pilasters, sometimes strange, show the holy history.
Visit the Cathedral St Jean (don't miss the amazing clock on the left hand sinde of teh Nave, it rings every hour), and the area around it which is well know for the classic architecure. This is the oldest part of Lyon and there are some amazing buildings around (keep looking up !) You can get details of a walking tour around this area from the tourist office (there's one next to the Vieux Lyon metro station and another on the Place Bellecour)
Take a walk across the Soane river and you'll find the Cathedral of St Jean. It has a few nice late night bars.
It was the first thing I saw when I walked out from a bus and I stood there totaly amazed...This huge gothic church really is one of the top must-see's in Lyon...Don't miss going inside...