Lyon is the third largest city in France after Marseille and Paris, it is the capital of the Rhône–Alpes, a region in the south-east of France.
The historic center of Lyon (Vieux Lyon or old Lyon) since 1998 has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Among the many monuments of Lyon, the main ones are: Place des Terres, the Cathedral of Saint-Jean and the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere.
The Place des Terreaux, one of the most important squares in the city, is located at the foot of the Croix-Rousse hill. In this square is the Hotel de Ville, the Town Hall of Lyon, built in 1600 which was declared a Historical Monument as early as 1886 for its golden decorations. Among the elements that make up the square there is also the famous Bartholdi Fountain made by the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty in New York. The fountain depicts a woman sitting on a chariot, pulled by four wild horses, which in a metaphorical key would represent France which, through the use of reins and bridles, ‘tames’ the four great French rivers. Today the fountain is one of the symbols of the city.
The Cathedral of Saint-Jean, seat of the Archdiocese of Lyon, is considered the most important church in Lyon. Built in 1200 on a pre-existing Romanesque church, it was completed in 1300 with the construction of the lower parts of the façade with the placement of the statue of God the Father, while a few years later what is known as the Bourbon Chapel was inserted.
The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourviere, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998, was built in 1168 but was then renovated and enlarged in 1886. The expansion works were stopped due to the war between France and Prussia and the construction was completed in 1884. The Basilica was dedicated to the Madonna for the avoided conquest of the city by the Prussian army. It was further expanded in 1964 with the addition of four crenellated towers.