Lyon Cathedral, Lyon
The Lyon Cathedral, officially named the St Jean Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon.
The Lyon Cathedral, officially named the St Jean Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. It is the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon. Built from 1180 to 1480, the façade and nave with flying buttresses are Gothic, while the apse and choir are Lyonnaise Romanesque. Highlights include the 14th century Astronomical Clock in the north transept, the 13th century crosses flanking the altar, the Lamb Rose window depicting the life of St Stephen and St John the Baptist, the 15th century Flamboyant Gothic Chapel of the Bourbons, and the gigantic Anne-Marie de la Primatiale bell.
The spectacular 9 metre tall astronomical clock was originally built in the 14th century but modified later. Its astrolabe indicates the date as well as position of the moon, sun, earth and stars in the sky over Lyon, in a geocentric formation that represents the prevalent dogma of that era. The octagon atop the central tower supports several automated figures. It is especially worth seeing when the bells ring, daily on the hour from noon - 4PM. After the angel on the left turns the hourglass, an angel on the right keeps the time for the three angels who strike bells to sound the hymn of Saint Jean-Baptiste. The Virgin Mary kneels in a chapel, and turns to the Angel Gabriel as he opens the chapel door, while the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends. A saluting Swiss Guard revolves around the dome. Movement stops at the sounding of the hour.
Adjacent to the cathedral is an archaeological garden.