With it being holiday season in France, and there being a 2 day holiday every week, most of my french class have left Lyon and aren't bothering with the few days a week when we have lessons. Today only 5 out of 18 turned up. So instead of lessons today we did a mini tour of Lyon, in French of course.
I have been in Lyon 6 weeks now, and i don't know nearly as much about the place and history as i should. So this was a good opportunity for me to fill some of those knowledge gaps.
For starters Place Bellecour. I have been here many times and in the center of the square is a statue of Louis XIV. I knew this statue well, or so i thought, until it was pointed out to me that there are two smaller statues at the base of the horse. These are of a man and woman lounging with lions. These stature symbolise the two rivers that run through Lyon. The man is facing the fast, strong flowing Rhone and the woman is facing the gentler, smaller Saône. Humm, how did i miss that one.
Further along on the tour we stopped outside the Palais de Commerce, to admire this wonderful statue. Again the theme of this works is a male and female representing the fast flowing Rhone and the gentle Saône, the female Saône flows into the male Rhone, just like the Saône flows into the Rhone. This is so far my favorite statue in Lyon, if you can have such a thing as a favorite statue. How come i never seen this before? I've walked passed it over and over again!
Also outside the Palais de Commerce, is this red brick on the pavement. This is the site where in 1894 the President of France, Francois Marie Sadi Carnot, was assassinated by dagger. There is a plaque on the wall of the building, just above the brick.
More amazing churches. Every corner in Lyon there seems to be a church that should feature heavily in tourist literature, but does not, simply because there are so many of them. This is Saint Nizier, at first glance the front looks symmetrical, but as you look closer the two sides are very different. This church is also clearly unfinished, you can see where three statues were supposed to go (on the right) before they ran out of money.
I had passed these murals before, but i had not stopped to look closely. Actually i had only seen one side of them,and if i had bothered to walk around the corner, i would have seen the full extent of them. And no this cafe and bookshop are not real, they are all painted on. The bookshelves actually go up much higher than i could take on my camera.
Well that was just some of the tour, we also did stops at Theater Celestins, Place des Terreaux among others. We finished the morning in the courtyard of Palais de Beaux-Arts, followed by hot chocolate with my classmates. Nice day out, thanks to my french teacher (second from the right).