When you realise that there are 2,000 years of history surrounding Fourvière hill, then you will quickly understand why it is one of Lyon’s unmissable spots. It’s no wonder that it’s known as the “mystical mountain”

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A historic site

First admire the view, relax, then learn all about the history of Lyon. In 43 BC, this hill was a strategic point that the Romans used to found Lugdunum, the famous capital of the Gauls. At that time, the place was unrecognisable: temples, forums, and theatres worthy of a gladiator film were built here.

Visit the Fourvière archaeological site and the Gallo-Roman Museum to get a better picture of what it used to look like. And this hill still hasn’t revealed all of its secrets – with good reason! At the end of 2015, archaeologists discovered a necropolis dating from the 5th century…

A calming place, and a symbol of Lyon

The Fourvière Basilica stands majestically on the hill; you can even see it from lower down in Lyon. The Basilica offers the most impressive view of the city and the Alps and is nearly 290 metres above the city centre (nearly as high as the Eiffel Tower). You can walk up (if you’re feeling brave), or catch the cable car, known locally as “la ficelle” or “the string”.

The people of Lyon enjoy visiting the hill for its exceptional views, and to relax and soak up the sun. Picnic or sunbathe on sunny days and stroll through the magnificent Rosary Garden. It’s perfect for a moment of relaxation overlooking the city. You may also stumble come across Christian pilgrims; since the 12th century, Fourvière hill has been a place to pay tribute to the Virgin Mary. It’s just another sign that history, religion, discovery, and peacefulness are the key to this place that you simply must visit.

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