Lyon Cathedral

Holiday Travel Guide
St. Jean Cathedral showing a church or cathedral and religious elements

See the remarkable 600-year-old astronomical clock that chimes in this long-standing religious monument.

Standing proud in the center of Lyon, St. Jean Cathedral is a mishmash of architectural styles, with a Gothic nave and façade and a Romanesque apse and choir. Come to admire its eclectic collection of design features, which range from the traditional 13th-century stained-glass windows and Gothic masonry to the atypical astronomical clock.

The cathedral, which is also known as the Lyon Cathedral, was built over the course of around 300 years, beginning in the 12th century. The lengthy construction period, combined with later renovations and remodels, has resulted in an array of contrasting architectural styles. Despite the lack of harmony, the structure is nevertheless beautiful.

Before venturing inside the cathedral, examine the exterior, which features typical Gothic church elements including flying buttresses. The west façade is completed in the Flamboyant Gothic style and the portals here are decorated with hundreds of stone medallions. Look closely at them and you’ll see they depict scenes from the Zodiac, the creation and the life of St. John.

Enter the cathedral and look for the gorgeous stained-glass windows in the choir and the attractive Gothic window tracery in the side chapels. Seek out the north transept to find the cathedral’s star attraction: the astronomical clock.

The cathedral’s astronomical clock has been tracking the passing time since the 14th century. Look up at its central tower, which is home to several automated figures, including a Virgin Mary, an angel, a dove and a Swiss guard. Listen for the sound of mechanical bells chiming and roosters crowing during your visit. If you time your visit to coincide with the turn of the hour at noon, 2 p.m., 3 p.m. or 4 p.m., you’ll get to hear its unique chime and see the mechanical spectacle in motion.

St. Jean Cathedral is located in the heart of old Lyon, just a short walk from the Saône River. To get there by public transportation, ride the metro to the Vieux Lyon stop. The cathedral is open daily and entrance is free. Mass is held on Sunday mornings and tourists are discouraged from visiting during this time.

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Radisson Blu Hotel Lyon
Radisson Blu Hotel Lyon
4 out of 5
The price is £118 per night from 5 Nov to 5 Nov
Located in Lyon City Centre, this romantic hotel is within 2 mi (3 km) of Part Dieu Mall, Bellecour Square and Tete d'Or Park. Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (877 reviews)
"We enjoyed our stay at this hotel. It was very convenient to the train station and a little bit of a walk into the old town. The room was nice, no complaints at all! We weren't told of any of our VIP options at check-in, so we didn't utilize any perks."

Reviewed on 14 Oct 2021

Radisson Blu Hotel Lyon
Boscolo Lyon Hôtel & Spa
Boscolo Lyon Hôtel & Spa
11 Quai Jules Courmont, Lyon, Rhône
The price is £180 per night from 24 Oct to 24 Oct
Located in Lyon City Centre, this spa hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lyon National Opera, Hôtel de Ville de Lyon and Bellecour Square. Place des Terreaux ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (87 reviews)
"The Boscolo is wonderfully located on the Rhone River, which our room had a view of. It's a 5 star hotel for a reason, the staff, the room with its 12' ceilings, the breakfast, the location, it was everything we hoped it would be. Being that it was our first time to Lyon we only stated two nights, ..."

Reviewed on 20 Sep 2021

Boscolo Lyon Hôtel & Spa
Hotel Le Royal Lyon - MGallery
Hotel Le Royal Lyon - MGallery
5 out of 5
The price is £131 per night from 14 Nov to 14 Nov
Located in Lyon City Centre, this luxury hotel is steps away from Massif Central and Bellecour Square. Textile Museum and Theatre des Celestins are also within ...
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"Best location for everything. Amazing boutique hotel,"

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2021

Hotel Le Royal Lyon - MGallery
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Hôtel Axotel Lyon Perrache
Hôtel Axotel Lyon Perrache
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The price is £64 per night from 24 Oct to 24 Oct
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Cour des Loges, a member of Radisson Individuals
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The price is £235 per night from 21 Nov to 21 Nov
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Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.