The Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière is perched on the Fourvière Hill in Lyon. Stand anywhere in Lyon and you can see it, standing like a guardian of the city. You’d be forgiven if you think that this structure is a fortress, for it almost looks like one. The high walls and imposing towers notwithstanding, it’s only when you notice the belltower topped with a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary, that you realise it’s a church.
We had taken the metro to Gare de Lyon-Saint-Paul and from there, the funiculars of Lyon. Must say, an interesting ride up the steep tunnel. My 5 year old was in complete awe in the funiculars. So were we.
On reaching, we found this man playing the harmonica. He was playing a solemn number – in complete harmony with the majestic Basilica standing right in front of us.
I liked Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, Lyon better than the Notre Dame in Paris. Reason? The quiet and the peace. While at Notre Dame Paris, there were thousands who had flocked to see the Basilicca, here at Lyon, we were the only souls at that morning hour. Churches are better experienced this way, in quiet and solitude.
The Basilicca has two churches. However, today, the lower sanctuary was closed for some reason. We therefore explored only the upper santuary. The grounds of the Basilica are bare and from one corner you can see the entire town of Lyon. That is a beautiful sight.
But don’t be put down by the minimal décor of the exteriors. Inside, a majestic church awaits you. Stained glasses, rich and ornate ceilings, a beautiful altar makes Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière a pride of the Lyon residents.
We hung around just that little more, trying to soak in the serenity of the place. As I have already said, the music emanating from the harmonica, made it all the more special. But then it was close to noon, and our tour guide would soon be at the hotel to take us to Rhone Valley. We had to finish lunch before that. We ran to the funiculars, and then back to the metro.
But before it was out of sight, I caught one last glimpse of the Basilica. It had been a beautiful morning. Thank You Mother.