A little history of Notre-Dame-Saint-Vincent in Lyon
A church replaced the chapel
The church replaced the old chapel of the Augustine convent, in fact. Here’s the story: we were in 1755. The chapel was completely in ruins. So the chapter decided to re-raise a brand new church dedicated to saint Louis. The first stone was laid down on September 6th 1759, dedicated to Louis, king Louis XV’s son. In this stone, they even sealed a cooper plaque with the Dauphin's coat of arms and a Latin text... In the nave, we can see the copy of the inscription: "Louis, Dauphin of France, laid the first stone down, in 1759, with Marie-Eugène de Montjouvent, dean of Lyon."
A neoclassical style
It was architect Léonard Roux who designed the neo-classical church. Neoclassical style seems so austere, here, don’t you think? The very white light running through the windows, the huge dome, the big columns... In short! Roux began the building site, went on by abbot and architect Joseph Janin, in 1789. Few months later, it was consecrated. But the French Revolution came! Augustine monks were expelled and our church was converted into a military hospital, during the siege of Lyon city in 1793. Janin, poor chap, was guillotined in 1794... Then, with peace back, the church became Notre-Dame-Saint-Louis-Saint-Vincent: • saint Louis, for the old chapel • saint Vincent, for the former church destroyed in the 18th century, at the same time as the chapel. • Notre-Dame to recall the destroyed church of Notre-Dame-de-La-Platière. Our church used to house a nice collection of arts: paintings by Jean Jouvenet, Jean Restout, copies of Rafaello and Van Dyck... Yes, but a fire damaged the church in 1987, so these masterpieces were destroyed! Bad luck... Oh, cheer up, we have nice marble statues made by sculptors Fabisch and Dufraisne, especially a king Louis IX and a Virgin Mary.