A little history of Saint-Georges church in Lyon
On quay Fulchiron, near the river Saône, here’s the high spire of Saint-Georges church. You can’t miss it: a huge knight killing a dragon, carved on the stone, welcomes us: saint Georges himself!
The square where the church stands was raised in the beginning of the 19th century, on the foundations of an old cemetery. To the south, we had Malta knights' house...
In 547, bishop of Lyon, saint Sacerdos, received saint Eulalie’s relics from king Childebert.
3 years later, he raised a small oratory dedicated to Eulalie and a monastery on the right bank of the river, where he put the relics.
Destroyed by Saracens in 732, the small church dedicated to Georges was re-raised by Leidrade, king Charlemagne’s bishop, in the beginning of the 9th century.
Then the Malta knights moved here in the 13th century. They were very powerful, and rich, they owned lands and houses in all Europe. Pope Innocent IV even put them in charge of maintaining order in the city!
In 1311, our knights were richer because they get Templars gold, who had been deposed. So they could move in the Saint-Georges district, near our church. Humbert de Beauvoir, Malta knight, entirely re-raised the church in 1492, and also erected their house.
House? A headquarters (a kind of little castle flanked by two towers with a garden overlooking the river). Here, every year, the Great Priory of Auvergne’s chapter gathered in the house. Every year, too, Saint-John’s canons celebrated saint Eulalie's day. The knights' house was burnt in 1854.
The current high Gothic church was re-raised in 1844 by Pierre Bossan, from Lyon, an architect who also built the nice basilica of Fourvière.