A little history of Saint-Jean cathedral in Lyon

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The cathedral square - ©Fabimaru / CC-BY-SA The cathedral square - ©Fabimaru / CC-BY-SA
Saint-Jean cathedral in Lyon Cathedral

In the beginning of the 5th century, on the banks of the river Saône, we already found a church dedicated to saint Etienne and its baptistery. In 460, bishop Patiens transformed this baptistery into a place of worship dedicated to saint Jean. In the beginning of the 9th century, Saint-Jean was the most important church in all the city! In the middle of the 11th century, they had to re-raise it because it went to ruins...

In 1162, archbishop of Lyon and count of Forez Guy II waged battle! This one invaded the city and plundered the cathedral... that was re-raised, first with the choir and the apse, made by archbishop Guichard. His successors completed the upper parts of the choir and erected the transept in the 13th century. The nave dates back to the middle to the 13th century, the first bay to the 14th century, after the bell-tower of the primitive church was destroyed. Vaults were finished in the beginning of the 15th century.

The rose window dates back to 1393, made by Jacques de Beaujeu: stained-glass windows were made by the artist Henriet de Nivelle, from Paris. In the 15th century, they raised lateral chapels. Then, the cathedral was plundered and damaged: men's madness, what can I say? In 1562, baron des Adrets' troops damaged the church, broke 50 statues, destroyed tombs. In 1756, they demolished the main door pier... maybe the early stirrings of the Revolution?


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