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Who's the man of the Rock in Lyon?

The statue | Basilio / CC-BY-SA
Statue Lyon Homme de la Roche

The "man of the rock" (Homme de la Roche) was Jean (Johann) Kléberger. His statue is in a small grotto, on the current quay Pierre-Scise.

Johann was born in Nuremberg in 1485. He married Felicitas Pirkheimer, daughter of the richest man in Nuremberg, painter Durer's friend and Charles the Fifth's councillor.

But Johann’s wife died, and people thought he had poisoned her. So he left Germany and moved in Lyon, in 1530; he was a draper, and Lyon was at that time the place to be to trade silk and cloth!

Here, Johann married Pelonne de Bonzin. Oh, but Johann already came in France, in 1517, to help king François I and fight with him in Italy!

People started to nickname him the "Nice German". Aah, he was rich, but also very generous.

He was deputy mayor of the city and even founded a hospice. He gave all his money to this hospice when he died in 1546. He also gave money to François I!

The current statue dates back to 1849. The previous statue represented Johann as a Roman, with helmet and armour: a wooden and polychrome effigy...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!