The Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Lyon, or the Lyon Cathedral, is the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon and is famed for its stunning architecture. It was built on the ruins of a former 6th-century church that occupied the same site. Its construction dated from 1180 to 1476.

Today, it is a major attraction for Catholics and secular visitors due to its incredible architecture, interior Romanesque design, and the annual Festival of Lights that is held here every year in December with stunning choreographed lighting displays. It's located in the heart of Vieux Lyon, the Lyon old town neighbourhood.

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Lyon - one of the highlights of 11 Best Things to Do in Lyon and 10 Iconic Buildings and Places in Lyon (Read all about Lyon here)

What are the highlights of Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Lyon?

The nave and façade offer fine examples of medieval Gothic architecture, while the interior apse and choir feature Romanesque design. The two historic crosses on either side of the altar date to the Second Council of Lyon in 1274. The Bourbon Chapel is considered a masterpiece of 15th-century sculpture.

The cathedral is also the site of the famed Lyon Astronomical Clock that dates to the 14th century. It stands 9 meters tall and indicates the position of the sun, moon, earth and stars. It also features automated figures: several angels, an hourglass, a dove and the Virgin Mary.

What else is good to know about Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste?

While Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste is a major visitor attraction in Lyon, it is also a functioning Catholic Church and the seat of the diocese Archbishop. This means it is an important spiritual site, and visitors are asked to be respectful and quiet and to avoid visiting during Mass. Guided tours are offered in several different languages, including English.

Just next door to the cathedral is the Café de la Cathédrale for drinks and snacks. Adjacent on the northern side, the archaeological garden offers 4th to 6th-century ruins. Be aware that the area gets crowded in the afternoons and on weekends.

Cathédrale Saint-Jean-Baptiste in Lyon

Locatie: Pl. Saint-Jean, 69005 Lyon, France

Openingstijden: Monday–Friday from 8.15 am to 7.45 pm, Saturday from 8.15 am to 7 pm, Sunday from 8 am to 7 pm

Telefoonnummer: +33 (0)6 60 83 53 97