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Place Bellecour,a large town square and the heart of Lyon.

Lyon Travel Blog

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a few of the Lyon 1000 chefs in front of the Bocuse brasserie Le Sud

       As guy from Lyon ( a "gone" ),I'm doing today before having lunch in a close restaurant (Coté Bellecour et Coté cuisine,hotel Le Royal's restaurant) a pilgrimage to this huge square,the largest pedestrian square in Europe(312 mX 200 m) located between the river Rhône and Saône in the peninsula.I lived in a close district called Ainay for 19 years and I began there my career of naughty boy,fighting with chestnuts( today a lot of lime trees replace the chestnut trees),messing with my schoolmates...About school,I remember the death of Edouart Herriot,an ancient mayor,ancient PM and Président of the Chamber of Deputies in 1957 and the gallery's scaffoldings built for the funeral ceremony where we had great fun:we got one schoolday off!I remember also the band stand where a talent guest ,a radio show(like in America Idol) was played,it was destroyed  and a playing area sits there instead.

The square Bellecour,the largest pedestrian square in Europe
This large square is covered with red gravel (55 years ago,I used to drive every week a pedal car on the tarmac,at this time we got a large tarmac for roller-skating,biking and graze our legs and hands).

Watching the facades of one of the few remaining Royal squares in France (in 1715 it became Place Louis Le Grand),I remember the French Revolution which was a dramatic time for the city.A guillotine was installed there in 1792 and in 1793 the Convention judjing the city too royalist ordered the destruction of its buildings:Lyon n'est plus=Lyon is no more.Fortunately only few buildings were torn down.In 1800,Bonaparte laid the foundation stone for new buildings and the square was called Place Bonaparte,the buildings on the East and West side were erected around 1800.

In the middle of the square lies the equestrian statue of the King Louis XIV and under an allegorical one of the river Rhône.

The Little Prince and Antoine de Saint Exupéry,born in Lyon.
Going West,I discover the statue of Antoine de Saint Exupéry,born in Lyon,sitting in front of The Little Prince.It was erected in 2000 for the centenary of the aviator's birth.Surrounded by flower stalls (close are the public bathroom),the Place Bellecour is the kilometer 0 of Lyon( all distances are counted from there).

Two pavilions are on the square:the first on the West side hosts OnlyLyon,a town office for the promotion of Lyon.When entering the second pavilion,where is the tourist information office of Lyon,I check all the booklets displayed and unfortunately I got only one in English about the amazing Textile Museum and Decorative Arts Museum,what a shame!!

Bellecour Metro station,the largest station which connects the A et D lines has an entrance which combines modern design and Roman vestiges.

Walking in front of the 24 Place Bellecour,it brings back to me a sad memory of my best friend Danielle,a famous dermatologist who lived there and passed away few years ago.

spocklogic says:
Lyon has a place in my heart for all time. A great city - I envy you living here.
Posted on: Aug 12, 2011
Africancrab says:
I love reading your blogs Bernard. I should return to France and have you be my guide, especially for the art and museums, not to mention the food.
Posted on: Feb 25, 2010
polvandenwirre says:
Next time I fly at St Exupery I must visit the city, it's looking very interesting!
Posted on: Feb 19, 2010
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a few of the Lyon 1000 chefs in fr…
a few of the Lyon 1000 chefs in f…
The square Bellecour,the largest p…
The square Bellecour,the largest …
The Little Prince and Antoine de S…
The Little Prince and Antoine de …
Fourvière and the metallic tower …
Fourvière and the metallic tower…
Square Bellecour
Square Bellecour
View from Square Bellecour,Fourvi…
View from Square Bellecour,Fourvi…
Square Bellecour
Square Bellecour
Square Bellecour
Square Bellecour
Equestrian statue of King Louis XIV
Equestrian statue of King Louis XIV
allegorical statue of the river Rh…
allegorical statue of the river R…
allegorical statue of river Saône
allegorical statue of river Saône
East side
East side
Tourist information office
Tourist information office
West pavilion:OnlyLyon
West pavilion:OnlyLyon
front of the West pavilion
front of the West pavilion
lime tree
lime tree
south side
south side
South side
South side
Rue Auguste Comte,the antique deal…
Rue Auguste Comte,the antique dea…
south side
south side
part of Decitre bookshop,the best …
part of Decitre bookshop,the best…
west side,Little Prince statue
west side,Little Prince statue
On the right the main Post Office
On the right the main Post Office
south side,view to the unique rema…
south side,view to the unique rem…
flower stalls
flower stalls
flower stalls close to the public …
flower stalls close to the public…
buildings on the east side erected…
buildings on the east side erecte…
east side,on the left the Republic…
east side,on the left the Republi…
east side
east side
Lyon
photo by: spocklogic