Lyon Cathedral

            I chose to write on the Cathédrale Saint Jean Baptiste de Lyon because I was most interested in the fact that it was built not over several years, but rather over several centuries. Construction began in 1165 and eventually finished in 1476. Before the Lyon Cathedral was built, the St. Etienne and Ste. Croix churches stood on the same site. There is an archeological garden where parts of the original churches can still be seen.

            The fact that the cathedral was built over several centuries means that there are different architectural styles also reflected throughout the church. For instance, the apse and choir are Romanesque while the nave and façade are Gothic. This cathedral gained particular notoriety when a medieval wedding took place there, the wedding of King Henry IV to Marie de Medici in 1600.

            On the outside of the church there are scenes depicting the life of Saint John as well as Gothic flying buttresses that greatly resemble the style and structure of Notre Dame de Paris. Conversely, the inside of the cathedral contains several beautiful stained glass windows and vaulting in the side chapels. However, the most notable artifact inside of the church is the astronomical clock. This clock still chimes several times a day while a rooster crows and angels herald – it is considered to be a great technological marvel of the time.

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