The next day, we all decided to go visit La Basilique Notre Dame de Fouvrière. It’s a big cathedral on top of a hill that can be seen from pretty much everywhere in Lyon. Because of its five towers (one smaller than the other fours), the people of Lyon called it L’éléphant Renversé (aka the upside down elephant). From what I have been told, the people here like giving weird names to monuments here. Another building is called Le Crayon (The pencil) because of its pointy roof.
Three ways to get to the cathedral: driving, walking or taking the cable car. We opted for the later option but waking to the cathedral is definitely an option if anyone want to work out the croissant from the petit-déjeûner. From what I gather from the website, you would have to take La montée Saint-Barthélémy. Props to you if you do. I saw the road from the top and it is not a straight line, let me tell you this. It zigzags all the way up the hill. Your ass will be way nicer than mine by the time you are done. As I mentioned, we took the cable car from the metro station Le Vieux Lyon. The cable car comes fairly frequently (every 10 mins) and it only takes a couple of mins to get to the top.
The view from the top of the hill was definitely a sight worth to see. We had a complete view of the presqu’île of Lyon, the Saône and the Rhône (the two rivers). We also saw all the other important monuments of Lyon: l’hôtel de ville, l’opéra, le crayon,… Lucky us, we even found someone at the top who gave us a little history lesson on Lyon.
The cathedral is as beautiful on the outside than the inside. The walls are covered with paintings depicting religious scenes such as Marie presenting her son to the people. When there is no paintings, they are statues and stained glasses of magnificent colors. They were hard to photograph but I think I finally got a good one (see below). There is a second place to pray inside the cathedral. Downstairs, there is a crypt which actually serves as a secondary church that is beneath the earth. While the cathedral is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the crypt is for Joseph and displays at center of the choir a statue of himself holding Jesus as a child.