Mar 19th, 2018, 01:21 PM

The Historic and Modern Sites of Lyon

By Asha Poorhassan
Image Credit: AshaPoorhassan
Exploring the metropolitan city through its streets, squares, and architecture.

Spring Break was coming soon and my friend and I had to decide where we wanted to go for a few days. A lot of places came into our heads and then we realized that Lyon kept our attention because it is a big city that is well-known because of its culture, food, and endless amount of activities for young people. We quickly decided to book this trip so we could set off and discover every part of this lovely city. With travelers coming from both within and outside of the country, Lyon is one of the most touristy cities in France. If you decide to visit this place one day, which I really think you should, you will discover that this lovely city is divided into two distinct parts which are Vieux Lyon and more modern parts of Lyon.   

Concerning Vieux Lyon, I explored a street called Rue Saint-Jean which is the most known street in the fifth arrondissement of Lyon. This is also the most touristy part of Lyon. This street is a paved street and is really narrow. It's well known because it goes from "Place du change" and ends at "Place Saint Jean" next to its cathedral. This long street is particularly original and lovely because of its remarkable architecture-  all the houses are old with many beautiful parks and a lot of cute doors. Some of the homes are decorated with sculptures, though sadly some are degraded and the facades are less decorated.  


Image credit: Vanupied

Vieux Lyon is a pleasant place which I really advice you to go visit for a few days with friends or family. The colors of the walls are mostly light colors such as pink, orange or brown which gives a charming atmosphere. On this street, you can find many shops or little restaurants that offer specialty and local foods coming from Lyon. The mornings are peaceful and enjoyable but the afternoons but can be crowded, especially during the weekends when there are food markets. 


Image credit: Vanupied

When it comes to the more modern part of Lyon, it's a totally different ambiance. The more modern parts can be identified by looking at the buildings which are completely different from the Vieux Lyon. Some of the more modern places are located in the second arrondissement such as Bellecour, Ainay, and Celestins. Bellecour is where you can find the royal statue and is one of the largest open squares in Europe welcoming cultural and sportive events. Also, during winter there is an ice skating rink and a big wheel which makes the place modern and brings tourism. It is a great place for young people to come that aren't living too far. Another square that is well- known is Place des Jacobins where you can mostly find the luxurious shops, nice restaurants, galleries and boutiques which are all surrounded by the large fountain where famous characters are shown. 


Image credit: Vanupied

For the architecture of this more modern part, the buildings are from the mid 19th century. The balconies are rounded and the style as a whole is very luxurious. The fountains and sculptures make the area very modern. The main difference between the modern and the older part of Lyon is mostly the architecture which differs a lot because of the period when it was done. This differentiation in architecture makes the atmosphere of each area different. In the more modern parts of Lyon, we can find well-known shops and restaurants whereas in the older part of Lyon everything is in some way more pleasant to visit since it is a little different.  


Image credit: Vanupied