Friday, bright(ish) and early(ish), I set off for the basilica at Fourvières. You can see it from a distance on the first picture of the previous Lyon post, sitting there at the top of the hill like a wedding cake...
I was hoping for High 19th-century Camp, mixed with some art nouveau. I was not to be disappointed, even before I got into the building.
The basilica was erected by the grateful Lyonnais immediately after the Franco-Prussian war in 1870-71, to give thanks to God for having escaped the Prussian invasion. It dates from about the same time as the Sacré-Coeur in Paris, and it has that same quality of no small space being missed
Doves of various kinds are to the fore...
The floor mosaics were rather beautiful...
... as were both the windows and the modern light fittings
The wall mosaics were beautifully done, too;
and, as inevitable in late 19th century France, Joan of Arc is prominantly featured as a symbol of French pride.
Outside, rather a cheery statue of pope JPII, and a great view over the city.
Back down in the funicular to Vieux-Lyon; definitely the right day to see it. For the first time, I did actually feel as if I was in Southern France.
After a rather over-copious and slightly-too-touristy lunch (live and learn!) I ambled back into the middle of town and sat in a café for a while, before finding a yarn shop (yay!!) and making my way to the art gallery. Outside in the square, this statue
Final stop then, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
By this time I was, quite frankly, all sightseen-out. But I had a pass which got me in free, and an hour to spare, and there I was; so my plan was to tander through, and if something totally grabbed me by the throat and said LOOK AT ME I'd have a look; but if not, I'd just have a canter through, and a better look next time I come to Lyon. I'm not a complete masochist, though, so I started with the 19th century paintings rather than looking at armour and stuff..
And the first room I came across was the Salle Janmot.
Thud. Love at first sight.
Completely new-to-me Pre-Raphaelite-type painter (technically, apparently, a Romantic/Symbolist, and a formative influence on one of my other favourites, Odilon Redon) - and an entire cycle (Le poème de l'âme/The poem of the soul) in one room. The most beautiful things.
There's a book available about the cycle, which I was able to buy in the museum bookshop... I wandered round the rest of the galleries like a stunned fish, went back to the Janmot room and spent another 15 mins or so gazing and attempting not to dribble too obviously, and then wandered out; although it was drizzling again, the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville beckoned
and I had an apéro under the awnings there before heading home - more grilled meat and veg...
The following day, it was just a matter of collecting together the souvenirs and heading home...