Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Fourvière et la Fête des Lumières!
We have a pretty special hill in Lyon called Fourvière. Upon it sits the Fourvière Basilica of Notre-Dame.
Built in the 1870's, it sits atop the ancient Roman forum vetus, in the original Roman settlement of 43 BCE called Lugdunum.
You can either hike up the hill on incredibly long and steep steps (your thighs will scream the next day!), or you can take the oldest active funicular tram to see it.
Next to it, on top of the hill, sits an awesome roman amphitheater (see one of my very first blogs). Each summer loads of famous artists hold concerts in the amphitheater, there are plays, modern dance shows, ballet, they even show classic films. My favorites were a Stravinsky ballet under a full moon on a warm summer night and seeing a silent version of Dracula accompanied by Philip Glass live for a soundtrack.
It's called Les Nuits de Fourviere. Book your tickets for next season!
We also have our own Eiffel Tower just next to the basilica!
I was up there the other night and got some great photos.
Now the big news is, the Fourvière Basilica is dedicated to the Virgin Mary who is said to have saved the city of Lyon from the deathly plague in 1643. In commemoration of this incredible feat--and thank goodness as the plague killed one quarter to half the population--Lyon gives thanks each year on December 8th with La Fête des Lumières.
Each inhabitant puts colored glasses with candles in their windows. The entire city is lit up with the most incredible and professionally run light shows. The entire Place des Terreaux hosts a themed light show telling a story as it runs along the walls of its ancient buildings.
Roughly one million people come to Lyon each December 8th for the Fête des Lumières!
Here is a little preview of coming attractions.
This year it will be held from the 8th to the 11th. Check out their website in English.
See you there!
Gros bisous de Lumières et a demain!