La Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere, Lyon

From the earliest Antiquity, the hill of Fourvière – the praying hill – is the centre of the spiritual and cultural life in Lyons. It is in Fourvière that the early Christians expressed their faith – Saint Pothin was martyred there –, placing themselves under the protection of Mary from the beginning.      In the Middle Ages (1192) a church was erected on top of the hill in honour of the Virgin Mary and St Thomas of Canterbury. Ruined during the religious wars, the chapel was rebuilt in 1586. It is mainly through vows and prayers made to Mary that a special bond between the city and the hill was created.  While a serious epidemic of scurvy was affecting the children in the city in 1638 and nothing seemed to be able to stop it, people decided to go on procession to Fourvière. The sickness then gradually disappeared and never came back.

Address: 9, place de Fourvière 69005 Lyon