Life in the Les Jacobins district
Want to feel the beating heart of downtown Lyon in a historic and elegant setting? The Les Jacobins district is a true magnet for city dwellers who appreciate the architectural beauty of the quarter and its central location. BARNES Lyon gives you the guided tour of this district, and all the other districts of Lyon.
Elegance and sophistication at the heart of Lyon
Place des Jacobins, one of the city’s oldest squares, lies at the crossroads of several neighboring districts. No fewer than 12 streets converge in this square! Edouard Herriot, Gasparin, Emile Zola, Childebert, Confort, de l’Ancienne Préfecture, de Brest, de Tournes ... all avenues that form the ‘Carré d’Or’, renowned for its luxury high street names. Its proximity to Place Bellecour and rue de la République also contribute to the appeal of this district in perpetual motion.
Close by, rue Mercière, a paved pedestrian precinct, is the meeting point for foodies with its bars and its numerous restaurants, very popular with the citizens of Lyon and tourists alike. Quieter and more residential, Place des Célestins, a few yards from Place des Jacobins, has its own unique charm with its terraces, its magnolias and its theater.
History of Les Jacobins
Throughout the Middle Ages, the main merchants’ street on the Presqu’île passed through the Place des Jacobins, connecting the Saône and Rhône bridges. The square owes its name to the religious order of the Jacobins or the Friar Preachers of the Order of Saint-Dominique. To the South of the square, they built a Gothic church with a cloister, where Pope John XXII was elected in 1316. After the destruction of the narrow streets and hovels located in the Northern section under the Second Empire, wide straight avenues were designed with, in particular, the creation of the current rue de la République (1855-1857), rue Gasparin and rue Edouard Herriot (1860). The new buildings have retained their period splendor: ornamental components on the facades, alignment of the windows, shutters, mantlings, etc. Here you will find the monumental style typical of 19th century urban planning. Magnificent properties were erected on the Eastern, Northern and Southern sides of the square. At number 4 sits the house of the painter Paul Borel, designed by the architect Pierre Bossan in 1863, with a flamboyantly decorated facade and an incredible door worked in light-colored timber. To the South/East, at the corner of rue Confort and rue Childebert, stands a magnificent building with a slate-roofed rotunda.
The white marble fountain was constructed in December 1885 by Gaspard André (1840-1896), to whom the city also owes the Théâtre des Célestins. It pays tribute to four centuries of Lyon art through statues representing four renowned artists: Philibert Delorme (architect), Guillaume Coustou (sculptor), Gérard Audran (engraver) and Hippolyte Flandrin (painter). The fountain is inscribed on the French list of monuments of regional or local importance (Inventaire supplementaire des Monuments Historiques - ISMH).
An urban lifestyle
Redeveloped in 2012 as part of a vast project for the Presqu’île area, the square has undergone a major esthetic restructuring designed to make it more pedestrian-friendly. Living in the Les Jacobins quarter means having everything on your doorstep, the advantage of the downtown facilities and public transport, with access to the Cordeliers and Bellecour metro stations. In addition, a cycle track connects the Presqu’île, including the Place des Jacobins, to the Part-Dieu area.
The quays of the River Saône are also within walking distance, along with the Saint-Antoine market and the sunlit terraces.
Schools in the Les Jacobins district
A number of private middle schools are located nearby and accessible on foot:
- Collège aux Lazaristes Middle School
- Chevreul Middle School
- Sainte Marie Middle School
as well as public schools including Ampère Middle School, and 5 kindergartens within 500 yards, including the Savoie Lamartine and Célestine kindergartens among the closest.
Lovers of history, architecture and city dwellers at heart will be captivated by this district, with everything so close at hand thanks to its location at the heart of downtown Lyon. Discover all the districts of the Presqu'île:
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