Life in the Les Cordeliers district
It doesn't get much more central than this, ideally located between Place des Terreaux and Place Bellecour, between the Saône and Rhône rivers. The very heart of the Presqu’île! The district owes its name to the Couvent des Cordeliers which was the name given to members of a religious order who wore a rope or 'cord' around their robes. A historic locality with its elegant monuments, and today a lively neighborhood popular for its numerous shops, particularly those on rue de la République, a must-visit when you’re on the Presqu’île. Pedestrian precincts, small terraces, department stores, typical Lyon restaurants… It's all here! A distillation of life.
BARNES Lyon gives you the guided tour of this district, and all the other districts of Lyon.
Les Cordeliers: history of the district
After the Revolution of 1789, the convent became the property of the State and destroyed. Only the church, placed under the aegis of Saint-Bonaventure, was saved and had its current facade added in the 19th century. In the Middle Ages, the inhabitants were essentially concentrated around the Saint-Nizier church and in the alleys that crisscross the Les Cordeliers district from East to West, particularly rues Tupin, Ferrandière, Thomassin, etc.
During the Second Empire, reflecting the colossal works undertaken by Baron Haussmann in Paris, it was decided to construct proper streets in the center of Lyon, including rue de la République, completed in 1862.
Along with the redevelopment of the Grolée district, in Place des Cordeliers a vast covered market was built, which was later converted into a permanent market hall. Lyon already had its temple to good food! A metal pavilion designed by the architect Tony Desjardins, was inaugurated in 1859. It was destroyed in 1970 by order of Mayor Pradel when the Halles (markets) were relocated to the new Part-Dieu district. The Les Cordeliers car park thus replaced this beautiful 19th century structure, and the Grand Bazar building opposite followed suit, destroyed to give way to a smoked glass building which now houses the Monoprix store and which contrasts audaciously with the facade of the Saint-Bonaventure Church located just behind.
But rest assured, there are still traces of the rich past of this district of Lyon. Classed as a historic monument in 1994, the Palais du Commerce, home to the
Chamber of Commerce and Industry, has retained all its 19th century splendor. Built between 1854 and 1860 by Lyon-born architect René Dardel (1796-1871) in the Second Empire style, the building and its famous Salle de la Corbeille central hall, the jewel of Lyon's architectural landscape, was inaugurated on August 25, 1860 by Napoléon III.
Alongside Place des Cordeliers, a bas-relief sculpture represents an allegory of the Rhône and the Saône, a man for the Rhône on the upper half and a woman for the Saône on the lower half.
Life in Les Cordeliers: a lively and vibrant quarter
In addition to its architecture, the Les Cordeliers district is appreciated for its vibrant ambiance. It is home to many of the city's emblematic venues, including the Grand Café des Négociants, the Institution, the Cintra and the Comptoir de la Bourse where the people of Lyon are accustomed to meet for business meetings, lunch or a last drink! Discerning palates will be delighted to discover the tempting window displays of the Bonnard delicatessen, renowned for its hot sausages, and those of Merveilleux de Fred just a few yards away, not forgetting the chocolates from Voisin and La Maison Pralus.
The Quai Saint-Antoine market is open mornings from Tuesday to Sunday and carries all the local produce.
In Place des Cordeliers, the Monoprix store is spread over 3 floors and is very popular at all hours of the day, in particular after work, when late shoppers crowd in to search for last minute provisions! Young and lively, the Les Cordeliers district is at the heart of the shopping area and its rue Grolée. For a long time an abandoned street, it has regained its spirit with the arrival of some of the leading retail names such as Uniqlo or Hard Rock Café and in particular home furnishings: La Redoute Intérieurs, Søstrene Grene, Hema, etc.
Going out for dinner or a drink
The second arrondissement also abounds with restaurants, in particular on rue Mercière, rue du Palais Grillet and Place de la Bourse. Whether you’re out for dinner or a drink, there is an abundance of choice, with the added convenience of being able to walk home! Looking for an evening out? The Théâtre des Célestins, the Opera or the Comédie Odéon are just a stone’s throw away.
Schooling & Transportation in the Les Cordeliers district
Kindergartens, elementary, middle and high schools are easily accessible.
Lamartine Kindergarten and Elementary school
Ampère Middle & High school
Saint-Nizier-Aux Lazaristes School
Chevreul Middle School
Saint-Marc High School
The Les Cordeliers district has a metro line that provides access to the whole of Lyon in record time:
Metro A: Perrache / Vaulx-en-Velin
Metro C: Cuire / Hôtel de Ville
Discover all the districts of the Presqu'île:
(and casual housing)