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Located in Lyon’s 1st arrondissement, on the left bank of the River Saône, Saint-Vincent remains unspoilt despite its proximity to the city centre. BARNES Lyon gives you the guided tour of this district, and all the other districts of Lyon.
The history and architecture of Saint-Vincent
The area was already inhabited at the time of the Romans, as attested to by the remains discovered. In the 18th century, life in the district moved in step with the port activity of the port of Neuville, built in 1684 by archbishop Camille de Neuville. The mooring rings can still be seen today along the quays.
The architecture of the buildings along the quays dates for the most part from the 14th century, although some are even older - the oldest building dates back to 1699. Other more recent buildings date from the 20th and 21st centuries. They afford magnificent views over the park, the River Saône and its right bank, where “L’Homme de la Roche” [The Man in the Rock] has stood for four centuries. His mysterious identity is attributed to Jean Kleberger, benefactor of Lyon.
Life in the Saint-Vincent district: at the heart of Lyon
From the Saint-Vincent quay, you arrive at the other bank of the Saône and the Saint-Paul district via the La Feuillée bridge or Saint-Vincent footbridge. Stroll along the banks of the Saint-Vincent quay to the South to Les Terreaux and Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, just yards away.
For a relaxing afternoon, head to the Jardin des Chartreux, a landscaped park with 3 terraces on the slopes of the La Croix-Rousse. Created in 1855, this garden is connected to the quays of the Saône via the Montée de la Muette stairway, near Les Subsistances cultural centre. At the top of the 265 steps, admire the magnificent views over the Saône from the Conservatoire National de Musique, set in two former convents, to the Fourvière hilltop. A piece of the countryside above the Saint-Vincent quay.
The district is also home to a rich cultural life, particularly thanks to Les Subsistances, a historic monument and former convent then military barracks now transformed into a laboratory of artistic creation dedicated to theatre, dance and contemporary circus. It is also home to the École Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon fine arts school.
Further along the quay, the gaze is drawn to the famous Fresque des Lyonnais (Fresco of the People of Lyon), a trompe-l’œil painted wall depicting 30 figures from Lyon who marked its history, including Juliette Récamier, Paul Bocuse, the Lumière brothers, Abbé Pierre, St-Exupéry and Bernard Pivot!
Foodies will find plenty to tickle their taste buds at the Michelin-starred Mère Brazier or La Bijouterie restaurant.
Families can rest assured with the numerous private secondary schools in the area, such as Sainte-Marie, Les Chartreux and Lycée Aux Lazaristes, and public schools including Pierre Zimmermann and François Truffaut, all easily accessible.
Bus C13 / C14 / 19 / 31 / 40
Discover the other districts nearby: