History, architecture, incredible views and city vibe is the essence of this running tour. There is no other way to experience so much of cultural Lyon in such a short space of time! Originally called Lugudunum, Lyon dates back to 43 BC where the city was founded by the Romans at the exact point where the Rhone and Saone River meet.
The running tour will depart from the heart of Lyon, Place Bellecour which is one of the largest squares in Europe that is entirely pedestrian and is the focal center of Lyon. It has been used since Gallo-Roman times, severing various functions over time which included: military, commercial, viticulture and even housing a guillotine during the revolution.
We will then run through the quaint pedestrian bustling streets of the Presqu’ile peninsula, home to many infamous ‘Lyonnais’ restaurants before crossing over the Saone River and passing Cathedral Saint Jean. The construction of this cathedral started in 1165 and due to the time it took to construct, two distinct architectural styles can be seen together with the famous and stunning stained glass windows.
The tour will initially follow the Saone River, encompassing various landmarks with views of the Ancient ‘Palais de Justice’ said to be the most impressive building in Lyon and a building that is likely to leave you breathless regardless of whether you run at night or during daytime. It stands on a site where courts of justice have stood since the 14th century although Baltard constructed the present building in 1842 and is one of the best known Neo-classical buildings. Runners will also pass Maison Thomassin, which was the commercial centre for the cloth industry at the turn of the century and was built in 1298. Throughout the duration of the run, there are incredible views of Fourvière hill and the Basilica, that has been overlooking Lyon since the 1800s. The running tour will then once again cross the Saone River to pass the Fresque des Lyonnais, an incredible fresco that covers an entire building with over 800 square meters of still-life deception.
Next up after taking in this stunning mural painting, runners continue past the Bartholdi Fountain, consisting of a statue made of lead on an iron frame that weighs 21 tons built in 1889, and Hotel de Ville, one of the largest historic buildings in the city established in 1645.
Finally the tour will return to Place Bellecour with occasional views of the Rhone River, while taking in several historic sites including Saint-Nizier Church. This church, the construction of which started in the 5th century, is built on the site of a previous Roman temple of Attis, whose worship was probably the cause of the Christian persecution in Lyon from 177. This tour is the perfect combination of history, stunning views and the vibe of one of the biggest cities in France. Truly a tour not to be missed.