Rien ne developpe l’intelligence comme les voyages – Emile Zola

Travel broadens the mind – Emile Zola

The grand city of Vienne boasts of its very very long association with history. It has a handful of tell-a-tale signs that reveal its ties with religion for ages. The very grand scale of these sites nudges one to call it ‘hallowed Vienne.

Jardin archéologique de Cybèle

Cybele was a ‘Great Mother of God’ goddess of Greek and Romans. Fragments of the bas relief dedicated to goddess Cybele were found in 1940 when the archaeological excavation of an area near the Temple of Augustus was undertaken in 1938. Hence the name, ‘Jardin archeologique de Cybele (archaeological garden of Cybele)’. The garden contains the remains of the ancient Gallo-Roman city. The three distinctive groups of the city that can be seen here are the arcade of a portico, a huge wall of a quadrangular assembly room, and the remains of the residential area with terraces.

Arcade of portico
Wall of the assembly room
Remains of the residential area

Cathedrale de Saint Maurice

It is a Roman Catholic church dedicated to Saint Maurice. It was built gradually from the 4th century BC till the 16th century. Every successive master builder of the cathedral showed inclusivity by retaining the original Gallo-Roman fragments, Romanesque features, and Gothic chapels while adding newer dimensions.

St Maurice Cathedral

Portals on the West façade date back to the 14th century. These portals boast of various figures from the holy history of Christianity in the ‘flamboyant style’ that entraps the attention of the visitor.

Western Portals of St Maurice Cathedral

The Western Portals open to a flight of steps leading to the river Rhone at a short distance.

However, the cathedral fell victim to the Wars of Religion between 1561 till 1567 and had been mercilessly pillaged.

Disfigured interior

The beautiful mosaics however escaped fate and are as fresh as ever!

Musee Lapidaire Saint Pierre

Lapidaire (English: Lapidary) stands for the practice of shaping stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems, and faceted designs. Saint Pierre Church is one of the oldest churches in France (around 5th Century). It was restored in the 12th century and was converted into a museum in 1876, which we know of today as Musee Lapidaire Saint Pierre. It houses several important sets of lapidaries from ancient Vienne, mosaics, monuments, and Roman sculptures like Tutela and Appolo Archer.

Musee Lapidaire Saint Pierre

River Front

The time now to relax by the riverside and soak in views of the hallowed city from la Passarelle (the footbridge).

Situated along the river Rhone, Vienne had been a city of prominence since ancient days. Rhone provided and still continues to provide the necessary channel for trade (textile and metallurgical industries) and leisure (tourism).

There are other remarkable sites as well like the Roman Theater(built around 40AD with a seating capacity of 13,000 spectators where the famous Jazz festival of Vienne is held every year), Roman Circus (a 20m stone obelisk), Jardin du 8 Mai 1945 (commemorating the victory of allied forces in the 2nd world war), Mont Pipet (the highest point in the city with Chapelle Notre Dame de la Salette and the statue of the Virgin) etc

It’s difficult to say goodbye to this grand, hallowed city. But don’t we have to visit the other alluring destinations?

Click here for a short video of today’s tour.

A bientot!

This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z challenge2022

Click here for posts so far in the “Exploring l’Hexagone” series


Sonia Dogra · April 9, 2022 at 7:07 am

Hi Anagha. These pictures are amazing. The blue skies…I have another friend who lives in France and my sister in Aalen and their pictures too have vibrant blue skies. What an architectural wonder this is!

    Anagha Yatin · April 9, 2022 at 9:12 am

    I am smitten by the blue skies in this part of the world Sonia. There is something magical about them! Aalen is just 6 hrs drive from my place. Good to know that your sister and friend are in the same part of the world where I am right now.
    Thanks for visiting.

Swarnali Nath · April 9, 2022 at 11:35 am

The places have such a soothing vibe all over. I could imagine travelling to these places is very calming yet fulfilling experience!

    Anagha Yatin · April 9, 2022 at 1:22 pm

    You gauged it right Swarnali. All the historic sites of Vienne carry a soothing vibe, maybe after weathering centuries. Thanks for visiting and sharing your thought.

      Tarang · April 10, 2022 at 9:20 am

      These photos are so beautiful and soothing. Difficult to say goodbye to such captivating destinations ― I don’t travel much but I can understand.

        Anagha Yatin · April 10, 2022 at 10:56 am

        You got me so right Tarang. It was just a day’s trip to Vienne on a fine Saturday the last year, but I was so reluctant to return back to Lyon.
        Thanks for visiting.

Rashi Roy · April 9, 2022 at 2:17 pm

France is in our list for a long time now and your posts and the lovely pictures will not let me wait for long! Hope travelling gets back to normal soon.

    Anagha Yatin · April 9, 2022 at 5:15 pm

    I think it will be sooner than you think, particularly because the 2024 Olympics will be hosted in France!

A Rustic Mind · April 11, 2022 at 9:13 pm

You’re showing us such a different, less travelled and more serene side of France. Will surely be visiting these spots soon

    Anagha Yatin · April 12, 2022 at 9:17 pm

    You are most welcome to my house at Lyon Manali. Do plan to spend some time with us in this vibrant city.
    Thanks for visiting.

Matheikal · April 12, 2022 at 12:22 am

Reading you is as good as travelling those places. Such vivid descriptions.

    Anagha Yatin · April 12, 2022 at 9:47 am

    Thank you so much Matheikel for your kind words. I hope you liked Vienne through my lens.

Pradeep · April 13, 2022 at 9:54 am

It’s so nice to see that the architecture of these centuries-old structures is preserved as it is.

    Anagha Yatin · April 13, 2022 at 5:24 pm

    Credit definitely goes to the government bodies and the people of France for sure.
    Thanks Pradeep for visiting and highlighting this valid point.

Aesha Shah · April 14, 2022 at 10:55 am

Such grandeur of the church! I thought I was reading Dan Brown Novel, looking at the pictures. His description of the European churches and streets is so similar.

    Anagha Yatin · April 14, 2022 at 12:38 pm

    Dan Brown’s description is so vivid. I am a fan of his writing and his novels! Thanks Aesha for visiting

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