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NOTRE DAME DE FOURVIÈRES.
the most striking feature is the immense number of er rotos, about 4,000 in all, presented by pilgrims. These gifts are constantly being refused for want of space. There are two large pictures, one of a local flood and another of Lyons ravaged by cholera, with the Virgin Mary appearing as the deliverer in each case. The tower of the church is of
enormous proportions, 179 feet in height, harmonising badly with the rest of the edifice. On its summit is the gilt bronze statue of the Virgin. It is said that about a million and a half of pilgrims visit this shrine annually, and obtain the same privileges and favours as at Loretto. At the grand festivals, bishops, priests, missionaries, and members of religious orders from all nations, meet before its seven altars. According to Roman Catholic authorities, conversions are countless and miracles frequent, especially at the two annual retreats : at the festivals of the Ascension and Assumption and in the month of Mary. From 120,000 to 150,000 francs are spent every year amongst the vendors of crosses, chaplets, and ex votos, whose shops line the approaches to the church.
From the terrace beside the church, or still better, from the summit of the tower, there is a magnificent view of Lyons and the vicinity. Just below, the city displays a magnificent panorama, with its two noble rivers and bridges and quays, and with the various quarters of the town distinctly discernible. Beyond are the fields and plains, and hills sprinkled with country houses. The plains of Dauphiny and Lyonnais lie outspread, watered by the two rivers, one of which—the Rhône-can be traced for twenty leagues. Eastward, the view extends to the Alps; on clear days, Mont Blanc (a hundred miles distant) is seen. More to the south are seen the Alps of Dauphiny, the mountains of the Grand Chartreuse, Mont Pilat, and Mont Ventoux. To the west rise the mountains of Lyonnais, and the peaks of Mont d'Or on the north.
There are many other churches in Lyons, but our space forbids us to enlarge further on this topic. St. George's, with its very pretty clock-tower ; St. Etienne, attributed to St. Patient, and once the chapel of the Kings of Burgundy ; St. Polycarp, richly adorned, and possessing the finest organ in the city; and the vast church of L'Immaculée Conception, in the quarter of Les Brotteaux: in all of these, and numerous others, the rites of the Roman Catholic religion are performed, amidst all the usual accompaniments of pomp and splendour. St. Bonaventure, beside the Place des Cordeliers, claims a passing notice. It was at first the little church of an obscure convent, but afterwards rose to great renown. The present edifice dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but it has been restored in costly style, and is lavishly adorned with sculptures and stained glass. Its history presents many points of interest. It has always been a popular church, for the fathers of the attached
. convent cultivated very familiar relations with the people. In 1425 an Assembly of citizens met in the church, to demand a diminution of the taxes imposed on the city. In 1469 the church was rebuilt, and took the name of Bonaventure, whose body was enshrined under one of the altars. In 15:29 there was a corn famine; the poor people gathered here, and broke into rebellion. But the authorities erected a gallows before the church, and kept it hard at work for four days, when tranquillity was restored. Assemblies of notables and merchants often met here, and in this place was formed the ancient “Charity Organisation Society” of Lyons, the “Aumône Générale." In 1562, Baron des Adrets broke down the gates, overthrew statues, destroyed pictures, burnt the corpse of Bonaventure, and threw the ashes into the Rhône, but church and convent soon flourished again. A dreadful massacre of Protestants, who had Aed here for refuge, took place on St. Bartholomew's Day. The shrewd Cordeliers tried to meet all needs ; in their thirty chapels (many of them built by trades guilds) were altars and saints for all conditions: St. Catherine for young girls, St. Anne for widows, St. Joseph for husbands, Notre Dame de Délivrance for expectant mothers, and so forth. At the time of the Revolution the Provincial Assembly met here.
The Church of which Pothinus and Blandina were martyrs, and which Irenæus watched over, had suffered many important changes when Peter Waldo, a rich merchant of Lyons in the twelfth century, found himself in its communion. He was noted for
HÔTEL DE VILLE.
his charity and religious zeal, but he refused to believe the doctrine of transubstantiation which Rome was then enforcing, denounced the prevalent abuses and superstitions, and the vices of the clergy, and sought to bring back religion to the simplicity of the early Church. He gathered the poor about him, and taught them, and for their sakes translated (or caused to be translated) the four Gospels into French. To him Europe is indebted for the first version of part of the Bible in a modern tongue. The Archbishop of Lyons saw that these things tended to undermine ecclesiastical authority. The Pope was informed of what was taking place, and Waldo was excommunicated. He and all his adherents were expelled the city. They were known as Leonists, or Poor People of Lyons, and became amalgamated with the pre-existent Waldenses, whose name is not derived from Waldo, as is often erroneously supposed, for authentic documents speak of the Waldenses many years before his time.
Three hundred years passed on, and found Europe awakening to the trumpet-tones of the Reformers of the sixteenth century. France shared in the religious movement of the period, but the rulers in Church and State determined to crush out the new heresy. In 1552 five students were burnt in the corn-market at Lyons, and many other martyrs soon perished in the same
In 1559, Viret, the friend of Calvin, came to preside over the Reformed Church of Lyons, but was banished by the decree which forbade any but the natives of France to preach in French cities. Religion now got mixed up with politics, and the so-called Religious Wars broke out. Baron des Adrets, with his motley host of religious zealots and mercenary troops, who lived by war and pillage, held the city for several months, and committed frightful ravages, to some of which we have referred. Four or five Pacifications, of a very hollow kind, lasted for a time. In 1572 came the horrors of St. Bartholomew; the Protestants were massacred in the convents and other buildings in which they had been invited to take refuge; and the Rhône and Saône (like the Seine) carried many hundreds of dead bodies down to the sea.
Lyons shared with all France the subsequent troubles from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and, indeed, was long in recovering from the blow which that disastrous event inflicted on her commerce.
The Hôtel de Ville faces the Place des Terreaux, which has been already alluded to.
This place was the scene of a memorable event in the reign of Louis XIII., when Cinq-Mars and his friend De Thou perished on the scaffold to satisfy the vengeance of Richelieu. In 1792 the Place des Terreaux was the scene of an attack on the Hôtel de Ville by the Sections in order to dislodge Chalier, the imitator of Marat, who was presiding over a revolutionary tribunal in the name of the Convention. The Conventional troops were beaten, the tribunal broken up, and Chalier was beheaded. It was for this that Lyons sustained that memorable siege by the troops of the Convention, to the number of 60,000. For sixty-three days the city maintained a heroic resistance, till the incessant cannonading from without, and famine and sickness within the walls, had rendered success hopeless ; 30,000 citizens perished, and then, on October 9th, 1793, the town yielded to the victorious besiegers. During the siege 11,000 red-hot shot and 27,000 shells had been poured into the city, and it was now decreed by the National Convention that, in order to humble the pride of the citizens, all the principal buildings,
pe and private, should be destroyed. Thousands of pounds were spent in wilful duetrytin, till the town was little more than a heap of ruins. It was decreed that Lyons boal bar the name of " la commune affranchie.” The guillotine was set up in the Place des Treaix, and baselessly supplied with victims; but the guillotine was too slow in its operation to satisfy the cruelty of a Couthon, a Fouché, and a Collot d'Herbois, and prisers were taken out by fifty and sixty at a time, to be shot on the plain of Brot
Eighteen hundred victims were killed (not reckoning those who died in the siege) tesre the reaction set in, and Lyons resumed its ancient name, and by degrees rebuilt its devastator streets.
The Hotel de Ville, after that of Amsterdam, is the finest municipal editice in Europe. It was constructed in 1674, repaired by Jansard in 1702, and restored at a later date. It consists of two façades and two wings. An equestrian statue of Henry IV., by a native sculptor, and a stone balustrade, with statues of Hercules and Pallas, adorn the façade fronting the Place des Terreaux. The clock-tower, surmounted by a cupola, is 160 feet in height. In the lofty vaulted vestibule of the grand gateway are groups in bronze, representing the Saône and the Rhône, by the brothers Coustou. The façade facing the Place de la Comédie consists of several arcades, surmounted by a gallery with a stone balustrade. The most noticeable features of the interior are the reception saloons and apartments of the Prefect; the Salle des Archives, with its rich collection of archives and historical museum; the Hall of the Municipal Council, a lorned with portraits of Jacquard by M. Bonnefond, and of the celebrated Abbé Rozier by Genod; and the ceiling of the grand staircase, painted in fresco by Blanchet.
The Palais des Beaux Arts, facing the Place des Terreaux, is a noble building. In the museums are very curious Roman mosaics, hundreds of inscriptions, altars, sculptures, vases, and in a vestibule decorated with mosaics are displayed the famous bronze tables upon which is inscribed a speech made by the Emperor Claudius, in 48 A.D., advocating the admission of the Gallic communities to the privileges of Roman citizenship. In addition to this collection of rare antiquities, there are a great variety of objects connected with the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; a museum of sculptures and paintings, where are found several pictures of the first rank, especially of the Italian school; and a complete collection of busts of celebrated citizens, amongst them Ballanche, Bernard de Jussieu, Coustou, Philibert Delorme, Hippolyte Flandrin, etc.
The Palais des Arts also possesses a very rich museum of natural history, as well as a library of over 70,000 volumes specially devoted to art, science, and industry.
The edifice containing these varied treasures was formerly the Convent of St. Pierre, inhabited by (or, more strictly, belonging to) a celebrated confraternity of ladies. The Abbaye de St. Pierre was first founded in the fourth century, in the reign of Constantine. The Saracens destroyed it, and good Leydrade rebuilt it. Kings dowered it with wealth, and its members added their private fortunes. The community grew in wealth and power. During 600 years and more, this band of ladies, who admitted none amongst their number except on proof of noble blood, and several of whom belonged to the royal families of France, Savoy, Lorraine, etc., grew more and more insolent. The abbess, who, amongst other pretensions, claimed suzerainty over the Counts of Savoy, styled herself “Abbess by the Grace of God,"