Part of my English-guided tour of Old Lyon included stops at the Primatiale Saint-Jean, Place Saint-Paul, Musée des beaux-arts and l'église Saint-Nizier. In the center of the square in front of Saint-Jean Cathedral is a fountain with four basins topped by a small open-work pavilion containing a sculpture of Christ’s baptism. To the east of the square is the Cathedral of Saint-Jean and the choir school also known as the Menécanterie. It is directly to the right of the west front and is the oldest part of the existing building dating from about the 12th century. The front of the building is decorated with a blind story topped by red-brick encrustations, colonnettes and niches containing statues of human figures. Despite altarations, it has retained its Romanesque appearance. As for the Cathedral of Saint-Jean, it is a Gothic building erected to complete a Romanesque apse. On the exterior the most notable features are the four towers, two on the west front and two over the arms of the transept. The façade is partly made up of blocks from ancient Roman monuments. It is also designed with over 300 medallions which tell different episodes from the Old and New Testaments. In the 16th century, the Baron of Adrets, a Calvinist, destroyed all the statues of the saints in the niches of the façade and beheaded all of the angels of the three portals. Inside, the church is quite famous for its astronomical clock which shows the date, the positions of the Moon, the Sun and Earth and the rising of stars above Lyon. Originally from the 14th century, it was remodeled several times. Above the clock, a series of controllers are set in motion several times a day. There are animals and a scene depicting the Annunciation. In 1245 and 1274 the cathedral was the setting for the two Councils of Lyon. In the following century it was chosen for the consecration of Pope John XXII. In 1600 Henri IV married Marie de’ Medici here. More recently, in 1943, the Sixth Grand Pardon was celebrated here. The event is celebrated approximately once every century, when Corpus Christi coincides, on June 24th, with the feast day of Saint John the Baptist, to whom the church is dedicated. The chapel of the Bourbons (the name of the archbishop who ordered its construction), late Gothic, was built between the late 15th and early 16th century. Nearby, next to the Place St-Paul is one of the oldest churches in Lyon, the Church of Saint-Paul. The octagonal shaped lantern tower has been classified as a historical monument since 1920 and was recently renovated in 2002. Sadly, it was not open to the public when I went to visit. Above the door is the tympanum depicting Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Tradition has it that the present Église St-Nizier, much of which dates from the 15th century, was built on the site of Lyon’s first church. On the outside, the nave is supported by double flying butresses which can be seen clearly from rue de la Fromagerie. The spires on the belltowers are one of the outstanding features of the Lyon urban landscape. The interior is very dark and nearly impossible to take photos in. I managed to get these pictures of the nave vaulting and the altar. The Musée des beaux-arts ranks among the finest musuems in France. From the Place des Terreaux, enter the gardens in the former cloisters, where galleries are surmounted by terraces. Tall loggias crown the corner pavilions on the south side. The statues in the garden include The Shadow by Rodin and Carpeaux at Work by Bourdelle. The museum’s splendid collections, carefully displayed, have been further enriched by the donation of 35 famous Impressionist and modern paintings from Jacqueline Delubac’s private collection. The Fine Arts Gallery presents an exceptional overview of art through the centuries, throughout the world. Its collections are organized into five separate departments: paintings, sculpture, antiquities, objets d’art and medals. My two-day pass that I purchased from the Lyon tourist office allowed me to visit the museum as many times as I liked.