Parc des Hauteurs (literally, “Heights Park” in English) is an urban park on Lyon’s Fourvière hill that was designed by the landscape architect Michel Corajoud. It extends from the Montée de l’Ange to the Loyasse cemetery. The site covers the route of the former Tramway des Macchabées.
The 600m long Quatre Vents (Four Winds) footbridge on the Chemin du Viaduc offers a panoramic view of the River Saône and the Croix-Rousse district.
In the early part of the 20th century, several proposals to develop Fourvière Hill failed to materialise. In 1930 after a landslide tragically killed 39 people, construction on the hill was banned. Afterwards, there were a number of proposals to build a public park, including that of the architect Giroud. He suggested the creation of an expansive urban park stretching from Place Saint-Jean to the Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The Théâtre Antique de Fourvière and the Odéon were uncovered between 1930 and 1950. Following that, the city of Lyon acquired the land. The archaeological park was then created and some buildings demolished to provide better access to the hill.
Created in 1958, The Renaissance Association of Vieux-Lyon has acted to protect the area since 1964.
Created by engineer Joannès Blanchon between 1880 and 1896, the Fourvière esplanade comprises the Passerelle des Quatre-vents, the Loyasse fort and the Loyasse cemetery, the Jardin de la Visitation, the Parc archéologique and the Jardin du Rosaire, all of which are described in detail below.
Passerelle des Quatre-vents
This footbridge connects the Saint-Paul funicular to Fourvière and the Loyasse cemetery. It is some 80m high, walkers can enjoy some excellent views from the Passerelle.
Contained within the park is the Loyasse cemetery, which dates from 1807. Notable interments include Pierre Bossan, architect of the Fourvière Basilica, Ferdinand Ferber (1862–1909), a noted aviator, Édouard Herriot (1872–1957), three-time as Prime Minister of France, and Létiévant (1830–1884), French surgeon recognised for drawing the first aesthesiography.
Jardin de la Visitation
The Chemin de la Visitation is a 2km pathway that links rue Pauline Jaricot to the upper section of Parc archéologique. The convent of the Visitation Sainte Marie de Fourvière is one of the earliest works of the architect Pierre-Marie Bossan. Built between 1854 and 1857, it was in use by the church until 1968. It has since been converted into a hotel, the chapel now serves as the reception area, while the cloister was transformed into hotel lounges.
Following the Jardin de la Visitation, a small path leads walkers to the top of the odeon. The pathway then traverses the odeon and the ancient theater via a staircase that leads to a Roman road. One hundred metres north is the Jardin du Rosaire.
Jardin du Rosaire
Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourvière, and the gardens beneath it which are today known as the Jardin du Rosaire, were designed in the late 19th century by the architect Pierre Bossan. Modifications were made in 1993 by Michel Louis and Ingrid Bourne, when paths, terraces and esplanades were created.
Featured are a hydrangea garden, a rose garden and an orchard. A pathway leads from the basilica’s esplanade to the Montée Saint-Barthélemy. The house of Bréda, named Maison de Lorette is also located here. The Chapelle Sainte-Philomène, constructed in 1839 by Antoine-Marie Chenavard is also here. Since 2004, the chapel and the garden have been classified by the French state as monuments historiques.
The Funicular F2 terminates at Fourvière. On exiting the funicular station turn left on Place Fourvière, and left again to take Chemin du Viaduc into the park.
Montée Nicolas de Lange (or Place de Fourvière) – 69005 Lyon