Lyon, France’s third largest city, is beautiful, and the Presqu’ile – the “almost island” between the Rhône and Saône – is especially so. The buildings here are nineteenth century marvels, with intricate stone facades, domes, and balconies. It is only natural, when walking around, to look up at them. However, visitors also need to make sure to direct their gazes downward, as Lyon is home to some of the best and prettiest doors I have ever seen.
You may be wondering, what is so great about doors? Well, check out some of these beauties!
Note: this is not a “normal” Royal Tour article. Also, keep in mind I am not a professional photographer, nor am I willing to spend hours waiting for just the right light to make photos the best possible. However, I still hope you find this as fascinating as I do.
See what I mean? Doors can be truly awesome, both in the door itself and in the frame around it. This one, 24 Rue de la République, combines the best of both aspects. The lion heads on the door are a common theme here in Lyon.
Some doors can be simple. I love these, at 3 Rue d’Amboise for the metalwork on the grates as a contrast to the bare white wood of the doors themselves.
At the other end of the spectrum is this beauty, possibly my favorite in the city, from 38 Rue President Édouard Herriot. The doors themselves are fairly plain, but the incredible carvings certainly make up for that!
The door off of Rue Marcel Gabriel Rivière to the Hotel Dieu reveals the building’s origins as a religious hospital, not the posh Intercontinental hotel with assorted restaurants and a mall the gorgeous structure houses today.
29 Place Bellecour’s intricately carved double door is actually a driveway, and many of the buildings around here have these former carriage doors that now hide parking in interior courtyards.
These two doors, 3 Rue de Brest (upper) and 64 Rue de la Republique (lower) caught my eye for the incredible wood carving on them, with ordinary stonework on the frame. It seems almost a shame to have such impressive doors without carved figures to either side!
I love it when modern buildings – or at least modern facades of older buildings – go out of their way to live up to the historical wonders of their neighbors. In Lyon, even many of the newer doors are incredible, but made of metal and glass rather than wood. 29 Rue de Plat (upper) and 77 Rue President Édouard Herriot (lower) are two such modern doors.
Besides just loving the doors at 40 Rue President Édouard Herriot, the golden emblem above them signifies a notary public being present here. Also, as you have probably noticed, this street, one of the main north-south thoroughfares in the main part of Lyon, has amazing doors and buildings on basically every block from City Hall down to Place Bellecour.
Double double doors! I wish I could combine the woodwork of the upper set from 58 Rue President Édouard Herriot with the stone of the lower entries from 89 of the same amazing street.
13 Quai Tilsitt is home to Lyon’s Grand Synagogue, which is itself home to these grand doors! Note the 10 commandments in Hebrew at the top of the arch.
This unmarked building, also on Quai Tilsitt, caught my attention for the detail in the metal gratings, and also for the reflection of the Saône in the glass behind!
Sometimes, even graffiti can’t hide the beauty of a door. In this case, it almost enhances the pure black attraction of the door of 63 Rue President Édouard Herriot, not that you should ever deface anything this way.
I hope you all enjoyed this little photo tour of some of the most wonderful doors of Lyon. If you like content like this, let me know and I will include more!
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