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Place Bellecour

4.4/5
134 Reviews
Liked by 1
based on 2,307 reviews
Square
Open Open 24 hours
Recommended sightseeing time: 1-2 hours
Address: Place Bellecour, 69002 Lyon
Map
Phone: +33-4-72322736

What travelers say:

The main body of the Bellecour Square is a large piece of red land. As the largest square in Europe, it is a bit empty at first glance. There is no lawn or green trees. Only a statue of Louis XIV stands at one corner of the square.

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Additional Information

Introduction

The largest pedestrian square in all of Europe, the vast Place Bellecour is often the site of rallies, demonstrations, concerts, and in the winter, an ice skating rink and a gargantuan Ferris wheel. Once upon a time, the site was an alluvial island, and the Roman military set up camp and market there. The swampy area slowly became a pasture, and in 1604, Henry IV forced Lyon's city council to acquire it for a public square – a court trial ensued, and the square didn't take shape until 1708, when Louis the XIV took ownership of it. He named it Place Louis-le-Grand and a bronze statue of him was placed in the middle. Half a century later, the French Revolution destroyed the royal statue and replaced it with an altar dedicated to liberty, as well as a guillotine. It was renamed Place Bonaparte, and later Place Napoleon. In 1825, however, a new statue of Louis XIV was reinstated in the plaza, which still remains.
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