Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Vienne
Temple of Augustus & Livia View slideshowVienne lies 30km/20mi south of Lyons on the left bank of the Rhône, which is joined here by its tributary the Gève, on the important traffic route between Burgundy and the Mediterranean.Originally the chief town of a Gallic tribe, the Allobroges, the Roman town of Vienna became in the Imperial period the second capital of southern Gaul. In the third century it became the see of a bishop, and thereafter enjoyed a period of prosperity under episcopal rule. In 879 Boso, Count of Vienne, became king of Lower Burgundy, and in the 12th century the town was capital of the Dauphiné. It was united with France in 1450-1451.Vienne has many well preserved buildings of the Gallo-Roman, Romanesque and Gothic periods.
Hôtel de Ville
In the center of Vienne is the Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, with the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall). Southeast of the square are the Portiques des Thermes Romains, part of the colonnade round the Roman forum, and the remains of a temple of the Oriental goddess Cybele.
Temple of Augustus & Livia
St Maurice Cathedral
The former cathedral of St Maurice (12th-16th century), with a Late Gothic facade (14th-15th century) is a fine example of the Flamboyant style, containing Romanesque sculpture, Flemish tapestries (16th century) and beautiful stained glass.
Musée des Beaux Arts et D'Archéologie
Just east of St Maurice is the Musée des Beaux-Arts et d'Archéologie (Gallo-Roman antiquities, faience, pictures of the 16th-19th C., fine old furniture).
Address: Place de Miremont, F-38200 Vienne, France
Near the Rhône, is the church of St-Pierre, one of France's oldest medieval churches (sixth-10th C), which now houses the Musée Lapidaire, with a large collection including mosaics, sarcophagi, fragments of sculpture and architectural elements.
In the Jardin Public, to the south of the town, is a short section of a Roman road of the A.D. fourth century.Farther south is the Pyramid, a 26m/85ft high obelisk which stood at one end of the Roman circus.
Southeast of the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, at the foot of Mont Pipet, is a large Roman theater of the A.D. first C, which originally had seating for 13,500 spectators.
From the summit of Mont Pipet, on which are a statue of the Virgin, a modern chapel, the ruins of the Château de la Bâtie and remains of defensive walls, there is a fine view of the town and the church of St-Maurice.
St André le Bas
In the north of Vienne, on the banks of the Rhône, is the former monastic church of St André le Bas, which is mainly Romanesque but preserves substructures and an apse from an earlier ninth C. church; the cloister is 12th C. The church, which has fine capitals, now houses the Musée d'Art Chrétien (Museum of Christian Art).
Address: Place du jeu de paume, F-38200 Vienne, France
St Romain en Gal
At St Romain en Gal, on the right bank of the Rhône, are the extensive remains of a large Gallo-Roman settlement, which along with Ste-Colombe and Vienne itself formed part of Roman Vienna.Also on the right bank of the Rhône is the outlying district of Ste-Colombe, with the Tour de Philippe de Valois (14th C.).
This annual Jazz festival takes place in early July and is part of a long circuit of festivals throughout Europe. Renowned musicians travel the circuit and dozens of them stop off in Vienne for a number of concerts in venues across the town.
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