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Griffon sur la face, oiseau sur le côté

Griffon sur la face, oiseau sur le côté

Bas-relief, élément de frise calcaire, Ile-Barbe, 11e siècle © musées Gadagne / X. Schwebel

THE MIDDLE AGES

Rooms 4 et 5

Religion was a powerful force during the Middle Ages.

On the right bank of the Saône, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral and its associated churches made up the heart of the town : they towered up in the centre of a fortified enclosure along side the Episcopal palace, the prisons, the cloister and the homes of the canons.

A district frequented by craftsmen and merchants sprung up to the north, around Saint-Paul. There was only one bridge : the stone bridge over the Saône, opposite Saint-Nizier.

During the 13th century, the peninsula developed with the creation of new religious orders... and the construction of the first ridge over the Rhône (on the site of the current pont de la Guillotière) ! Rue mercière, the commercial artery, linked the two bridges.

The great plague

The life of the inhabitants of Lyons pulsated around the religious calendar and the fairs. The demographic boom of the 13th century was suddenly curtailed in 1348 by the Great Plague, which claimed one-third of the citizens of Lyon.