This Thursday, December 7 in the evening, the Festival of Lights kicked off around 7 p.m. From 8:30 p.m., the editorial staff wandered around Lyon to discover the 32 works presented for this year, they were in the essential places of this 2023 edition.
Lyon sparkles from December 7 to 10, 2023. Every year, the people of Lyon and millions of visitors can admire the illuminations of the Festival of Lights. If you can’t go to the brightest city in France this weekend, don’t panic, France 3 Auvergne Rhône-Alpes and our teams offer you the chance to relive this legendary event in Lyon culture.
The illuminations officially began at around 7:00 p.m., the countdown took place at Place des Terreaux in the 1st arrondissement of Lyon. The city wakes up and shines. Thirty-two works are presented at twenty-nine sites throughout the city.
To trace your path, find our map with the list of works and catering points in Lyon.
Olivier Michel takes you to Place Bellecour in front of the work “Evanescent”. Giant plastic bubbles, invented by Australian artists, are placed in the central square of the Presqu’île. Inside, they are lit with rainbow aspects. They would symbolize the ephemeral side of existence. “Instagrammable” works at will, with in the background, the Basilica of Fourvière which overlooks the city.
From Place des Terreaux, head towards the Saône to admire the illumination of the Lyonnais fresco. We find Bérengère Bourgeot there. The fresco had not been illuminated for ten years, uA tailor-made projection, produced by a team of 15 people, brings to life some of the city’s notorieties represented. The work is entitled “Redraw me from the Lights”.
Like every year, the festival of lights has fun deconstructing and rebuilding Saint Jean Cathedral. The work “Kernel³” recombines its architecture.
In the 6th arrondissement, the atmosphere is sometimes magical and poetic, enigmatic or childish. Six illuminations and their musical ambiances transport visitors to enchanted worlds.
In the 9th arrondissement, the Duchère district makes its return to the festival of lights. Residents of the neighborhood have been transformed into digital characters and are displayed on the walls, Place Abbé Pierre.
The four metro lines and three tram lines (T1, T3 and T4) will be open until 2 a.m., except on December 10 when the service will end at midnight. The bus lines are adapted. TCL announces a free service on December 8 from 4 p.m., on other days, a special “TCL en Fête” ticket at €3.5 will allow unlimited journeys from 4 p.m.
It’s a 171-year-old story that is honored every December 8th. The event originated from the inauguration of the statue of the Golden Virgin in Fourvière. The latter would have saved the city from the Plague two centuries earlier. To pay homage and celebrate it, the religious authorities of the time organized this celebration, after a few twists and turns, the date was set for December 8, 1852. Since then, the people of Lyon have placed a candle on their window sill.
The religious festival also became pagan in 1989, when former mayor Michel Noirlaunched the Lighting Plan, to create a nocturnal landscape, by illuminating certain buildings in Lyon. The goal is to beautify the city. Spread over four days on the idea of councilor Raymond Barre in 1999, the Festival of Lights will take on a grandiose appearance in 2004: the objective now is to create “light ambiances”, specific to each place and neighborhood chosen.
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