Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière

Still reading about Christian symbology and today came across the three hares circular motif, which lead me to the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière ...

a minor basilica in Lyon. It was built with private funds between 1872 and 1884 in a dominating position in the city. The site it occupies was once the Roman forum of Trajan, the forum vetus (old forum), thus its name (as an inverted corruption of the French Vieux-Forum). Speculating on the reasons for the construction of such an elaborate and expensive building, one author makes the possibly questionable statement that: "The reaction to the communes of Paris and Lyon were triumphalist monuments, the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre and the basilica of Fourvière, dominating both cities. These buildings were erected using private funds, as gigantic ex-votos, thanking God for the victory over the socialists and in expiation of the sins of modern France." Notre-Dame de Fourvière was included when the whole historic center of Lyon was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.

When I see churches like this I'm not sure what to think - they're beautiful and it feels good just to look at the art, but call me a Puritan if you must :) I can't help thinking that the money used to create this would have been better spent on people. Wikipedia has a lot of photos of the Basilica. Here are a few of them ....


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