In the 5th district or Vieux Lyon most of the streets run parallel to the river making it difficult to get from one street to the next without making huge detours. So courtyards and passageway were designed making lots of shortcuts. This also helped the workers who would move their produce through these covered walkways. Therefore avoiding the often awful weather.
During the Second World War these passage ways were used by the resistance for secret meetings preventing the Nazis from occupying the whole of Lyon.
There are over 400 of these Traboules however only 40 are open to the public. We entered several and walked from street to street. The streets are noisy and busy yet once inside the Traboule it’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop. No wonder the Nazis had no clue of these hidden walkways – traboules.
The staircases leading up to the different levels are made of stone and each one had a wrought iron gate in the “foyer”. Making it safe for residents.
The walkways are narrow and dark then open up to beautiful courtyards. Water fountains are in nearly every courtyard. One resident even had a chandelier hanging in their little garden.
One of the walkways we went through was the 27 Rue St Jean connecting with 6 Rue des Trois Maries.
You can do a self guided tour of the Traboules, keep a look out for the picture of the Lion and an arrow. Or you can organize a guided tour. It’s a 2 hour walk and approximately 12 euros.
The longest traboule in Lyon runs between 54 Rue Saint-Jean and 27 Rue du Bœuf, and a famously picturesque traboule begins at 9 Place Colbert/14 bis montee Saint Sebastion, and features a historic six-story external staircase.
It was a very hot day in Lyon last August however once inside the traboule the air was cool and refreshing.
Once we had traversered the many Traboules of Lyon we then learnt a little about the Silk Industry in Lyon. Spied many a shop window with Macrons and yummy pasteries just wanting to be eaten.
One day I want to go back to Lyon and stay for a few days/weeks/months/years. Yes I know I say this about every town I visit. There is so much more to see.
*More photos will be on Instagram*