Beginning of the building

Under the direction of the Fourviere committee, the hill of Fourviere is turned into a huge building site for nearly a century. Pierre Bossan is appointed as architect, assisted by Louis Sainte-Marie Perrin. Pierre Bossan’s death in 1888 will not stop the works and Antoine Sainte-Marie Perrin’s son will carry on the work of the two men in 1917 after his father’s death. Meanwhile the church is consecrated by his Eminence Coullié on the 16th of June 1896.The following year the Pope Léon 13th erected it as a basilica.

After 25 years of work, the festivities of consecration of the basilica will spread over 3 days in 1896, from Monday, June 15 to Thursday, June 18.

The coronation of the Virgin

The coronation of the Virgin by Millefaut takes place on the day of the closure of the international marian Congress organized in Lyon on the 8th of September 1900. The crown made by the goldsmith Armand-Caillat is not put  directly on the Virgin’s head. It is held by two winged angels who seem to come down from heaven.

The crown of the virgin

It is made of gold, it weighs more than 4 kg (over 8.8 lb) and is enriched with 1791 precious stones and pearls given by the Lyonese families as a sign of devotion to the Virgin Mary, protector of the city. Nowadays only the facsimile made when the Germans were arriving in 1940 can be seen. The genuine crown, stolen in May 2017, is still searched.

Five years after the theft of the crown of Notre Dame de Fourvière some Lyonnese families mobilized to offer the Virgin Mary a new crown. Made of silver by the well-known artist Goudji, it is resolutely more sober and modern and testifies the strong and unfailing link which still exists between Mary and the people from Lyon. On the 1st December 2022 a historic ceremony of re coronation was celebrated in the basilica Notre Dame de Fourvière by S.E R. Mgr Celestino Migliore, the titular archbishop of Casona and the apostolic nuncio in France.

Key figures

Works still in progress…

The works continue until 1964. For the centenary of the consecration of the basilica the basilica is restored between 1992 and 1996. Numerous works are committed in the old chapel in 2007 and in 2009 in the basilica.  They still continue with the New Project of Fourvière.