This place is dedicated to St Joseph. For the architect, Pierre Bossan, the pilgrim had to “go to Mary through Joseph”, thus going from the darkness of the crypt to the light of the Basilica. The Door of the Lions on the East, located near the Gardens of the Rosary, was first planned to be the main access to the church. It was never used as such because it was judged impractical. Carved in the marble walls of the crypt are the names of parishes who have offered donations. The ex-voto also become an integral part of the walls; they are engraved there, on demand for answered prayers.

The crypt of Fourvière is characterised by a powerful and oppressive nature emphasised by the unfinished sculptures.

The Virgins of the world

At the beginning of this century, the crypt has highlighted universal devotion to Mary. Virgins related to other key pilgrimage locations are displayed. These include the countries of Lebanon, Poland, Portugal, Hungary, India, Italy, the Philippines, Mexico, China, Africa, and Brazil.