Fourvière’s crypt, dedicated to Saint Joseph, is identified as the lower church. The same size as the basilica, it was originally conceived by Pierre Bossan as the main entrance to the sanctuary. Pilgrims were to “go to Mary through Joseph”, passing from the darkness of the crypt to the light of the basilica.

The altar

The altar in the crypt is dedicated to St. Joseph, who is represented both by the statue of him carrying the infant Jesus, and by the group sculpted beneath the altar evoking his death.

At the foot of the statue of Saint Joseph, the mosaic of the “seven deadly sins” marks the start of the symbolic axis of the victory of good over evil.

The mosaics of deadly sins

The seven deadly sins, dominated by the statue of Saint Joseph, mark the symbolic axis of the victory of good over evil.

Donor communities

The walls of the crypt have a special feature: they commemorate all the parish donors in the region well beyond Lyon, whose names are engraved in marble, along with the ex-votos.

The Virgins of the world

Today, the crypt houses eleven statues of the Virgin Mary from sanctuaries around the world. Each one highlights the international dimension of the Marian cult.