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.

The walls of the crypt show the names of the parishes who have donated carved in the marble. 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.

Capital sins

The seven deadly sins are featured on the paving stones of the choir of the crypt around the altar dedicated to St Joseph. Seven medallions represent the seven sins and three the devil.

Stained-glass windows

They depict Eucharistic attributes: the lamb, the vine, the wheat and the deer quenching its thirst at the source of life.

The Virgins of the world

The layout of the place since the beginning of the century has been highlighting the universal dimension of the devotion to Mary and now displays Virgins related to other big places of pilgrimage: Lebanon, Poland, Portugal (1994), India, Italy, the Philippines, Mexico…