INFO ABOUT VIENNE

Vienne is a commune in southeastern France, located 32 kilometres (20 mi) south of Lyon, on the river Rhône. It is only the fourth largest city in the Isèredepartment, of which it is a subprefecture, but was a major center of the Roman empire.

Before the arrival of the Roman armies, Vienne was the capital city of the Allobroges, a Gallic people. Transformed into a Roman colony in 47 BCE under Julius Caesar, Vienne became a major urban center, ideally located along the Rhône, then a major axis of communication.

It was to Vienne in 7 CE that Augustus banished King Herod Archelaus, so the Herodian family may have had land there.

The town later became a Roman provincial capital. Numerous remains of Roman constructions are still visible in modern Vienne. The town was also an important early bishopric in Christian Gaul. Its most famous bishopwas Avitus of Vienne. At the Council of Vienne, convened there in October 1311, Pope Clement V abolished the order of the Knights Templar. During the Middle Ages, Vienne was part of the kingdom of Provence, dependent on the Holy Roman Empire, while the opposite bank of the Rhône was French territory, thus making it a strategic position.

Today, the town is a regional commercial and industrial center specializing in the food industry. Tourism is also a major part of the town's economy. Indeed, there are many important historical monuments that draw the crowds, but the annual Jazz à Vienne festival in July also makes it a popular tourist destination.

Main Sights
The two outstanding Roman remains in Vienne are the temple of Augustus and Livia, and the Plan de l'Aiguille or Pyramide, a truncated pyramid resting on a portico with four arches, which was associated with the city's Roman circus.

The early Romanesquechurch of Saint Peter belonged to an ancient Benedictine abbey and was rebuilt in the ninth century, with tall square piers and two ranges of windows in the tall aisles and a notable porch. It is one of France's oldest Christian buildings dating from the 5th century laid-out in the form of a basilica and having a large and well constructed nave. It also boasts a beautiful Romanesque tower and a magnificently sculptured South portal containing a splendid statue of Saint Peter. Today, the building houses a lapidary museum that holds a Junon head and the beautiful statue of Tutela, the city's protective divinity.

The Gothic former cathedral of St Maurice was built between 1052 and 1533. It is a basilica, with three aisles and an apse, but no ambulatory or transepts. It is 315 feet (96 m) in length, 118 feet (36 m) wide and 89 feet (27 m) in height. The most striking portion is the west front, which rises majestically from a terrace overhanging the Rhône. Its sculptural decoration was badly damaged by the Protestants in 1562 during the Wars of Religion.

The Romanesque church of St André en Bas was the church of a second Benedictine monastery, and became the chapel of the earlier kings of Provence. It was rebuilt in 1152, in the later Romanesque style.

Secrets de Vienne - Vienne Tourisme

Secrets de Vienne