Guadagni Museum Pictures Made by Carlo Guadagni During His Visit to Lyon, France in 2004


From the Map you can see the “Musee’ de Gadagne” in the center of the map, next to the Saone River, and with the wooded area on the left of it representing Fourviere Hill, with the indications”Basilique Notre Dame de Fourviere” (“Our Lady of Fourviere Basilica”) and “Musee’ Gallo-Romain” (Roman-Gaul (old name of the French) Museum). The other big river on the right is the Rhone River. The two important rivers meet in the Southern Part of Lyon and are called Rhone River from then on. The Renaissance Lyon is that small part of the city between the Saone and Fourvieres. It is however the largest continuous Renaissance buildings area of the world.

An elementary school teacher is taking his pupils to visit the Guadagni Museums If you remember, the Guadagni Museum (“Musee’ Gadagne” in French) has two museums: one of the History of Lyon, and the other of the Puppet. Teacher and students are walking in proximity of the door of the Museum. They are in Rue de Gadagne (Guadagni Street). In the year 1650, Guadagni Street was opened by the City Administration of Lyon in the heart of the Guadagni Palace, to allow people and carriages to cut through the very large palace, instead of having to turn all around it. It is one of the three main parallel arteries going from North to South in old Renaissance Lyon. It is the closest to the Fourviere Hill, on the Western Side of Lyon, against which the Guadagni palace leans and is built.

As you can see from the picture, the street is ancient and beautifully kept, as it was when it was built 361 years ago. Both sides of the street have been bought and incorporated in the Guadagni Museum by the City, to restore the Guadagni Palace to its original size. However, North and South of this section you can find quaint little restaurants and shops on the ground level of the street.

This is a picture of the inside stone staircase in the Guadagni Palace. The whole palace-museum was restored and enlarged (it doubled in size, also by adding the other side of the street to it) in 10 years from 2000 to 2009, under the supervision of the Museum Director Simone Blazy, dear friend of Carlo’s and mine.

Restored front of the Guadagni Palace, 8 rue de Gadagne (8, Guadagni Street).

First restored rooms of the Guadagni palace-museum.

Moving of the historical and art collections to the restored rooms. We are here in the inside courtyard of the palace. The palace has two more courtyards.

Main new stone staircase. The wall in the back touches the side of the Fourviere Hill, against which the Guadagni palace is built. It has been built very strong with special reinforcements, because during the rainy season, the soaked soil of the hill tends to enlarge and would easily break through a weaker wall and engulf the whole museum in a mudslide. Those round things that you see in the wall are heads of poles made of reinforced concrete to hold the wall together under the pressure of the neighboring hill.

An old costume of the 18th century is restored by Museum specialists before being added to the collection.

Park of the Museum on the 5th floor. While the other floors of the Museum end up in the reinforced wall against the side of the hill, the fifth floor is narrower and allows to exit and wander in the open park between the museum and the grey wall that you see in the back of the picture, which holds the upper side of the hill. Flower beds, fruit trees and exotic trees, outdoor stone and wooden tables and benches, are spread along the narrow, long and beautiful park. It is here that Carlo and I were interviewed by different newspapers of Lyon.

Park of the Museum. Another view of the old beautiful stone wall that protects the fifth floor garden from the higher soil of the Fourviere Hill. On top of the hill, close to the 5th floor of the Guadagni Museum, used to be the old Roman Empire city of Lyon, called Lugdunum in Latin by the Romans. During the Barbarian Invasions at the Fall of the Roman Empire, the acqueduc which brought the water from the Saone River in the neighboring plain, to the top of the hill, was destroyed. So there was no more running water in Lugdunum. So Lugdunum was abandoned and its inhabitants rebuilt Lyon at the bottom of Fourviere Hill, next to the river. That is where Old Renaissance Lyon and the Guadagni Palace are located now, between Fourviere Hill and the Saone River. Eventually, Modern Lyon expanded on the other side of the river, but Old Lyon remained unchanged and beautiful. The top of Fourviere Hill now contains some ruins of the old Lugdunum acqueduc and city, and villas, parks and woods and Our Lady of Fourviere Basilica. You can see the roof of one of these villas in the picture. From the 5th floor of the Guadagni Museum there is a door that allows you to go to the top of the hill.

The Our Lady of Fourviere Basilica has an interesting story. During the German-French War of 1870, a victorious powerful German Army was marching towards Lyon to attack it and destroy it. The desperate population of Lyon invoked the Blessed Virgin Mary to save them. A few minutes later, without any apparent logical reason, the German Army changed their mind and marched somewhere else. The grateful population of Lyon built the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the highest point of Fourviere Hill, just a short walking distance from the 5th floor Park of the Guadagni Museum.

This is the inside of a cave dug in the 5th floor Guadagni garden wall, to rest and cool off during the hot Summer afternoons. It shows how thick the wall is.

Another view of the Guadagni gardens with the restraining wall. You can see private houses behind the wall climbing up on the upward slope of the hill.