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The word "terreaux" describes the old moats and medieval mud ("terre") walls that protected the town up to the end of the 16th century. These were filled in to make room for a large square where the town's guillotine was erected. It is the second most important square after Place Bellecour, as it is flanked by Palais Saint Pierre and the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). In 1892, the city council bought a statue from the famous sculptor Bartholdi (of Statue of Liberty fame) which Bordeaux had commissioned then refused.
This square is named after the Dominican convent that stood on the Presqu'ile in the 13th century, until it was destroyed during the Revolution. The end of the 18th century was not a good time to be a monk or a lay preacher. The city council commissioned the architect G. André to build a monument on the Place des Jacobins, to commemorate Lyons's artistic genius. 1n 1866, the sculptor C Delaplanche designed a large fountain called "Lyon à ceux qui l'ont illustré" (Lyons to its illustrators). Four sculpted figures represent four artists from four different periods and four different art forms: the 16th century architect Phillibert Delorme famous for his hôtel Bulliod), the 19th century painter Hippolyte Flandrin, the 18th century sculptor Guillaume Coustou and the 17th century engraver Gérard Audran.
Place Saint-Jean is a historic square in the center of Vieux Lyon and is at the door steps of the Cathedral of Saint-Jean. There is also a fountain dating back to 1844 in the heart of the square. The magnificent Musée du Trésor is near the Place Saint-Jean. The annual Les Tupiniers fair is held in this small yet charming square. A visit to this place will be an enthralling experience.
Place Antonin Poncet is tucked between Place Bellecour and the banks of the Rhône. It is a relatively recent addition to Lyon's urban squares as it was laid out in 1934 when the Hopital de la Charité was demolished to make way for the Post Office building (Hôtel des Postes). This square has plenty of greenery, benches and fountains that could make its neighbor, Place Bellecour, jealous. The tower that stands opposite the Post Office is a monument to the hospital for the needy, built in 1665-66 and a good example of civil Renaissance architecture with Doric and Ionic columns. The Hotel des Postes was built from 1935 to 1938 by M. Roux-Spitz and typifies the massive, solid architecture of the 1930.
UNESCO recently listed the old part of Lyon, Vieux Lyon, including the Croix-Rousse and Presqu'île areas as a world heritage site. This Gothic and Renaissance district, famous for its maze of narrow streets and elegant buildings certainly deserves it! The culturally rich district is famous for its quaint cathedrals, churches, and building of historic importance. The office du Tourisme de Lyon organizes guided tours in English and French, which help you discover the best of Old Lyon.