Lyon is a beautiful, historic city that lies in the East of France, at the meeting of two sumptuous regions of France: Beaujolais, Burgundy and the Rhône-Alpes. Situated at the confluence of the Saône & Rhône rivers, this river scene is typical of so many in the city.
L'Hôtel Dieu, the long building pictured here, on the opposite side of the river, dates to medieval times and served as a hospital from 1184 until 2010 (over 800 years!) In fact, Chef Philippe's mother was born there. L'Hôtel Dieu is located on Presqu'Ile, which literally means "almost an island", since it is the piece of land located between the Saône & Rhône rivers, just before they merge.
A lovely French stamp, from 1939, depicting almost the same scene I painted
L'Hôtel Dieu at night
The structure that looks like the Eiffel Tower is currently a television tower, and not open to the public. Known as la tour métallique de Fourvière, it was constructed in 1914 for the Exposition Universelle of Lyon and originally had a restaurant at the top, accessed by elevator. It is really quite similar to the Eiffel tower in some ways, in that it is a beautiful example of early 20th century industrial modern construction.
There are many more buildings dotting the hillside between L'Hôtel Dieu and Notre-Dame de Fourvière, but I left them out of the mural in order to highlight just a few landmarks.
Looking down at L'Hôtel Dieu from Fourvière hill, you see many red tile roofs, a building material first introduced to this area by the Romans who settled on Fourvière hill around 43BC.
Many péniches (river barges) are docked along the quays, some of which have been turned into delightful restaurants.
Montgolfières (hot-air balloons) are frequently spotted over the rolling hills of this gorgeous area, giving tourists views of the famous vineyards of Bourgogne and the Côtes du Rhône, as well as the Alps to the East.
Two photos (above) from Original Travel, offering balloon trips over Lyon and the surrounding countryside