History of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu
From medicine to leisure
The Grand Hôtel-Dieu, one of Lyon’s oldest hospitals, reopened to the general public in the spring of 2018 to reveal its spaces following large-scale renovation works that lasted four years.
From its foundation to its restoration, explore the building’s five inner courtyards, which reveal its architectural evolution from the seventeenth to the twenty-first century, as well as its successive uses and future plans.
Now dedicated to leisure and open to the city, this historical monument has marked generations of Lyon’s residents. Its imposing façade on the banks of the Rhône was originally designed to impress visitors arriving from the left bank.
Relive the development of medicine through amazing anecdotes and the careers of great men who contributed to the life of this iconic part of Lyon’s identity.
NB: This visit doesn't include access to the Chapel or the Grand Dôme.
Tour provided by ONLYLYON Tourisme et Congrès's tour guides
- Please ensure you arrive 10 minutes before the tour commences.
- Booking is necessary.
- Cancellation free of charge 72 hours before schedule activity.
- Children and minors remain under the responsibility of their parents during this visit. The participation of an adult is mandatory for each reservation.
Hej, hallo, hello, bonjour I'm Delphine, one of the twenty or so lecturing guides that work for the Guides' Bureau.Our service is incredibly rich: we all have our own profiles, our own interests, our own areas of study and our own favourite type of public.
And we all have one thing in common: LYON
What I love is the variety of its districts and their architecture, the wealth and diversity of its history and the Men who built it, the beauty of its monuments, particularly the light reflected from the façades that border the Saône early in the morning or at the end of the day; it's a trip in itself!
So after language studies which took me to live in Denmark and Germany, I returned to Lyon to work as a guide to lift the veil on "Myrelingues la Brumeuse"* and to share my enthusiasm with you who have come here to discover it or immerse yourself in it. (*title of a book by Claude le Marguet, set in 1536 in Lyon)
Paa gensyn, bis bald, see you soon, à bientôt !
During tours, people often ask me if I'm a student. I'm too old for that. I'm a historian without the qualifications. I'm an architect without the diploma. But I was born in Lyon, and I enjoy helping members of the public discover this city which is a lot more than just a row of lovely façades.
You have to get a feel for the substance of the past, the depth of roots, the art of construction, the relation with light, the appeal of good food, one's relationship with a site, and the diversity of the different areas.
What you see counts of course, but as far as I'm concerned, a tour is only successful when people have had a good time, when I've managed, throughout the tour, to take them behind the scenes, to give them a sense of how people lived in those days and how we live in the city today.
I'm often delighted to hear people say they want to come back and spend more time here.
Lyon has been my city of adoption for several decades now, so as a polyglot with a lovely Austrian accent to boot and a passion for Lyon, I'm here to take you on a discovery tour of the city and its surrounding areas.
I'll be delighted to guide you through this great city, from Roman times to the 21st century!
Lyon adopted me 34 years ago and I love it!
Studying languages and the history of art as well as having a passion for history determined my career as a lecturing guide.
Although I moved to Lyon by chance, I must admit I love this city and feel happy here!
I love Lyon for its past and present that combine and merge in the melting pot of history, and are also apparent in its incredible vitality that many city's envy!
I adore the uniqueness of Lyon… its glorious Roman past which archaeologists never tire of revisiting, as well as Vieux-Lyon, its Renaissance area (second only to Venice) and its secret and mysterious traboules.
My love for Lyon also resides in my love of food, as this world capital of gastronomy boasts a record of one restaurant for 294 people!
I love Lyon for its culture, its biennials and its museums which are the stuff dreams are made of!
So many reasons that explain why I'm so very attached to Lyon and wouldn't leave it for an empire..., as far as I'm concerned, it's ONLY LYON!
My tours invite you to view the city like a tightrope walker balancing between light-heartedness and knowledge, gastronomy and architecture, silk and alchemy, football and botany, cinema and historic periods... And many other subjects that are the essence of Lyon.
Although I'm interested in the world in general, I chose to return to the city where I grew up, not to work but to pursue a passion: guiding visitors through Lyon, my home town. I will take you on a trip through time, from past to future, in a city where you can never be bored, and where there's something of interest for every generation. .
So if you want to discover the different areas in Lyon like a real little "gone" (street urchin), don't hesitate to follow me! I've worn out many pairs of trainers in the traboules and on the slopes of the three hills, I'm acquainted with Guignol's entire repertoire, and know where you can enjoy the best mâchons.
If you're interested, I'll be waiting under the horse's tail!
When seeking to share Lyon's heritage with people, I like to broach the question from the viewpoint of technical skills and know-how, and even economy, whether it's architecture and town planning, or vineyards and gastronomy.
Un voyage autour du monde m’a conduite de New-York à Sydney, d’Auckland à Oslo, de Bangkok à Tokyo… Emerveillement et choc des cultures ont déterminé ma vocation et m’ont orientée vers une formation de Guide Conférencière à Paris.
C’est avec un œil neuf que j’ai redécouvert les richesses de ma petite patrie lyonnaise, le plaisir de débarouler la grand ’côte ; de lézarder sur les quais de Saône, de fuir la canicule dans l’ombre d’une traboule …
Jadis Lyon fût surnommée Myrlingue la brumeuse ; les brumes se sont envolées mais à Lyon, à la confluences des cultures , on continue à parler une myriades de langues ! A notre époque où tout s’accélère, découvrons ensemble au rythme lent de la promenade, deux millénaires d’histoire lyonnaise.
Laissez-moi vous conter le Lyon d’hier à aujourd’hui et je suis sûre que, comme moi, vous y prendrez un grand plaisir.
The essential tourist and cultural pass to make the most of your stay in Lyon!
& practical information
Guided tour on foot
From 8 to 18 & students
Children under 8
In front of the Chapelle of the Grand Hôtel-Dieu, place de l’Hôpital - Lyon 2nd
Metro A or D > Bellecour