Lyon, Rhône # 2 : Traboules

Lyon, Rhône # 2 : Traboules

Traboule (underground passageway) :  means ‘to cross’ in latin.   Some traboules in Lyon are said to date back to the 4th century, being used as easy access through the old city to the River Saône to collect water.

In Vieux Lyon (old city) there are few streets running perpendicular to the river, therefore the traboules allowed the 19th century silk weavers and crafstmen to transport clothes and other textiles through the city while being sheltered from the inclement weather.   There are 40 traboules in Vieux Lyon and La Croix-Rousse hill, the latter housed the silk weavers workshops.  There is a silk museum there .. didn’t get there .. next time .. next visit 🙂    These secret passageways have also been credited with helping the occupying Germans from taking complete control of these areas in World War II.   Our guide told us that the French Resistance used to ‘disappear’ into the rabbit warren of tunnels between the streets.

Most traboules are private property with people living within the buildings and using the passageways as access to their apartments

Come with me and our guide through a traboule in Vieux Lyon ..

..  inside the narrow passage looking back to the green door  ..

One passageway leads to another with small courtyards in between ..

While walking through, I could just imagine uniformed soldiers, guns loaded, running and darting through these very narrow passages

The end .. from one street to another through a block of buildings ..

 Walked along another narrow street to enter another traboule ..

The next passageway led us to a pretty courtyard and La Maison du Crible, an historic mansion dates back to the 1600’s making it one of Lyon’s oldest

The original owner was an affluent tax collector ..

The soaring pink tower (La Tour Rose de la Maison du Crible) leers over the gardens and was a clear indication of his wealth and prestige

Fascinating, isn’t it?  !!!

Lyon # 3 coming up .. watch this space 🙂

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