Stroll through the historical centre of Vienne
This walk in the historical centre of Vienne lets you discover the town’s main sites. Passing along the Pipet belvedere involves a good climb, but offers a splendid view of the town, the Rhône Valley and the Pilat.
1- From the station, take Cours Brillier, which joins the Rhône River, on the left walkway, passing in front of the Post Office. When you reach Cours de Verdun, Place des Allobroges, turn left and cross the median strip diagonally to enter the public garden. In front of you is an imposing statue (Michel Servet - 1515/1553). Go round to the left to see a particularly well-preserved part of the Roman road. Exit the public garden through the same gate, to return to Cours Brillier and cross to take the narrow Rue Boson opposite, which leads to the foot of the stairs of the Cathedral of Saint-Maurice. Take time to climb the steps and enter this imposing monument. The interior is amazing as the sparse decoration contrasts with the sophistication of the building. Exit the cathedral, then cross Rue Boson and head towards the Rhône, via Place Saint-Maurice.
Cross the river on the pedestrian bridge that leads to Sainte-Colombe. At the end of the footbridge, take the steps on the left that lead to Quai d'Herbouville and continue on the left (North). Pass the Tour des Valois. A little further on, take the pedestrian ramp that goes up on the left with the sailing stadium on the right. Go around it to reach a large parking area. Head towards the middle of its northern side, at the foot of an overhanging track.
2- Pass under the road via a pedestrian tunnel. At the exit, immediately go up the steps on the right. Take the time to look at the Gallo-Roman site on the left. Opposite, the Gallo-Roman Museum of Saint-Romain-en-Gal is worth a visit (especially with children). At the museum, cross the road to change pavements and then cross the river again. At the crossroads, continue to the right and very quickly take the steps that go down to the right towards the river. Taking this underpass, you can cross the crossroads in complete safety from the traffic.
Come out at Place du Jeu de Paume, in front of Saint-André-le-Bas Church (museum and cloister).
Go up the steps on the left and walk around the church. Once you reach a small square, take Rue des Clercs (signposted "Temple d’Auguste et de Livie"). Behind the facades of the buildings hide some splendid Renaissance courtyards, now protected by digicodes.
3- Enter the small square of Général de Gaulle, almost entirely occupied by the beautiful Temple of Augustus and Livia. Take the time to walk around this square and view Vienne’s old court, a bookshop which, if you’re a reader, is sure to impress, as well as several café terraces very popular with the locals. Once your tour of the square is completed, go back to Rue de la Chaîne, perpendicular to Rue des Clercs (heading East). Come out onto Place de l'Hôtel de Ville. Pass it and continue straight until you reach a T-junction: turn right into Rue des Orfèvres. Look across the street at what must be one of the oldest houses in Vienne (half-timbered). Go past it to reach Place du Pilori, which is occupied by numerous Roman remains.
Turn left towards the Vienne Theatre. It’s a small Italian-style theatre, rather ordinary on the outside, but delightful on the inside. At the entrance to the theatre, turn right and then left to get to Rue Victor Hugo. Cross it to take Montée Saint-Marcel opposite. Pass Rue des Célestes to go up a short staircase on the left a little further on, which leads to Rue du Cirque.
4- Take it to get to the ancient theatre, which you can see from the street; except in summer, when the stage set up for the Jazz à Vienne festival blocks the view. At the stop sign, at the end of the street, turn right onto Rue de Pipet. It's a tough climb, but you just have to take your time... On the left, the immense Pipet cemetery. In the middle of the hill, there’s a bench to take a break. Take the first street on your right (sign for "Belvédère de Pipet").
5- Arriving at the Esplanade de Pipet, admire the view of Vienne and the Rhône Valley, particularly rich and interesting. Find the Cathedral, the Valois Tower, the Museum, the unmissable Château de la Bâtie and, just in front, the gigantic Ancient Theatre. Further on, to the North-West, on the right, the Monts du Lyonnais, and to the South, the Pilat foothills. Retrace your steps to Rue de Pipet, which you take on the right. Very quickly, take, on the right again, Chemin des Amoureux (beware, you might miss it, which would be a shame...). It goes up a little at the start, to very quickly head down sharply to Montée Saint-Marcel, which you cross, to take Montée des Tupinières, opposite. Follow it to take, after a while, on the right again, Montée Réaumur, which you then go down...
A little further on, follow it to the left, then left again, to arrive at Montée de Coupe Jarret, which you take on the right. Come out onto Rue Victor Hugo (traffic lights) and cross it to take the 2nd street on the right (Rue Peyron).
6- Come out onto Place de Miremont. Turn left to take another left onto Cours Romestang, with its central tree-lined avenue, which leads to the station and the starting point.
All year round.
Map & Points of interest
- Marked route BALISE
- Route type BOUCLE
- Nature of the land Hard coating (tar, cement, flooring)
- Play area
- Picnic area
- Public WC
- Car park
- Orientation board
- Pay car park
- Town location
- In the historic centre