Temple du change

Temple du change, Lyon 5

In the late 15th century, under François I, Lyon became Europe’s leading financial centre. The customs authority was at that time near the Pont du Change (demolished in 1842), a stone’s throw from the Place du Change. The latter, in the Changeurs district, had been occupied by merchants since the 13th century, as no official building had been provided for money changers. It was between 1631 and 1653 that the first “Loge du Change” was built, using drawings by Simon Gourdet, for trade and for money changers.

In 1803, in the context of the Concordat and the Organic Articles administering public worship in France, the city of Lyon placed the Loge du Change in the hands of Lyon’s protestant community. It was then that the former Loge du Change became, by prefectoral order, the Temple du Change.

In December 1999, to celebrate the new millennium, the City of Lyon and the Renaissance of Old Lyon implemented Soufflot’s plan to see two clocks crown the façade. The clock on the right is familiar to passers-by as it has been there since the building was constructed. It is primarily the dial on the left which is surprising: an exceptional item, this so-called “ideal” clock, wanted by Soufflot but never put in place, marks the days, months and years.

Source: website of Musées Gadagne