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When is the best time to visit Lyon? If you can make it happen, it would be the time when magnolias are in bloom.

Theatre des Celestins anchors one side of the "place" (image taken in early 2022)

Place des Celestins in Lyon is a quiet corner of La Presqu'ile, close to La Saône river, tucked away and sometimes overlooked by tourists. The italianate theatre building is a joy to look at (and if you have some time do book a tour, or take in a play). In warmer weather the restaurants and bistros around the place serve drinks and meals "à la terrace". Kids play on theatre steps summer or winter. Sometimes there is dancing.

Since the beginning of war in the Ukraine the theatre has displayed the Ukrainian flag

It's the time of year again, when the weather flirts with spring. It is playing with our feelings, playing with our hopes. We long for longer days and warmth of sunshine.

This is when the two rows of white and pink magnolias in front of the theatre come into bloom. Encouraged by the warmer sun, little by little the blooms are coaxed from the fuzzy shells of the buds.

And one morning, all of the sudden, I wake up to the fragrant bomb of ballerina like blossoms in front of the Theatre des Celestins where I am lucky to live.

The sunny days that gave the promise of spring turn back to winter quickly, as they do every year, but the pink blooms of magnolias soldier on. And the cooler weather will make the flowers stay longer on their branches.

When you're visiting Lyon, and are lucky to be here in late February or early March, take five minutes and stop by Theatre de Celestins and take in the fragrance of the magnolias in bloom.

Theatre des Celestins, 4 rue Charles Dullin, 69002 Lyon


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