Located on the grand Quai Romain Rolland, Lyon’s Palais de Justice hails back to 1842 and is as famous for its architecture as it is for the trials that go on inside the building. Designed by French architect Louis-Pierre Baltard, the Palais is one of France’s most impressive 19th-century buildings, filled with neoclassical details that run in contrast to the flamboyant Rococo style of the time. Known as the “Palace of the 24 Columns,” Baltard’s design was given the grand seal of approval by the French government in 1996 and officially named a “monument historique.”
Home to the Rhône Assize court and Lyon’s Court of Appeal, the Palais de Justice dominates the Saône river view of Lyon’s right-bank, and the 413-foot (126-meter) bridge that extends from the Palais across to the left-bank of the Saône provides a popular stroll through the heart of the city. Every December, the Palais’ neoclassical columns get lit up for Lyon’s famous Festival of Lights.
Open on weekdays from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m., the courthouse is situated at 1 Rue du Palais de Justice. To get there, just head to metro Vieux Lyon, from which it is a six-minute walk north along the river to the Palais.