Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Monument

Translated by Emily Pease — 3 years ago

Original text by Nuri Mercury

You probably already know of him: the famous author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a man who was French through and through, or more specifically, Lyonnais.

Of course, he is a proud figure within his native city, so much so that in 2000, they constructed a monument dedicated to him. This monument was raised in commemoration of the centenary of his birth (29th of June, 1900 to be exact).

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The writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry with the Little Prince by his side :)

The statue of Saint-Exupéry with the Little Prince by his side can be found at one side of the Bellecour square (a symbolic area of the city, which I will tell you about later).

I wouldn’t have noticed the monument had it not been the meeting point for the trips organized by one of the Erasmus Associations, ESN Cosmo Lyon. So, it’s important you find it since you’ll surely not want to miss out on the many trips they organise. (I went with them to the medieval city of Pérouges, Geneva and Switzerland. Travelling with them is really handy since the prices are cheap, and obviously you can get to know other exchange students).

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“A star was already shining and I contemplated it”

The pride that Lyon has for this celebrated writer and pilot is reflected not only in this statue but also in the street which bears his name. And why is Rue Saint-Exupéry located to one side of Bellecour square? Well, house number 8 of said street is precisely where the author was born.

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Name plaque on the street which bears his name

On this very building there is a plaque commemorating this fact. I think this plaque goes by unnoticed, when I took the photo today (lovingly for you all) a woman stopped and looked strangely at the building’s facade until she found the plaque (she must’ve been thing “What’s she taking a photo of now? urgh…tourists” :P)

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"Ici est né Antoine de Saint-Exupéry le 29 juin 1900"

Even though the house might not be that well-known, Lyon is certainly aware of Saint-Exupéry and proud of this local figure. Another example of their pride is the light and music spectacle dedicated to him, inspired by The Little Prince, which took place in Bellecour square during the Festival of Light (la Fête des Lumières). I will chat to you more about Lyon’s famous signature festival in more detail another time.

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Photos of the spectacle inspired by the The Little Prince during the Festival of Light. If you look closely in the background you can see the city of Lyon and its famous cathedral, Fourvière.

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Another photo taken during the festival: The Little Prince's rose. “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important. ”

Although the house where Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was born is in Lyon, there’s no access to the general public. However, his childhood home, in another of the Rhône-Alpes region, is now a museum dedicated to his life and work.

So, although you can’t go to a museum in Lyon, you can walk along Rue Saint-Exupéry, look at the statue and then spend some time in the gardens next to Bellecour square :)

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View of Bellecour, in front of the Saint-Exupéry monument

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