The Vieux Lyon is the largest Renaissance district of Lyon. In 1954, Vieux-Lyon, the city's oldest district, became the first site in France to be protected under the Malraux law to protect France's cultural sites. Covering an area of 424 hectares between the Fourvière hill and the river Saône, it is one of Europe’s most extensive Renaissance neighborhoods. There are three distinct sections: Saint Jean, Saint Paul and Saint Georges.
The Saint Jean quarter: in the Middle Ages, this was the focus of political and religious power. The Cathedral of St Jean, seat of the Primate of Gaul, a title still conferred upon the archbishop of Lyon, is a good example of Gothic architecture. The Manecanterie adjoining the cathedral is one of Lyon's few extant Romanesque buildings. Formerly a choir school, it now houses the museum of the cathedral’s treasures. Saint Jean is also home to the Museum of Miniatures and Film Sets, located in a building that was the Golden Cross Inn in the 15th century.
The Saint-Paul section: in the 15th and 16th centuries predominately Italian banker-merchants moved into sumptuous urban residences here called hôtels particuliers.