Here come the boules

Each Pentecost weekend, the crème de la crème of Boule Lyonnaise (Lyonnais boules) does battle on Place Bellecour.

 Archives | Last updated date : 02/06/2020

Every year, the ceremony is the same. Terraced seating on Place Bellecour, pitches, the sound of boules on the wooden barriers, focused teams running and tossing… and amazed tourists wondering what on earth this strange spectacle could be!

You will find no pétanque here, thank you very much! During this three-day event, which has been held for the past 107 years, Lyon is the French capital of ‘Boule Lyonnaise’, or ‘la longue’. Created in Lyon in the eighteenth century, this sport is the ancestor of pétanque and is highly popular in the region.

The ‘Tournoi de Pentecôte’ is the major tournament, drawing teams from all over France and even abroad. More than 14,000 participants take each other on, under the gaze of Louis XIV, until the grand final on the Monday!

Want to learn more about the rules?


Eléonore is the romantic member of the team! Rumour has it that she knows her classics better than anyone else, and if you want to strike up a conversation with her, just mention Jane Austen, and you'll be away!

Lyon City Card
Culture and leisure pass

Lyon City Card

The essential pass to cultural activities in Lyon: museums, guided tours, boat cruises and more!.

Visiter Lyon
Start exploring the city with

Leisure cruise, guided tours, wine tours, etc.


Our website is opimized for recent browsers.
For an optimal display of the different contents, we recommend that you update your browser.