The cathedral is the seat of the highest-ranking archbishop in France. The 8th of December, each year, is marked by the Fête des lumières in Lyon, when the cathedral is enveloped by a light show. Le Puy-en-Velay, about 70 miles southwest of Lyon, is a traditional starting point for the pilgrims' route the Camino de Santiago de Compostella. Notable features of the cathedral include:
- Portals have 300 medallions depicting a series of historical scenes and symbols, including the Zodiac, the story of Saint John the Baptist and Genesis.
- Medieval stained glass.
- The 14th century rosace du couchant above the grand portail shows the Lamb of God surrounded by the Life of St. Etienne and St. John the Baptist
- East rose window in the choir.
- North rose window.
- South rose window.
- Astronomical clock with signs of the Zodiac.
- 0° - Aries
- Tropical zodiac - 20 March - 20 April
- Sidereal zodiac - 15 April - 15 May
- Tropical zodiac - 20 April - 21 May
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 May - 15 June
- Tropical zodiac - 21 May - 21 June
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 June - 15 July
- Tropical zodiac - 21 June - 22 July
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 July - 15 August
- Tropical zodiac - 22 July - 23 August
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 August - 15 September
- Tropical zodiac - 23 August - 23 September
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 September - 15 October
- Tropical zodiac - 23 September - 23 October
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 October - 15 November
- Tropical zodiac - 23 October - 22 November
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 November - 15 December
- Tropical zodiac - 22 November - 22 December
- Sidereal zodiac - 16 December - 14 January
- Tropical zodiac - 22 December - 20 January
- Sidereal zodiac - 15 January - 14 February
- Tropical zodiac - 20 January - 18 February
- Sidereal zodiac - 15 February - 14 March
- Tropical zodiac - 18 February - 20 March
- Sidereal zodiac - 15 March - 14 April
The Tropical zodiac of the Gregorian Calendar, introduced by a decree signed on 24 February 1582, is aligned to the the Spring equinox. The Sidereal zodiac takes account of the Earth's precession.
Originally built in the 14th century, the astronomical clock has been restored several times. The dial display shows the date; together with the positions of the Sun, Moon, Earth and Zodiac. Moving figures (automatons), including animals and a scene representing the Annunciation, on tiers above the dial, are activated several times each day.
- December 1600 - King Henry IV of France married Marie de Medici. Their meeting, prior to the ceremony, is depicted by Peter Paul Rubens in his Medici Cycle (L'Arrivée de la reine à Lyon, ou La Rencontre du roi et de la reine, le 9 décembre 1600).