Lyon has a variety of fascinating museums, which are a reflection of the city’s long history and great wealth. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon is one of the encyclopedic museums of France; several of the city’s other museums reflect its past as a major textile-producing center; and the dramatic, recently opened Musée des Confluences celebrates the city’s strategic location at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers.
One of the leading fine arts museums of France, this great institution has a rich variety of collections, including superb ancient Egyptian and Roman pieces; medieval carved ivory altarpieces; art nouveau furniture by Hector Guimard; and paintings by Poussin, Géricault, Monet, Gauguin and Picasso, among others.
Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon
20 Place des Terreaux. Tel. (33) 4-72-10-17-40
This dramatic glass and steel building by Austrian architectural firm Coop Himmelb(l)au is intended to be perceived as a crystal meeting a cloud at the southernmost point of the Presqu’île, where the Rhône and Saône rivers meet. Be that as it may, it is a striking building with interesting archaeological and ethnological collections, as well as a fine restaurant, Brasserie des Confluences, that is ideal for Sunday lunch (reservations essential).
Musée des Confluences
86 Quai Perrache. Tel. (33) 4-28-38-12-12
Lyon’s history is inextricably linked with the magnificent fabrics, mostly silk, that have been woven here through the centuries. This museum displays stunning examples, along with fabrics and garments from around the world.
Musée des Tissus
34, rue de la Charité. Tel. (33) 4-78-38-42-00