the three coolest murals in Lyon

A city that is renowned in France and worldwide for its gastronomy and its Fête des Lumières, Lyon also is well known for having over 150 painted murals around the city.

1. La Fresque des Lyonnais, close to the Saône River, is probably Lyon’s most famous painted wall. If you approach from the Vieux Lyon side of the Saone, the building looks like a normal building.

But as you go around the building, you realize that there is something different about this building…because two of its faces are covered in paint!

This mural covers an entire building, more than 800 meters squared. It depicts 31 famous people (dead and living) from the Lyonnais area, such as Le Pétit Prince, Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the Lumière brothers who were pioneers of the cinema, and Paul Bocuse, one of Lyon’s most celebrated chefs. This trompe l’oeil painting marks Lyon’s history.

You can find la Fresque des Lyonnais at the corner of 2 rue de la Martinière and 49 quai Saint Vincent.

2. La Fresque de laBbibliothèque de la Cite, found right the corner of quai de la Pecherie and rue de la Platière, is a 400 sq. meter. mural of ~500 literary references of authors all born in the Rhône-Alps area.

I find this mural quite appropriately placed as it is just across the street from the famous book market of Lyon.

3. Le Mur des Canuts, in the Croix Rousse, is a celebration of the silk workers of Lyon’s past. Every decade, it is altered to show the changes made to the district. In 1987, and subsequently in 1997, a huge tromphe d’oeil was painted to mirror the Croix Rousse district, its architecture, its traditions, and of course, the canuts (silk workers) of the past. It is located at the corner of the Boulevard des Canuts and the rue Denfert-Rochereau.

As you can see, we fit right in (credits for the photos below to my dear friend Yohan – I’ve mentioned him before, under the witty pseudonym of…French man).

Should you ever find yourself in Lyon and are looking for something more unique to see, I highly recommend a walking tour of Lyon’s most famous fresques. They’re quite the optical illusions.


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6 thoughts on “the three coolest murals in Lyon

  1. Elizabeth says:

    Love these murals, and seeing you stand in front of those steps :).

  2. M-fizzle says:


  3. A J says:

    These murals are amazing. Would love to be there someday!!

  4. Shane says:

    I’ve only seen one so far – I’ll have to check all of these others out!

  5. Jillian says:

    Best part of this post = explaining that “French Man” = Yohan; I was a bit concerned in the last post that you went drinking in the middle of the day with a random French guy

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