mural art in lyon

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For us, Lyon was a convenient city to stop into for a few days before we ducked on over to Switzerland.

But not only was it convenient, it was an incredible place for us to explore for three days. There is so much to do (free and not) and plenty of little surprises, like the Miniatures and Cinema Museum that we stumbled across, we really enjoyed Lyon!

One of it’s free attractions is the city’s mural art. There are certainly a few scattered around the city. Our favourite is at the corner of rue de la Martiniére and Quai St Vincent, it depicts and honours Lyon’s famous citizens such as the Lumière brothers (the first film makers) and Laurent Mourguet (creator of the famous French puppet, Guignol).


We sat on a bench right across from the artwork and spent quite a while staring at it. The mural is detailed and life-like, there is so much depth in the art and it simply drew us in. We ended up with pretty sore necks after we moved from our vantage point.


Here are the Lumière brothers:


And Laurent Mourguet and Guignol:


We love how the ground floor of the mural looks so realistic. We could easily have tried entering the building and walking up the staircases …


Or enjoyed a warm drink in that cafe.


So if you ever find yourself in Lyon looking for something to do that won’t affect the budget; walking the streets to explore the mural art might just be the thing.


Have you been to Lyon?

What did you think of the murals?

As always, we love hearing what you have to say.




48 thoughts on “mural art in lyon

    top 5 unexpected travel gems « wise monkeys abroad said:
    January 6, 2015 at 11:45 am

    […] a couple of the places we visited in Lyon; the Museum of Miniatures and Cinema and the street murals. There is so much there to see and still more we are yet to share about our time in Lyon. Do […]

    Joseph Pantel said:
    November 14, 2014 at 4:24 pm

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      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 14, 2014 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks Joseph for visiting and for leaving us a comment 🙂 We hope you will visit often!

    Jaspa said:
    November 14, 2014 at 3:16 am

    I visited Lyon on the way from Carcassonne to Paris. The Roman amphitheatres were the highlight for me!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 14, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Yes!! We loved that too…. we have a few more posts on Lyon to do… and that would be one of them to share 🙂

    prior said:
    November 9, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    what way to honor these citizens – 🙂 and have never been to Lyons, but super glad I was able to see their mural art via your blog – and I can imagine your neck hurting from soaking up this in person – and we all know there is something even more amazing about art when you experience it live – and I can just imagine the impact this had in person – 🙂 – and now I am off to your photo essay post from last week – I actually came back to view it again ❤

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 9, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Isn’t it just lovely?? Seeing art in person adds a different dimension most of the time, but there are times where seeing the real thing is not as momentous as we imagined (Mona Lisa kind of comes to mind). But anyway, we found Lyon a real surprise package 🙂 So much fascinating history and things to see!

        prior said:
        November 10, 2014 at 11:49 am

        hi – and yeah, I felt that way with the mona lisa – and many others! But I heard that some art has to be seen in person to “get” – like with Rothko’s work – I was told that you have to see it to feel the color and the size and all that – and also with his work the function matters – like many of his panels were for restaurant walls and to see them where they were designed to be – well it changes things – and so I missed the beauty of his work when I saw photos that seemed like color panels – but in person you can see the slight variations and more… oh I dunno –

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          November 10, 2014 at 10:28 pm

          Art is very subjective, isn’t it? For some, the art touches them and really grabs them and for others, it’s a case of indifference. We all react differently and so you can just never tell sometimes! Hence why we have learnt to have no expectations….. no build up and then there is no disappointment 🙂

    Vlad said:
    November 7, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    How beautiful! I love how detailed it is, the artists have really thought about everything! 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 8, 2014 at 7:32 am

      Hey Vlad, Yes it was so cleverly creative! The attention to detail was unbelievable. We love art that is so engaging 🙂 Hope you have a wonderful weekend ahead!

    Browsing the Atlas said:
    November 7, 2014 at 9:39 am

    How pretty! I’ve often thought of swinging through Lyon on the way home from Brussels. I just might have to now that I’ve seen this.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 7, 2014 at 10:52 pm

      Oh if you ever do get a chance, Lyon is a very intriguing and unique city! We really enjoyed it there 🙂

    Just Another Nature Enthusiast said:
    November 6, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    Those are stunning murals… the perspectives are very convincing portrayals of 3-D!!!
    I think I would need a massage after spending even a few hours appreciating those beauties.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 7, 2014 at 6:56 am

      Hi Jane! We loved how life-like the mural is, it has “depth” and so much character. We only wish we could have seen more of the other murals around town. Happy Friday and wishing you a lovely weekend ahead 🙂

    Forestwoodfolkart said:
    November 6, 2014 at 8:52 am

    I have seen murals in a few places around the world, but this one is really one of the very best. The detail of the trompe l’oeil is amazing and I wonder if it was a single artist or a team that painted it. If I ever go to Lyon, I will surely check it out for real.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 6, 2014 at 10:40 am

      Thanks for your comment! We were so very impressed with it! Will have to look up at how many people contributed to it 🙂

        Forestwoodfolkart said:
        November 8, 2014 at 9:42 am

        I would be interested to hear that!

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          November 9, 2014 at 10:19 am

          Doing some searching online and it is Cite Creation who appears responsible for this mural. And although, it doesn’t say how many people it took to paint it, looking at their website, they have about 80 employees on board 🙂

            Forestwoodfolkart said:
            November 9, 2014 at 10:55 am

            Even with all those hands, it is still impressive. An excellent way to make a dull wall interesting and prevent graffiti

    BerLinda said:
    November 6, 2014 at 2:09 am

    I wrote my thesis on the Guignols 🙂 I wonder how many people have tried to walk into that cafe after a few too many glasses of wine!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 6, 2014 at 8:11 am

      Really?? How cool is that – writing a thesis on Guignol!!
      Yes, we were surprised the paint was “dented” from people trying to enter – lol!
      Actually, that reminds us that we need to duck on over to your blog and see what you have been up to in Berlin 🙂

        BerLinda said:
        November 6, 2014 at 9:17 am

        I don’t know how I did it now – a whole thesis in French! I lived there for a year so I must have been inspired 😉

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          November 6, 2014 at 10:38 am

          Wow, you really have lived all over Europe 🙂

            BerLinda said:
            November 6, 2014 at 10:39 am

            That was during university so I’m not sure it counts! We had a ball though – we nearly got murdered so many more times than all of the other Erasmus students 🙂

    thegrownupgapyear said:
    November 6, 2014 at 1:09 am

    Wow, that’s amazing! At first glance I really did think the buildings were real 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 6, 2014 at 8:12 am

      It was solo pretty to just look at, especially the ground floor with all the life-like store fronts! We love looking at things like this 🙂 Hope you are going well!!

    the eternal traveller said:
    November 5, 2014 at 9:31 pm

    Isn’t that clever. I am full of admiration for those who can create works like this. Thanks for sharing this amazing building.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 11:08 pm

      That is a great choice of word: “clever” – because it is 🙂 We are not talented when it comes to the arts, so when we see this type of work, it just blows us away! Enjoy the rest of your week!

        the eternal traveller said:
        November 6, 2014 at 7:05 am

        I went to a museum near Tokyo called The Trick Art Museum. It was full of optical illusions like this. I will post about it eventually. I’m like you, not an artistic bone in my body so I love seeing what others can do.

          wisemonkeysabroad responded:
          November 6, 2014 at 8:08 am

          Ooh optical illusions are awesome 🙂 so look forward to that post!!

    Diana said:
    November 5, 2014 at 7:53 pm

    Super cool! Those photos are great…..that mural is weird! It looks real!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      It looks so real, huh?! We were so fascinated with it 🙂 Hope you have been well!

    CrazyChineseFamily said:
    November 5, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    This is really cool. It is certainly a sight to visit inLyon, at least I would go there to take some great pictures

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 7:06 pm

      The weather on the day we went looking for murals turned really cold and windy with rain coming so we had to stop our search after the two that we saw…. The more we think about it, the more we realise how much we liked Lyon 🙂

    手腕 ケニア (@savvykenya) said:
    November 5, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    I have never been to Lyon but now would love to! Can you imagine how long it took to paint that mural?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

      We are not very good at art so all type of artwork awes us 🙂
      Lyon has so much to offer – hope you do get there one day!

    kayrpea61 said:
    November 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm

    Never been there, although I think I have been on a train through Lyon. That mural reminds me of a German/Austrian (and perhaps others) practice of an elaborate surround depicting what the building will look like when completed. Is that what was happening Lyon?

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      Hey Ken, these works of art are scattered around the city purely for display! They may just decorate the older facades of the buildings but no restoration happening behind as far we saw or read about?!
      Lyon is really charming & it has a different feel to other places in France we visited!

    Every Day Adventures in Asia said:
    November 5, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    Love the pics – especially the Lumiere brothers. My last trip to Lyon was so short and so long ago completely missed this! Keep sharing… 🙂

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 4:44 pm

      There were other murals but we only saw one other – We have a little bit more to share on Lyon, there is just so many different things to see there 🙂 Thanks for reading and for your comment!

    Mani (A New Life Wandering) said:
    November 5, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    Wow! I’ve seen a picture of this before, but yours are really cool and makes me really want to see it in person.

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Glad to hear we are stirring up your interest! Lyon is very unique – we found it rather different to other French cities! Hope you do get to see it one day 🙂

    Curt Mekemson said:
    November 5, 2014 at 2:56 pm

    We have friends who own an apartment in Lyon. Maybe it is time to visit them again. –Curt

    Yvonne said:
    November 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    That’s just wonderful!

      wisemonkeysabroad responded:
      November 5, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      It was so lovely to look at – thanks for your comment!!

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