Confluences Museum, where modernity finds a home

museum - architecture
Confluences Museum, where modernity finds a home

Dedicated to anthropology and the history of civilisations, this museum is also an inspiration to contemporary creation.

Deconstructivist architecture designed by Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au defines this building at the confluence (hence its name) of the Saône and the Rhône, on the site of a former gasworks. Opened in 2014, the museum was built in this particular spot to help people forget the mistakes made by 1970s city planners (including the infamous Fourvière tunnel). Its futuristic silhouette, not dissimilar to an immense spaceship, makes a spectacular sight if you are coming from the south of France by the A7 motorway.

Its collections are as impressive as the building itself. Not only does it combine works collected by Lyonnais industrialist Emile Guimet over his lifetime (1836-1918) with collections from a natural history museum founded during the French Revolution and a former colonial museum, but it is also home to a vast array of objects collected during the 19th century by Catholic missionaries. Overall, the Confluence Museum has over two million pieces on display, dating from Prehistory to the modern world. Its daring installations sometimes lend themselves to debate, but no one disputes its status as a cabinet of curiosities. It is also a stakeholder in the Lyon Biennale, and hosts its temporary exhibitions.

Musée des Confluences
86 quai Perrache
69002 Lyon

+33 (0)4 28 38 12 12