Museum of Confluences in Lyon

In this museum you'll discover more about the human mankind and the world. Absolutely  fantastic.

  • Laurence Edelson



  • Updated on


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A Crystal Cloud

From the outside, it looks like a huge spaceship. More poetically, the Austrian agency that designed the building sees it as an “encounter between a crystal glass and a stainless steel cloud”. This “Crystal Cloud” is an architectural statement anchored at the confluence between the Saone and the Rhone rivers. Inside, light passes through the crystal dome. You access the permanent exhibition via a gangway that coils around the skylights. Enjoy the view of Lyon from the top floor, especially the new Confluence district.

Man’s adventures told through 3000 objects

Three thousand of the 2.2 million objects in the collection were chosen to tell the story of the human adventure from our origins to the present day. This adventure is divided into four major themes: “Origins, the stories of the world” which tackles the question of the origin of the world; “Species, the web of life” which raises the question of mankind and animal nature with a presentation on the diversity of species; “Societies, human theatre” which illustrates human encounters and exchanges, our way of structuring land and organising ourselves into political and religious communities, etc.; and finally “Eternities, visions of the other world” which looks at death and funeral rites with numerous videos by sociologists, philosophers and more.

Each section allows visitors to move from one surprise to the next. For a start, exhibits are juxtaposed in an extraordinary manner: in Origins, Inuit sculptures of the origin of the earth and men seem to interact with the skeletons of prehistoric animals, in Societies, stones stand opposite various means of communication. Science and legends intersect to answer the big questions about the universe and mankind. The second surprise is that civilisations are mixed to address different themes. This museum is a unique place, at the crossroads between a natural history museum, a science centre and a tribal art museum.

Current temporary exhibitions

My first land, building tomorrow from 23 February to 17 July, 2016

The exhibition 'My first land'' proposes you to explore the unknown qualities of raw earth, traditional and innovative material.
The land has given the human kind the the opportunity to realize impressive achievements, from the Chinese wall to the ramparts of the Alhambra (Spain), today the list of UNESCO World Heritage is long. The public is invited to experience the qualities of the material used to builed these wonders, to discover its composition, to study the behavior of grain and discover ancient and contemporary construction techniques. An interactive experience for the family, it will challenge anyone curious about science !

Antarctica - from 19 April until August 2016

A presentation of images taken during an expedition to Antarctica led by Luc Jacquet in October 2015 ( in 2004 director of The March of the Penguins ), the Confluence Museum presents an immersive exhibition, fully digital, dedicated to the biodiversity of this '' white desert '' and climatic challenges of this century ."

In the room of wonders until 10 April 2016:

The exhibition highlights the role of collectors by creating a modern cabinet of curiosities.

Le Musée des Confluences
86 Quai Perrache - 69002 Lyon
Tramway 1
Access to the Museum and its exhibitions is included in the price of the Lyon City Card, which also serves as a priority ticket (ticket which allows you to jump the queue).

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