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la fresque des lyonnais

There are over 150 fantastic Lyon murals painted all over the walls of what was once a pretty colourless city. We only managed to see a grand total of THREE, and completely by accident at that. I can only thank the travel gods above that we stumbled upon Fresque des Lyonnais – one of the most famous of all of Lyon’s murals.

This is what happens when you don’t do any research about a city before visiting. Or if all your energy is focused on eating. Which it was. *blush

If I could visit again, I’d map out every single one of Lyon’s murals and make a game out of finding them, instead of wasting time trying to get into the city’s traboules or secret passageways.

Fresque des Lyonnais

Painted by the artist collective, CitéCréation, La Fresque des Lyonnais covers more than 800 square metres. It’s painted on 2 sides of a windowless building located at the corner of 2 rue de la Martinière and 49 quai Saint Vincent. There are 31 famous people from Lyon and the surrounding area painted on the building, including Antoine de Saint Exupéry (Le Pétit Prince), the Lumière brothers (pioneers of cinema), and Paul Bocuse (the father of gastronomy).

This incredible Lyon mural was created using the trompe l’eoil painting technique, which was also the method by which I became a wall-climbing ninja, rode a dolphin, and got shot out of a cannon, in Seoul. And it certainly lives up to its French translation for “deceiving the eye.”

The figures on the Fresque des Lyonnais are so lifelike, it’s hard to tell the tourists from the paintings!

man taking picture of the Fresque des Lyonnais

Tourist or painting? Its hard to tell with the trompe l’eoil painting technique.

Fresque des Lyonnais Map

You’ll find this huge mural at 2 Rue de la Martinière in Lyon, France.

Lyon Murals you should see

The Fresque des Lyonnais was so incredible, I really wish we’d seen a lot more of Lyon’s murals, instead of wasting our time trying to enter and find our way through the city’s network of traboules (which are supposed to be open to the public, but in practice, are not).

As for the other Lyon Murals we happened upon? They included this remarkable lion advertising a furniture store on another misguided self-tour through the canut (or silkweavers) district (are you sensing a theme here yet?), and the exterior of a hotel.

lyon murals

Enter the store at your own risk.

When we saw these chairs on the outside of this hotel in Lyon, we assumed they were ACTUAL chairs glued to the hotel. But now that I know the city is covered in trompe l’eoil art, I’m not so sure. Perhaps they’re actually paintings! Because sticking chairs to the outside of a hotel is pretty weird, and a potential hazard, wouldn’t you say?

Lyon murals: chairs painted on a hotel

Real chairs or painted?

No matter how much I look at it though, I still can’t decide. What do you think? Real chairs or trompe d’eoil painting?

Comments:

  • January 8, 2017

    Great blog post with some really beautiful photos. Love it!

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  • December 3, 2016

    I’ve seen many of these in California, but those are off the chart.
    I’m gonna go for art, otherwise it might be a safety issue?

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    • December 4, 2016

      Yeah, def art…as another commenter pointed out, no shadows. Lol…totally did not notice that myself. I think that artist collective CiteCreation is responsible for quite a lot of amazing murals all over the world. Really wish I would’ve seen more of them!!

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  • November 28, 2016

    La Fresque des Lyonnais is truly amazing, as is the lion. The chairs are painted otherwise they’d have shadows 🙂
    Alison

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    • November 29, 2016

      Lol…yes that makes sense doesn’t it? I swear that we literally stood in front of that building for 5 minutes staring at the chairs “stuck” to it wondering who came up with such a weird design idea. Hahahahaha 😉

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  • November 27, 2016

    I’m currently living in Lyon and love stumbling upon the fresques! The Mur des Canuts up in the Croix-Rousse is a particularly good one, as is the Bibliothèque de la Cité. I love how they’re scattered across the city; yet to take a trip down to the “États-Unis” neighbourhood to see all the fresques there though!

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    • November 29, 2016

      Oooh lucky you! Living in Lyon. 🙂 I’m so grateful that we managed to stumble upon the one we did, cuz we just had no idea there were so many. I’ve since seen pics of the 2 you mentioned, and they also look amazing.

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  • November 27, 2016

    They look like real chairs. Omg, they aren’t real! When I was looking at your panorama photo, I thought those murals were the real deal, and if I were there I would probably try walking into them :’) What magnificent works of art and 150 works all over is a lot – you’d probably need a few week to maybe cover them all at a leisurely pace. And take photos.

    Haha, I won’t be surprised if anyone actually thought those illustrations were real lol 🙂

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    • November 29, 2016

      They do, right? I swear Agri and I stood looking at that building for a good 5 minutes talking about how weird it was to stick chairs to the outside of a building. Haha jokes on us. So realistic!! I’m just so glad we stumbled upon this one at least. It would’ve been a real shame to miss it.

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  • November 27, 2016

    I think it’s the painting? Haha this would be a cool city to visit ?

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    • November 28, 2016

      Haha I’m pretty sure it is now too. I wish we’d known about all the murals before we visited…it would’ve been a much better use of our time than trying to get into all those traboules.

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