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The famous Mural of the Lyonnais

Meet the Lyonnais!!

Visiting Lyon also means getting to know the Lyonnais of today…as well as those of yesterday!

Welcome to Lyon and discover our culture and the famous personalities who have shaped the history of our beloved city!


The famous Mural of the Lyonnais
The famous Lyonnais mural, a must-see when visiting Lyon

“La fresque des Lyonnais célèbres” Art at the crossroads of history

Stroll around the corner of Quai St Vincent and Rue de la Martinière and be amazed by this 800 m² fresco (created by the Cité de la Création in 1994/95) depicting 2000 years of Lyonnais history, with 25 famous historical figures from Lyon:

Quai St Vincent side (200 m²) :

– Level 3: Emperor Claudius

– Level 2: Pierre Puvis de Chavanne & Giovanni Verrazano.

– Level 1: Joseph-Marie Jacquard & Philippe de Lassalle.

– Level 0: Bertrand Tavernier

Rue Martinière side (600 m²) :

– Level 4: Saint-Irénée, Sainte Blandine

– Level 3: Louise Labé, Maurice Scève, Juliette Récamier, Claude Bourgelat, Pauline Jaricot & Claudine Thévenet.

– Level 2: General-Major Martin & Jean-Baptiste Say, André-Marie Ampère, Laurent Mourguet & Guignol, The Little Prince and Antoine de St-Exupéry.

– Level 1: Antoine de Jussieu & Marcel Mérieux & Claude Bernard, Edouard Herriot & Tony Garnier, Auguste and Louis Lumière.

– Level 0: Bernard Pivot, Abbé Pierre, Bernard Lacombe, Paul Bocuse, Frédéric Dard.

Highlighting some of Lyon’s emblems:


  • Auguste Lumière (1862-1954) and Louis Lumière (1864-1948): The Lumière brothers, born in Lyon, are among the pioneers of cinema. They invented the cinematograph – a device that both filmed and projected moving images. This invention, patented in 1895, is considered the starting point of modern cinema. They made the first recorded films, including “L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat”.

Cinephiles beware: visit the Institut Lumière in the Monplaisir district – the birthplace of the first cinematograph!

Letters and tunes:

  • Saint-Exupéry: Famous French writer and aviator, born in Lyon on June 29, 1900, he is the author of “Le Petit Prince”, a book that has lulled generations of readers in France and abroad.
  • “The stars are lit so that each one can one day find his own.” The Little Prince

“You can only see well with your heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye.”


  • Paul Bocuse: One of the world’s most famous chefs, Paul Bocuse, has made Lyon’s generous, family-style cuisine famous in France and around the world! Come and whet your taste buds in the Brasseries Bocuse or in his famous gastronomic restaurant Paul Bocuse.
  • La Mère Brazier: Eugénie Brazier was a famous French chef, born in La Tranclière, near Lyon. She became the first woman to win three Michelin stars.


  • Tony Garnier: French architect, urban planner and designer of modern urban planning in the early 20th century, he is best known for his work in Lyon, with one of his most famous projects: the Cité Tony Garnier, also known as the Cité Industrielle. This complex of social housing and community facilities was designed in an innovative architectural style for its time.


  • Jean Moulin: An emblematic figure of the French Resistance during the Second World War, he was prefect of the Lyon region and played a key role in coordinating the Resistance.
  • Lyon was the birthplace of the French Resistance. To find out more, visit the Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation (CHRD): symbolically housed in the former Gestapo headquarters, where Klaus Barbie operated.

The fight against poverty:

  • Abbé Pierre: Born in Lyon on August 5, 1912, he grew up there, studied at the Lycée Saint-Marc and began his religious training before becoming an important figure in the fight against poverty and the founder abbot of Emmaüs.

Guignols :

  • This French puppet character was created in Lyon in the early 19th century by canut (silk worker) Laurent Mourguet. He has become an emblematic figure of puppet theater and a cultural symbol of Lyon. For more information, visit the Guignoles fantastic little museum in the 5th arrondissement.


Lyon has been home to many important historical figures over the centuries, in fields as diverse as culture, gastronomy, politics, science and literature. Don’t hesitate to come and discover these characters who have left their mark on the four corners of our City of Lights!