Lyon – a city with many facets! Extraordinary illusions: The painted walls of Lyon

Everyone knows about street art. Sometimes they are works of art, sometimes they are graffiti. Sometimes they look sad and desolate, often they enrich a grey world with colourful art. In Lyon there are extraordinary outdoor artworks: the walls of houses are painted artistically, create illusions and create enthusiasm. When I first came across Fresque des Lyonnais on my walk, I could not believe my eyes. The setting is both real and fake. The living people in front of the work of art look strange. Clearly delineated, as they move, take pictures, position themselves with their mobile phones for a selfie. Behind them, frozen people who look as real as if they were about to fall on me from the wall of the house. Is someone walking past the house or is it represented on the house’s mural? I am fascinated by the artistic experience in the open air. The image seems almost real.
The Lyonnais fresco is a mural with a surface area of 800 m². Twenty-four historical figures from Lyon and six contemporary celebrities are depicted. This masterpiece was created by the artist cooperative CitéCréation.

I am an art fan and I learn that Lyon is, along with Berlin, the capital of murals and that it is one of the most important cities in the world for this art form. A hundred or so frescoes adorn the walls of houses in Lyon. This ranges from the noble districts to social housing. This art form has been practiced in Lyon for 30 years. The initial objective has been maintained over the years: to tell the story of Lyon and its inhabitants. Thanks to the loudspeakers of the tourist bus, I learn that these particular paintings have never been covered and destroyed by graffiti or others.

Lyon – the belly of France, is how the city is often described. The culinary arts and gastronomic culture have made Lyon a gourmet metropolis. Its most famous chef is a legend: Paul Bocuse. He was considered one of the best cooks of the 20th century. He lived for more than 90 years and was awarded three stars continuously since 1965. At the age of nine, he was already in his father’s kitchen. He trained in the starred kitchen in Lyon and still runs several restaurants today, has written cookbooks and organised competitions.
Paul Bocuse’s halles have existed since 1970. The building does not look like much. On a grey day, the flat building is not very welcoming. It is not to be trusted. I hoist my suitcase up the few steps. It’s still early in the morning and a suitcase is no problem, I’m told. But that can quickly change later on, when half of Lyon meets in the halles for a delicious rendezvous. It is then entirely possible to let yourself be carried along the crowded aisles.
You can’t get lost. There are three main aisles in all, lined with about sixty specialist traders. At some stands you can only shop, at others you can taste, sit and enjoy. You can find a separate article on the Halles here. In any case: the halles are a must for any visitor to Lyon!

Fresque des Lyonnais