EAST OF THE RHONE AND MODERN LYON
Lyon’s newest train station and monstrous space-age mall form the core of the ultra-modern Part-Dieu district. Locals call the commercial Tour du Credit Lyonnais le Crayonâ for its unintentional resemblance to a giant pencil standing on end. Next to it, the shell-shaped Auditorium Maurice Ravel hosts major cultural events.
CENTRE D’HISTOIRE DE LA RESISTANCE ET DE LA DEPORTATION. In a building in which Nazis tortured detainees during the Occupation, the center today houses an impressive but sobering collection of documents, photos, and films of the Resistance, which was based in Lyon. There’s also a space set up for children. (14 av. Berthotet, 7eme. M: Jean Mace. Open Su-M and W-Sa 9am-5:30pm. â‚¬3.80, students â‚¬2. Admission includes an audio guide in French, English, or German.)
MUSEE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN. This extensive, entertaining mecca of modem art resides in the futuristic Cite International de Lyon, a super-modem complex with offices, shops, theaters, and Interpol’s world headquarters. All the museum’s exhibits are temporary; the wadis themselves are built anew for each installation. (Quai Charles de Gaulle, next to Parc de la Tete d’Or, 6eme. Take bus #4 from M: Foci. Open Su-M and IV-Sa noon-7pm. â‚¬3.80, students â‚¬2. Under-18 free.)
INSTITUT LUMIERE. A must for film buffs, the museum’s exhibits chronicle the exploits of the brothers Lumiere, who invented the motion picture in 1895. The relatively small museum is full of intriguing factoids: The brothers also invented postsychronisation, and Louis created a foremnner to holograms in 1920. The Institut’s complex also includes a movie theater and a park. (25 r. du Premier-Film, 8eme. M: Monplaisir Lumiere. Open Su and Tu-Sa Uam-7pm. â‚¬5.50, students â‚¬4.50.)
PARC DE LA TETE D’OR. Locals gravitate to this massive, completely free park for frisbee, football, and pique-niques avec vin. The park, one of the largest in Europe, sprawls over 259 acres. Its name is derived from the legend that a golden head of Jesus lies buried somewhere on its grounds. During the summer, paddle boats are available for a visit to its artificial green lake. Reindeer, elephants, and other animals fill the zoo, and greenhouses encase a botanical garden. The 60,000-bush rose gardens are magnificent. (M: Charpennes or tram T1 from Perrache, dir.: IUT-Feyssine. Open daily mid-Apr. to mid-Oct. 6am-llpm; mid-Oct. to mid-Apr. 6am-9pm.)