Located in Lyon’s 7th arrondissement, Lyon’s Historical Centre of Resistance and Deportation provides visitors with a taste of life in Lyon during the Second World War. The building stands on what was once the site of a French military health school (École de Santé Militaire) and heralded after the war as the centre of the resistance. 

The École de Santé Militaire was occupied by Nazi forces in the spring of 1943, and was subsequently used by the Gestapo chief, Klaus Barbie, to interrogate and torture resistance members, including the head of the Lyon resistance Jean Moulin. The building was destroyed by allied aircraft on the 26th of May 1944.

Inaugurated on the 15th of October 1992, the museum remembers both Lyon’s resistance fighters, and its victims; in particular the deportees. It has become one of France’s principal World War 2 museums.

In the early 2000s, redesigning of the exhibition became necessary in order to accommodate the rising number of visitors. Le Centre d’Histoire de la Résistance et de la Déportation reopened its doors in November 2012, after a renovation period of over a year. The Foundation for the Memory of the Shoah helped the museum renovate its permanent exhibition which features the most recent advances in historiography. 

The District of Jean Macé

The neigbhourhood of Jean Macé, where the museum is found, which was particularly affected by Second World War bombings, which saw whole buildings destroyed. 

The Jean Macé district is thought of as the heartland of the Lyonnais resistance movement, and the museum honours those who fought against the Nazi occupation. 

Unsurprisingly, Jean Moulin, the man who led the French resistance from Lyon on behalf of Charles DeGaulle, who was exiled in London at the time, is particularly paid homage to.

Following the war, Lyon was heralded as the city of resistance, in no small part due to the actions of Moulin (who is somewhat equivalent to a folk hero in Lyon), who managed to unite the different resistance groups.

A fragment of the parachute Moulin used when returning to France after a brief meeting with DeGaulle in England is on display.


The museum includes a number of testimonies from people who were taken to Nazi concentration camps yet managed to survive. Many artefacts from the time, including letters written by resistants or those in detention are also on display. A complete list of the names of Jewish people deported from France during World War 2 can be consulted.

Life in Lyon during the occupation

The context of life under occupation is illustrated by the large number of quite striking photos of famous Lyonnais buildings and landmarks, most dressed in Nazi flags or with German soldiers outside, on display.

Also featured is an array of ration books and similar items, providing a clue as to the everyday life of ordinary citizens during the war.

The exhibition concludes with a recreation of a typical resistance fighter’s home. Upstairs is the kitchen, complete with a picture of Maréchal Pétain proudly hanging on the wall. Downstairs, somewhat more hidden however, is the resistance movement’s printing press.

Address: Espace Berthelot, 14 avenue Berthelot, 69007 Lyon

Transport: The museum entrance is only 55m from the Centre-Berthelot tramway stop (line T2). Also nearby is Jean Macé metro station (line B). 

Opening hours: From Wednesday to Sunday, 10:00 am to 6:00pm


  • Full price : €8.00
  • Reduced price: €6
  • Free entry for under 18s, disabled people with accompanying person

Guided visit

  • Entry price plus €3.00 / €1.00 for under 18s