Montluc military prison is located in Lyon’s 3rd arrondissement. Infamous as a centre for internment, torture and murder carried out by the Gestapo during the Second World War by the Nazis. In 2009 the majority of the structure was classified as a monument historique by the state and since September 2010 the prison has been open to the public. Guided tours are organized by France’s National Office of Veterans and War Victims.


Constructed in 1921, Montluc military prison is located opposite a fort which bears the same name, in what was then one of Lyon’s most prominent industrial areas. Following the 22nd June 1940 Armistice, the prison housed numerous regular inmates, military prisoners and perpetrators of what were referred to as ‘Anti-national Activities’ ; these were of course, mostly Gaullist and communist members of the resistance. After the November 1942 invasion of the Southern Zone, the Nazis requisitioned the prison and it was placed under their exclusive control. Later during the occupation, Montluc became an internment camp for resistance fighters, hostages, and, prior to their transfer to Drancy and subsequent deportation to the concentration camps, the victims of racial persecution. Montluc functioned in daily contact with Lyon’s Gestapo headquarters, located on Avenue Berthelot, in the buildings of the Military School of Medicine (now the site of the Resistance and Deportation History Centre), where prisoners were interrogated. 

The prisoners were released on the 24th of August 1944, in part due to Resistance intervention, but additionally due to the departure of the prison guards. This happened one week prior to the liberation of Lyon on September the 3rd. 

In 1947, Montluc returned to use as a civil prison which finally closed in 1997; although the female maison d’arrêt at the site did not close its doors for the last time until May 2009.

Notable prisoners

  • Raymond Aubrac, a leader of the resistance (1943)
  • Habib Bourguiba, Tunisian nationalist, later 1st President of Tunisia (1943)
  • André Devigny, soldier, resistance fighter and prison escapee (1943)
  • Maurice Joyeux, notable anarchist (1940–44)
  • Jean de Lattre de Tassigny, Commander of the 1st French Army during its invasion of Southern France (1942–43)
  • Jean Moulin, soldier and leader of the resistance (1943)
  • Élise Rivet, nun and member of the resistance (1944)
  • Andre Frossard, journalist, interned in the ‘Jew Booths’ of Fort Montluc; one of only seven survivors of Bron Massacre (1943-44)

Haut Lieux de Mémoire

The Montluc Prison Memorial is now managed by the Ministry of Defence. It is classified by the French state as a Haut Lieux de Mémoire (major memorial site). 

Address: 4 Rue Jeanne Hachette, 69003 Lyon

Transport: The Manufacture-Montluc Tramway stop (line T4) is 2 minutes walk from the prison.

Opening hours: 

January – June, September – December;

  • Open from Wednesday. to Saturday: 2:00pm – 5:30pm. 
  • Guided tour at 3:30pm 

July and August;

  • Open from Tuesday to Saturday from 9:00am – 12:00pm and from 2:00pm – -5:30pm. 
  • Guided tours at 10:30am and 3:30pm.

Closed bank holidays and from 25th December – 1st January inclusive. 


FreeAccessibility: Accessible for wheelchairs.