Located in the heart of Lyon’s Presqu’ile, the Musée de l’Imprimerie has celebrated the heritage of printed books and graphic arts since it’s inauguration in 2007. It is housed in the former Hôtel de la Couronne, an historic building in its own right.


Lyon was chosen as the location for the Musee de l’Imprimerie because the city had been a European centre for printing and the book trade during the 15th and 16th centuries. Furthermore, Lyon held large historical book and graphic arts collections. 

The museum was designed by Maurice Audin, a master printer and historian, assisted by Henri-Jean Martin, a leading authority on the history of the book in Europe, and at that time also the chief curator of the Library of Lyon. 

The former Hôtel de la Couronne, in which the museum is set, hosted the meetings of the aldermen, or échevins, of the City of Lyon from 1604 to 1655. The building was donated to the city by the banking corporation, LCL S.A. in 1957, and on the 8th of June 1963 which was the occasion of the centenary of LCL, mayor Louis Pradel, inaugurated the Musée de la Banque. 

The present museum opened in 1964, however it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014 by carrying out a major renovation of the permanent collection and adopting its current name to reflect its involvement in the world of today. 


Key exhibits include works by the early printers of Lyon. These include the likes of Martin Husz, Josse Bade, Sébastien Gryphe, Jean de Tournes, and Bernard Salomon. The collection traces the beginnings of European, and later American; printing from the fifteenth century to the twentieth century. Twentieth-century inventions, such as Higonnet and Moyroud’s Lumitype-Photon phototypesetter and the BBR system for computer typesetting are included.

In addition to the rare books and prints, other kinds of printed matter feature, such as public transport tickets, Tour de France caps, advertisements for Laughing Cow (Vache qui rit) dairy products, railway timetables, and record sleeves.

Exhibitions: For details of current and upcoming temporary exhibitions, please consult the museum’s website; http://www.imprimerie.lyon.fr/imprimerie/sections/fr/expositions/prochainement/ 

Address: 13 Rue de la Poulaillerie, 69002 Lyon

Transport: The closest metro station is Cordeliers (line A). The museum is 110m from the station via Rue de la République and Rue de la Poulaillerie. Buses C3, C5, C9, C13, C14, 27, and 171 also stop nearby.

Opening hours: 


– Wednesday to Sunday, 10:30pm – 6:00pm (final entry at 5.30pm). 

Groups (advance reservation obligatory) 

– Tuesday to Friday from 9:00am to 6:00pm (closed Tuesday from 12:30pm to 1:30pm)

– Saturday and Sunday from 10:00am to 6:00pm

– Self-guided tours possible from Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30am to 5:30pm.

Closed every Monday, the 1st of January, 1st of May, 1st of November, and the 25th of December.


Full tariff – €6.00 (€8.00 during exhibitions) 

Reduced tariff – €4.00 (€6.00 during exhibitions). Applies to those aged 18 – 25 years.

Free entry (on presentation of proof) :

  • Under 18s
  • The disabled and their helper
  • The unemployed