The Musée des Confluences is a science centre and anthropology museum situated on the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône in Lyon. This museum, in their own words, is to take you on a journey through time and across the globe to help you observe the world around you. The most impressive part of the museum is the actual structure of metal and glass, which is extremely modern and quite aesthetically satisfying to look at.
The museum first opened its doors in December of 2014, after taking over a decade to complete its construction. Once you set your eyes on the museum, its clear to tell that this museum has been built in recent years; the ultra-modern structure almost makes it feel like something from the future! Designed by Austrian firm Coop Himmelb(l)au as a Deconstructivist work of architecture, it is described to resemble a floating crystal cloud of stainless steel and glass, right on the landmark which is the confluence of the Rhone and the Saône coming together.
Inside the museum there are four exhibitions offered; “Origins – Stories of the World”, “Species – the Web of life”, “Societies – Human theatre,” and “Eternities – Visions of the beyond”. The museum aims to look at every area of life on Earth to give the visitors a well-rounded observation of our world.
How to get there
The easiest way to get to the confluence of Lyon is by tram. In fact, there is a tram stop on the T1 line which stops directly outside the Musée des Confluences, limiting the amount of walking required (don’t worry you will get your exercise through walking through the various exhibitions inside the museum!).
The Confluence as an area is an amazing place to visit. There are many other modern architectural offices and buildings in this area, as well as various shops and restaurants.
Upon approaching the Musée des Confluences, the first impression is quite incredible. You are already filled with awe and wonder looking at the bending of steel and glass into a remarkable giant crystal, and that’s before you even enter the museum. My first thought was just how different the museum and its surroundings were when compared to the centre of the city. Lyon is a historic city in many ways, and this is evident when you walk around the beautiful Vieux Lyon and its surrounding streets. However, the Confluence contrasts this in many ways as it is very modern.
The price for entering the museum is €9 for adults (€6 after 5pm), €5 for students aged 18-25 and free for children under 18. This is very good value for the experience it offers.
In terms of the museum itself, the four exhibitions are all uniquely intriguing. The topics of the exhibitions range from the beginnings of humans (including reconstructions of early humans such as Neanderthals), to meteors over 600kg which interestingly visitors are welcome to touch, and even to the meaning of life and what different civilisations believed happens to us after death!
Although this is a wide variety of topics, the exhibitions are educational yet not too heavy and the interactive exhibition rooms greatly reduce the chance of viewers become uninterested. In terms of value for money, the Musée des Confluences is definitely a museum worth exploring.