The gastronomic capital of France, if not the world, is not just a foodie hotspot. With UNESCO-protected architecture and awe-inspiring Roman ruins, its one for history lovers too..
Travel bucket list idea:
Museum of Fine Arts, Lyon
Lyon, Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes, France|www.mba-lyon.fr|
In the heart of Lyon’s Presqu’ile, in a former 17th-century Benedictine abbey, the Musee des Beaux-Arts is a majestic place for art lovers to while away a few hours.
The breadth of its collections is remarkable, covering everything from antiquities and medieval art to Islamic art and Europe’s major schools of painting, via some 5,000 artefacts. 19th- and 20th-century pieces are particularly well represented, with works by famous artists like Monet, Matisse, Manet, Gaugin and Picasso.
Its loveliest space, perhaps, is its courtyard garden, set in the former cloisters and dotted with statues.
Monet’s 1883 Rough Sea at Etretat hangs in the museum (alongside other Impressionist works) – whisking you away to the Normandy coastline. Also look out for Nave Mahana by Gaugin (1896), painted in Tahiti and whose name means ‘Delicious Days’ in Maori.
While you’re there
Admire the fountain on the square in front, depicting France riding a chariot of four rivers (the horses); it was made by Auguste Bartholdi, creator of the Statue of Liberty.
Getting there & doing it
The museum is a 3-minute walk from metro Hotel-de-Ville – Louis Pradel.
To regulate the number of visitors, time-allocated tickets must be bought online via the official website in advance and either printed out or saved in your smart device.
Once you’ve meandered the cloister’s parterres, you can take it in from above from the museum cafe’s terrace. Or sit inside and admire the monumental Raoul Dufy mural.
When to do it
The museum is open all year round, Wednesday to Monday. Closed Tuesday.
Lunchtime is the quietest time to visit, though you will rarely be confronted with long lines at any time of the day.
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