Musée des Confluences

This unusual museum celebrates natural science, art, and cultural history all at once—a confluence of ideas.

Confluences of Humanity and Nature

Appropriately located where the Rhône and Saône rivers merge, Lyon’s Musée des Confluences is really three museums in one. It’s a natural history museum, exploring the origins and evolution of life on Earth. It’s a history museum, tracking human progress throughout time. And it’s an art museum, celebrating the greatest cultural achievements from around the globe.

Wonderful Ideas in a Wild Building

The building itself is worth a visit, a fine example of architectural splendor. The Austrian designers at Coop Himmelb(l)au devised a structure that features the confluence of glass and metal, swooping together at magnificent angles. But of course, most visitors are more interested in what’s inside.

Guests can view dinosaur bones and historic artifacts. There’s even an exhibit that examines various possibilities of the afterlife. The museum hosts temporary exhibits as well—past themes have included Antarctica and Shoes of the World. There’s a restaurant on site where visitors can dine, and there’s also a bookstore for anyone who wants to pick up souvenirs.