Place des Terreaux

Place des Terreaux, Lyon 1

Place des Terreaux is the epicentre of the Festival of Lights and the vast majority of visitors - around a million during the four-day event - include the square on their itinerary.

The exceptional layout of the square means that visitors are surrounded by the mesmerizing light show on all sides. City Hall, the Fine Arts Museum and the Bartholdi Fountain all form an integral part of performances in which the light artists can give free rein to their imagination in spectacular flights of fantasy.

City Hall dates back to 1646. The equestrian statue added in 1827 can still be seen on its façade.

Palais Saint-Pierre with its splendid 17th Century facade has housed the Fine Arts Museum since 1801.

The imposing fountain (1892) was the work of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi better known for the Statue of Liberty in New York. Initially intended for the City of Bordeaux - the four horses symbolise the tributaries of the Garonne flowing into the sea - it was finally acquired by the City of Lyon and listed as a historic monument in 1995.

Source: Lyon History Museum - Musées Gadagne • To find out more


Une toute petite histoire de lumière

Thursday 5 and Sunday 8 from 7 pm to 11 pm
Friday 6 and Saturday 7 from 8 pm to midnight

The show is about to light up the square when suddenly the equipment grinds to a halt. The museum façade stays blank. Behind the scenes, you can hear the engineers tinkering around. But once the square is bathed in darkness, you gradually perceive lights which we are no longer used to seeing in our city nightscape. Then the proportions change and we are walking on the clouds in a dreamlike state, everything is topsy turvy. This is a poetic incursion behind the scenes, a tribute to the engineers who pull the strings, which makes us wonder how we could survive without electricity.

> Une toute petite histoire de lumière