Lyon Opera House, Lyon

Lyon Opera House, Lyon

A successful amalgamation of the old and new, the Lyon Opera House is in fact the third incarnation of an opera house on this site.

The original one was built in 1756, designed by Jacques-Germain Soufflot. By 1826 the building had proven too small and had to be pulled down. Another, larger theater, featuring Neo-Classical style, was built in its place in 1830 by architects Pollet and Chenavard.

That edifice, in turn, was also considered small and outdated in the mid 20th century, upon which a competition was launched to build a renovated and enlarged version. The competition was won by Jean Nouvel in 1986.

Nouvel kept only the façade and made more space by having basement areas dug out for rehearsal rooms. On top of the building, above the statues of the Muses, he added a steel-and-glass cylinder that is seen today. This allowed to hide the rather ugly fly tower and is now mostly used by the ballet. The magnificent lobby retained the original stucco work, gilts and frescoes, tall arched windows and several lovely chandeliers. The main auditorium is oval shaped and has six levels of galleries.

If you consider taking in a play, opera or ballet, whilst in Lyon, don’t hesitate to book your tickets here. There are wonderful views of the city to be enjoyed from the dome’s terrace too.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Lyon. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Lyon Opera House on Map

Sight Name: Lyon Opera House
Sight Location: Lyon, France (See walking tours in Lyon)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Lyon, France

Create Your Own Walk in Lyon

Create Your Own Walk in Lyon

Creating your own self-guided walk in Lyon is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Historical Religious Buildings Walking Tour

Lyon's beautiful religious buildings showcase the richness of the city's culture and architecture. All the churches on this tour date back centuries and capture the architectural style popular at the time when they were built. Take this self-guided tour to discover the best-known and the most beautiful religious buildings in Lyon.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 Km or 1.7 Miles
Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

Lyon Introduction Walking Tour

The city of Lyon – capital of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region – has been around for 2,000 years, sitting at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Established in 43 BC as a settlement for Roman refugees of war, it was also the capital of the Gauls at the time of the Roman Empire; two Emperors – Claudius and Caracalla – were born here. Due to its foundation on the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Food Tour in Lyon

Food Tour in Lyon

In addition to its architectural beauty, Lyon is also known as the food capital of France. An ideal place to discover French cuisine and to fall in love with it, there is no shortage of addresses in Lyon to stock up on quality and delicious products, be it the Halles de Lyon market or the Georges Reynon charcuterie, to mention but a few. If you want to treat your taste buds to something truly...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Lyon's Architectural Landmarks

Lyon's Architectural Landmarks

Founded by the Romans in the 1st century B.C., over the course of the past millennium Lyon played a major role in the political, cultural and economic development of Europe. The city's long history is clearly imprinted in its urban fabric, manifested in numerous buildings of various epochs and styles. To explore some of Lyon's most notable architectural landmarks, embark on this...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.1 Km or 2.5 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip


Gastronomic Delights: 10 Places to Buy Great Food in Lyon, France

Gastronomic Delights: 10 Places to Buy Great Food in Lyon, France

The city of Lyon is famous for its contribution to the culinary arts. Here food lovers will find hundreds of specialty shops throughout the city offering some of the world's finest and award-winning products fit to delight any epicurean palate. Let your taste buds lead you on this voyage into...