6th arrondissement of Lyon, France

The 6th arrondissement of Lyon is one of nine districts of Lyon, French commune located in region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The 6th district is a commercial area, mainly around the Franklin Roosevelt course and the Avenue de Saxe. It is often described as the most posh and chic arrondissement in Lyon. Its wide avenues (.boulevard des Belges, rue Duquesne, cours Franklin-Roosevelt) and its squares, notably that of Maréchal-Lyautey, are lined with beautiful old buildings and mansions. Most of those on Boulevard des Belges have a view of Tête d’Or Park.

The 6th arrondissement of Lyon has an exceptional heritage. The Tête-d’Or park, a masterpiece of the Bühler brothers with its emblematic gates, remains a key location in the 6th district. For anyone interested in the architecture and heritage of the 19th and 20th centuries, crossing the Rhône holds many surprises. Buildings on Place Lyautey to those in Cité Internationale, from hotels on Boulevard des Belges to the first building in Lyon (Palais Flore), from the HBM group (cheap housing) on rue Bossuet to residences from the 1960s. 1970 is a true story of human habitation in contemporary times that takes shape before the eyes of the visitor, combining modernity and quality of life.

The 6th arrondissement is an old area of alluvial flood plains of the Rhone: the last 15 000 years the river carries sand and pebbles and these alluvial deposits accumulate to form the islands of brotaux and lones. The landscape is changing: the main bed of the Rhône passes before 1730 in the middle of what will become the Tête d’Or park. Farms are located on the islands least exposed to submersion: those of Tête d’Or, Bellecombe, Emeraude. But the activity was not only agricultural: the Lyonnais came to walk and have fun in more or less authorized taverns. The puppeteer Cardinely made several seasons at the Brotteaux, starting in 1777.

This sector of the left bank of the river fell for centuries under the Dauphiné then the Guillotière which was attached to Lyon in 1852 forming the 3rd arrondissement of the city. It was not until December 8, 1866that the 6th arrondissement was born. The Hospices Civils de Lyon and the Consulate owned a large part of the land from the 17th century on this side of the Rhône.

The first major development of the Rhône was decided in 1759: the construction of the Tête d’Or dyke which made it possible to divert the river towards Caluire. In 1764, the engineer Morand planned the extension of the city to the east of the river, due to the overcrowding of the peninsula, on a plan of rectilinear streets intersecting at right angles.

The Peninsula being overpopulated, two projects saw the light of day in the years 1763-1770: that of Perrache who wanted to expand Lyon to the south and that of Morand, who designed a plan to extend Lyon to the east. In 1765 Morand acquired 7 hectares and undertook to subdivide it according to a checkerboard plan, the center of which is a square place (Place Kléber).

This district was linked to the peninsula by a bridge in 1774. Les Brotteaux became a fashionable promenade, the Bellecombe sector retaining a village atmosphere.

The Plaine des Brotteaux is the venue for events organized by Morand for promotional purposes: ascent of the hot air balloon La Gustave le January 15, 1784 then the June 4th(.Élisabeth Tible becomes the first woman in the world to fly aboard an aerostat).

The squire Franconi had a wooden circus built at Les Brotteaux in 1786, quickly replaced by a stone construction, destroyed during the siege of Lyon.

From 1789 to 1792 revolutionary festivals were held there. The Siege of Lyon, considered in a state of rebellion, touches the Brotteaux: Morand cuts the bridge, this will be the main reason for his death sentence in 1794. Almost all the buildings are destroyed, apart from Morand’s house. Then we execute en masse. In 1794, on the occasion of a “Festival of the Supreme Being”, a “mountain” of debris was erected at the corner of current Boileau and Tronchet streets and a monument to Jean-Jacques Rousseau was erected at the tip of Consulate Island. In 1795 a cenotaph was built in memory of the victims of the Siege, but it was destroyed by fire in 1796.

Under the mandate of Mayor Vitton, urbanization is accelerating in this sector, due to the overcrowding of the peninsula and the industrial development of the Guillotière. At the beginning of the 19th century, we witness the development of workers’ housing due to the installation of industrial and craft activities. In the middle of the century, the Brotteaux were therefore made up of two contrasting parts on the social level: a bourgeois sector opposed to a more modest working population.

At the start of the 19th century, the economic circumstances and the land policy of the Hospices which were reluctant to sell their property were not favorable to the development of housing. Short-term rentals and the obligation to return the land bare at the end of the lease encourage constructions with mud. However, workers’ housing and crafts are expanding: joineries, weaving and dyeing workshops…

A bourgeois district is developing (the nobility, it remains faithful to the district of Ainay) but on a small part of the district.

The installation of equipment accelerated from 1830: the streets of the central part were paved, in 1829-1830 the Lafayette bridge and in 1845 the College footbridge were built. The mayors of La Guillotière, and especially Henri Vitton, will set up an organized district. The street names show the ultra-royalism of the City Council: Place Louis XVI, rue Monsieur, rue Madame, rue des Martyrs (du Siege), rue Elisabeth (sister of Louis XVI), rue Tronchet (defender of Louis XVI), and later rue de Précy. Many will be renamed in 1848. Saint Pothin’s Church was completed in 1843.

Entertainment establishments are multiplying: near the current town hall, the Jardin de Flore of the lemonade maker Antoine Spreafico (installed in 1775), but also the gardens of Paphos. Decrees attempt to regulate country balls, dance halls, and “swing parties”, as well as bowls’ games. “Roller coasters”, a circus, a gymnasium, the Alcazar which hosts balls, concerts, horse races, or even the Winter Garden opened in 1847 are all signs of a playful vocation that is still significant.

The March 24, 1852, the town of Guillotière is fully attached to the city of Lyon, to form the 3 th district (which covered the 3 th, 6th, 7 th and 8 th current districts).

The year 1856 marks a caesura: it is both the year of the flood May 31 at June 3(the strongest known of the last 3 or 4 centuries), the establishment of the railway and the creation of the Tête d’Or park.

The July 17, 1867, the 3rd arrondissement is divided into 2 new arrondissements: the 3rd and the 6th. The prefect of the Rhône, Chevreau, presented this administrative division as a solution “to completely overcome the spirit of individuality of this former municipality” (.la Guillotière) by relying on a social division: the distinction between a district populated by “laborers and workers” and another inhabited by “traders, finance people, rentiers”.

The development of housing continues in parallel with that of activities, which contributes to accentuate the social division of the district. At the edge of the park, luxurious villas appeared at the end of the century. The district of Bellecombe is primarily an area of artisanal activities. The Palais de la Foire was built on the edge of the park from 1917.

The Cité Internationale is completing its development: it now includes a hotel, a casino, cinemas, a contemporary art museum, housing, a leisure park. The Palais des Congrès was enlarged with the construction of a 3000-seat room called the “Amphitheater” and exhibition halls of 7900 m². The establishment of a new hotel is planned.

The city of Lyon is one of three French municipalities currently divided into municipal districts (with Paris and Marseille). The law No.82-1169 of December 31, 1982 relating to the administrative organization of Paris, Lyon, Marseille and public establishments for inter-municipal cooperation, known as the PLM Law after the names of the cities concerned, is the French law which has established the particular administrative status applicable in particular to the city of Lyon. It was adopted in the context of the decentralization law (known as the Deferre Law) of March 2, 1982.

In this context, the PLM law transformed the former district town halls into structures elected at the local level. However, they are not fully-fledged town halls, and in particular do not levy taxes, but distribute the credits delegated to them by the Lyon Town Hall. However, they manage certain municipal facilities, and are consulted by the City of Lyon before certain decisions of local interest.

The 6th arrondissement covers the districts of the Tête d’Or park, the Brotteaux station, the Cité Internationale and the areas of the Foch and Bellecombe places as well as major axes such as Masséna and Thiers-Vitton. Strolling through the districts of the 6th arrondissement, one finds oneself projected into more or less distant times.

The Brotteaux district
The Brotteaux is a district of the 6th district of the city of Lyon. It is located between the Rhône and the railway line that leads to the Part-Dieu station. The urbanization of this area began at the end of the xviii th century under the leadership of the architect and urban planner Jean-Antoine Morand Jouffrey (.1727 – 1794). This district is sometimes called the Morand district.

Between the end of the 19th century and the first decades of the following century, the left bank continued its urbanization around the prefecture and the Brotteaux station, with the construction of important bourgeois buildings. At the site of the station stood a fort known as Brotteaux, the footprint of which covered twelve hectares and stood between the rue des Émeraudes, the cours Lafayette, the avenue Thiers and the rue Waldeck-Rousseau.

From 1865, the downgrading of the fortifications and the destruction of the fort enabled the Brotteaux district to develop around the future station, inaugurated in 1859. It will be destroyed and rebuilt slightly set back from the first in order to clear a vast square by the architects Rascol and d’Arbaut for the PLM company. Development projects are multiplying and a new district begins to take shape around the station and Boulevard Jules-Favre, bounded to the south by Boulevard des Brotteaux and to the north by Boulevard du Nord. In 1909, several streets were opened from Place Jules-Ferry.

If the architecture remains very sober, the influence of Art Nouveau is especially noticeable in the decoration (ironwork of the entrance doors, balconies, glass roofs and stained glass windows in certain alleys). These include the facades of buildings built between 1910 and 1914 on Place Ferry – numbers 1 and 2 with the Brasserie des Brotteaux which has retained its marquise aux griffons – and on Boulevard des Belges with, at the corner of rue Juliette-Récamier, the former Piolat hotel, now Lutetia Holiday Inn, at the corner of rue de Sèze (132, rue de Sèze). Urbanization resumed in the early 1920s with the completion of the blocks located south of Avenue Ferry, rue Waldeck-Rousseau and Boulevard Favre, which saw the construction of the most elegant residential buildings of the moment, including the Palais de Flora which counts for one of the first French skyscrapers.

In 1924, the Lugdunum hotel was built. New equipment appears, such as the Lalande telephone exchange with its imposing bas-reliefs on the facade. Many buildings rose in the interwar period but also factories, like the Voiron-Chartreuse textiles [now Children’s House], rue Waldeck-Rousseau, with its remarkable concrete dome and its glass blocks.

International city
La Cité internationale is a recent district of the city of Lyon. It is located between a loop in the Rhône and the Tête d’Or park. It occupies the space of the former Lyon fair. This site is accessible by the lines, station Cité Internationale-Center de congrès and Cité Internationale-Transbordeur.

Bellecombe is the name of the area which forms the eastern part of the 6th arrondissement of Lyon. It is limited in the rest of the district to the west by the railway line and the north – east by the town of Villeurbanne. The cours Lafayette separates the 3 th district. 2 colleges, a gymnasium and a cinema located in the district also bear this name.

Historical heritage

Boulevard des Belges
Following the decommissioning of the fortifications in 1884 and the destruction of Fort de la Tête-d’Or and the lunette des Charpennes, also following the backfilling of the surrounding ditches, a vast area of nearly 160 -sept hectares are released between the Tête-d’Or park and the Boulevard du Nord. Along the two entrances to the park, no less than twenty-seven plots are offered to the subdivision. But the operation dragged on – the road was not completed until 1895 – and it was not until the early 1890s that the first constructions were created, the plots offering joint ownership with the park being the most popular (odd side).

The idea is to create a residential complex made up of villas, hotels and bourgeois houses on the model of Parc Monceau in Paris. In 1903, the installation of the sumptuous gates designed by Charles Meysson at the main entrance to the park set the tone for the new district by making it part of this prestigious lineage. It was not until 1899 that the first constructions saw the light of day: villas, mansions and castles were built on the odd side, while the even side saw the construction of investment buildings. In 1904, the young Tony Garnier will study a development project on the edge of the park, but his villas will remain in the state of paper architecture.

Among the most imposing constructions of the boulevard, let us quote the building built by the architect Barthélemy Delorme at n ° 1 (1900-1901), the hotel-castle Laurent-Vibert built by François Rostagnat at n ° 15 (1906) with its neo-Renaissance decor or the buildings constructed at n ° 52 and at n ° 54 avenue Verguin by François-Xavier Thoubillon (1909-1910). The villa built at n ° 45 by the architect G. Bouilhères offers a rare example of Art Nouveau decor. Finally, the two hotels designed by Antoine Sainte-Marie-Perrinfor the industrialist Auguste Isaac deserve special mention because of their rustic bosses and the quality of their interior fittings (31, 33).

Boulevard des Belges also has many buildings built in the interwar period, two of which were signed by Marius Bornarel (.14,14 bis and 18) in 1931, offering elegant Art Deco facades, punctuated by bow windows “Dressed” in organ pipes. The Grand Prix de Rome Jacques Perrin-Fayolle will sign the last high-end buildings on the avenue, whether it is the one located at the corner of avenue de Grande-Bretagne (with Félix Brachet, 1961), true prow of the left bank, or of the housing complex built at numbers 9, 10 and 11 of the boulevard in a Corbusian vein. Many villas and hotels have been demolished over the years, including the splendid neo-eighteenth-century hotel at 39 boulevard des Belges designed by Henri-Paul Nénot, the architect of the new Sorbonne and the Palais de la SDN [League of Nations] in Geneva, for Edmond Gillet.

Cultural space

Natural history museum – Guimet
The Natural History Museum – Guimet, museum of natural history of Lyon, is a former museum French located at 28 Boulevard des Belges, near the park of the gold head in the 6th arrondissement of Lyon. In particular, you could see the mammoth of Choulans. Its collections have been transferred to the Musée des Confluences.

The Museum of Contemporary Art
The specific character of the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon lies in its mission of creation and experimentation with a contemporary language. This approach is reflected as well in the choice of works, their diversity, their origin, their purpose, their dimensional characteristics, materials and technologies, as in their representation, always renewed… creating a dialogue, an interactivity between the works themselves. same, between the public and the works. This creative mission dictates the dynamics of the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon in its adaptability to works through the flexibility of its museography and its spaces. Indeed, these are modular so as to offer the exhibition surfaces necessary for the creation. With each exhibition, a new museum opens its doors.

Beyond this specificity, the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Lyon has, like any museum, two traditional missions: heritage and audiences. As far as heritage is concerned, it is a question of constituting a collection, that is to say: to conserve, but also to inventory, restore, study this heritage of contemporary creation. The museum is pursuing an unprecedented policy here. Indeed, the collection of about 700 works, is also composed of works created directly by the artists on site. Each year the museum publishes catalogs and studies devoted to the exhibitions it organizes.

Nature spaces
On the natural side, your arrondissement offers you many nearby parks or gardens, the opportunity to take advantage of a green setting, whether for sport, for a family picnic or to cultivate your well-being.

The Tête-d’Or park
Inaugurated in 1857, the Tête-d’Or park still counts today for one of the largest urban parks in France. It covers one hundred and seventeen hectares, of which seven are devoted to the invaluable collections of the botanical garden. It has more than eight thousand eight hundred trees including plane trees that reach forty meters in height, cedars of Lebanon, tulip trees of Virginia, ginkgo biloba, bald cypress and giant sequoias.

In 1637, a lady Lambert bequeathed a large part of her area of Tête-d’Or to the Hôtel-Dieu in Lyon. In 1735, a large expanse of “breteaux” was acquired by the same hospital. The idea of making these places a large public park could not fail to be imposed. On March 14, 1856, the prefect Vaïsse treated with the Hospices for the acquisition by the City of the area of Tête-d’Or (so named because it was said that a treasure with a head of Christ in gold was hidden there).

The brothers Denis and Eugène Bühler, renowned landscapers, were responsible for designing and implementing the construction of a park according to the English model, very fashionable under the Second Empire. It is made up of a large lawn and long wings, a sixteen hectare lake, a small alpine valley with trees, a belvedere, a small wood, a botanical and zoological garden, many play areas plus four rose gardens, a large greenhouse and two smaller greenhouses as well as a velodrome.

In addition to the large greenhouse and the agave greenhouse, designed by Guillaume Bonnet in 1865 – the first was rebuilt from 1877 to 1880 -, the Victoria greenhouse, inaugurated in 1887 (destroyed in 1980), and the orangery, built in the eastern part du parc (Tony Desjardins, 1865-1871), it is truly the 20th century that will leave its most lasting imprint. We can mention in particular the guards’ pavilion with its regionalist accents, which is one of Eugène Huguet’s masterpieces (1908-1909), the pier with Art Nouveau lines (Étienne Curny, 1913), the vacherieby Tony Garnier (1904) – the architect’s first public commission – and above all the imposing monument to the dead of the First World War built by the same architect on Île aux Cygnes.

In 1932, Île aux Cygnes was to be linked to the banks by an underground passage. Shortly after, in 1932-1933, a new velodrome was built on the same site as that laid out during the 1894 International Exhibition. The park pavilion was rebuilt in turn in 1963. The same period saw the creation of the new rose garden (1961-1964).

More recently, the development of the African plain, a giraffe and a zebra building (Ellipse architectes, Jacqueline Osty paysagiste, 2006) has brought a contemporary touch to this exceptional environment. Historic monuments inscription: gate at the main entrance with its pillars also known as the Porte des Enfants du Rhône, place du Général-Leclerc; gate or Montgolfier gate, avenue Verguin; war memorial on Remembrance Island; Dutch greenhouse; two large greenhouses; greenhouse known as Camellias and greenhouse Pandanus.