Ground floor

  • Lucius Munatius Plancus

    Julius Caesar's Lieutenant during the conquest of Gaul ,Proconsul of "Hairy Gaule", he founded the Roman colony of Lugdunum (Lyon) in 43 BC.

  • L'Empereur Claude

    Emperor Claudius (Tiberius Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus) is the fourth Roman emperor of Gaul and the first to be born outside Italy, in Lugdunum (now Lyon). During his reign, he promotes Roman citizenship to many cities in the provinces, particularly in Gaul where he was born, giving access to many provincials to Roman Senate. Thankful, delegates of Gaul decide to transcript his speech on an ancient bronze tablet called " la Table Claudienne".

  • Giovanni Da Verrazzano

    Born in Lyon from the union of Alessandro di Bartolomeo da Verrazzano and Jeanne de Gadagne, he spent his youth in the city, returning several times during his brief but adventurous life. His kinship with the rich family Gadagne explains the unrestricted financial support that the banker Thomas Gadagne (probably his uncle) gave him for his expeditions. Missioned by King François Ist to explore the area between Florida and Terre Neuve to find an access to the Pacific Ocean, he discovered in April 17th 1524 the Bay of New York, that he named after the King (Count of Angoulême) "New Angoulême". Americans honored in 1944 the Italian-Lyonnais by giving his name to the longest suspended bridge in the world.

  • Thomas Gadagne

    Trained by the well-known Pazzi Family, bankers in Florence, he creates his own financial institution in Lyon, thus becoming the richest man of the city. He is the most important spice merchant of his time. He lents money to different French Kings to help them support their military actions in Italy. He also contributes to finance an expedition to the New World.

  • Sebastien Gryphe

    Known for being one of the greatest printers of his time, he introduces the paper book in France. His friends are François Rabelais and Erasme. He greatly contributes to making Lyon one of the major centers of dissemination and outreach of humanist ideas.

  • François Rabelais

    Clergyman, doctor at the Hôtel Dieu hospital in Lyon, he is also a major Renaissance humanist thinker and writer. He publishes in Lyon his main known work, Pantagruel, Gargantua, le Tiers Livre and le Quart Livre. His joyful freedom in using all sorts of canonical forms, the wide scope, richness and inventiveness of his glossary led him to become a major precursor of modern novels.

  • Philibert de l'Orme

    Born in Lyon, he is known as one of the major French Renaissance architects. He magnificently embodies the French elegance. He claims the title of “Le Lyonnais” , a Gallican reaction against the Panitalianism of his period (French tradition in opposition to Italian influences). He designed for Catherine de Mecidis the Tuileries, the gallery at Chenonceau, and many other castles such as Fontainebleau, a part of the Louvre, as well as many buildings in the Old Lyon. He also built the tomb of King François Ier at the Royal Basilica of Saint Denis.

  • Louise Labé

    Louise Labé is a female French Poet of the Renaissance born in Lyon, where she spends all her life. Pupil and muse of Maurice Scève in Lyon’s lively literary circle, they form with Pernette du Guillet the "School of Lyon" which marks the Renaissance romantic poetry. She asserts women’s rights to independent thinking, freedom of speech and education. She dies in 1522 giving her immense fortune to Lyon's poor people.

  • Horace Cardon

    Native of Aragon, he becomes one of the most important printers and booksellers in the city of Lyon, mainly thanks to his relationships with the Jesuits for whom he publishes works all over the world. His printing workshop located at the corner of Rue de la Monnaie and Rue Mercière is the most attended of Lyon. After having bravely and victoriously defended the city against the League, he is ennobled in 1605 and becomes Lord of La Roche. He is appointed alderman of Lyon. His name Cardon directly put next to the name Roche gives birth to the Rochecardon name.

  • Claude François Menestrier

    Born in Lyon, Jesuit, he teaches as a professor in the college of La Trinité in Lyon Presqu’île. Well-known theologian, images philosopher, he advocates a certain aesthetic of the incarnated spirit that foreshadows the French good taste of the Great Century. Expert in symbolic and heraldry, he is regarded as a great organizer of events and festivities. We owe him many royal festivities organized for Louis XIV and the creation of a classical ballet during his visit to Lyon in 1658.

  • Antoine Coysevox

    Born in Lyon, sculptor and portraitist of King Louis XIV. His boldness and baroque virtuosity is in real contradiction with the Girardon’s classicism. He embodies the French good Taste. He collaborates with Charles Le Brun and Jules Hardouin-Mansart on the decoration of the Palace of Versailles. He also designs the tomb of Cardinal Mazarin and a great number of medallions and busts of King Louis XIV. The most famous is the large medallion paying tribute to Louis XIV’s victories during exposed at the Palace of Versailles in the War Room.

  • Étienne Turquet

    From an Italian backround, he develops in Lyon an important sewing and textile trade industry. In cooperation with Barthelme Naris, he obtains in 1536, from the King François Ier, tax exemptions allowing him to establish silk production in Lyon. The goal of the King, involved in the Italian wars, is clearly to stop the commercial monopoly of one of his most fearful enemies. Turquet and Naris greatly contributed to the development of the silk industry that lasted for over four centuries, and made the fortune and reputation of the city of Lyon.

  • Pierre Poivre

    Born in Lyon, he studied at the seminary of Foreign Missions. In an epic mission of evangelization in China, he is imprisoned in Canton and loses an arm on his way back. Located in the French colony of Vietnam (Cochinchine), he discovers the virtues of nutmeg and clove. He smuggles plants into the Ile of France (current Ile Maurice). Having helped break the Dutch monopoly on spices and expand the influence of the French East Indies Company, he is made intendant of the Mascareignes Islands. Back in Lyon, he indulges in criticism of slavery and colonial excesses.

Level 1

  • Jeanne Barret

    Born in the north of Lyon, she starts working as maid for Doctor Philibert Commerçon who sees her potential, teaches her botanics and makes her his mistress. To circumvent French law at this time prohibiting women on royal ships, she joins the Bougainville’s expedition disguised as Commerçon's valet. She is the first woman ever to have done a round-the- world trip in a boat.

  • Sully Prudhomme

    Rene Francois Armand Prudhomme known as Sully Prudhomme is one of the most famous poets of his time. He received in 1901 the first Nobel Prize for Literature. Before reaching literary fame with his Parnassians and intimate lines (Les Solitudes in 1869) or philosophical (Justice in 1878), this Parisian spent much of his childhood on the slopes of the Croix Rousse in Lyon. He proudly called himself "Lyonnais from Croix Rousse" which made his will executors commission a sculpture of the poet installed at Bellevue Square in 1914, down from Gros Cailloux.

  • Joseph Marie Jacquard

    Born in Lyon, son of a Canut (Lyon silk weaver) “master-manufacturer”, he performed several jobs in the silk industry but also all sorts of printing works. Having studied mechanics alone, he builds in 1802 a loom called “the Jacquard loom” using series of punched cards to raise wrap threads.

  • Jean Baptiste Say

    Born in Lyon, in an industrial Huguenot family, he is an avid reader of Adam Smith and spreads his ideas. He is considered as the first great classical French economist. Liberal, we owe him the “Say’s Law”or “the Law of Markets” which states that aggregate production necessarily creates an equal quantity of aggregate demand allowing market to regulate itself.

  • Laurent Mourguet

    Born in Lyon, he started as a silk worker (Canut) and then became a street tooth puller. In order to distract his patients from pain, he reinvents the Polichinelle character using puppets. Giving up pliers, he creates his own characters: Guignol (the Canut) and his buddy Gnafron (the shoe repairer). Cheerful anarchist before time, cheeky and sometimes slightly mocking, he embodies the Lyon’s popular spirit. Due to the increasing success encountered, he set up his own puppet theater (Castelet) in a coffee shop called Le Café du Caveau and located Place des Célestins in Lyon. Mourguet invented the very first Theater Café.

  • Benjamin Delessert

    French naturalist, botanist, and manufacturer born in Lyon, he witnessed the English industrial revolution and was a strong supporter of modern ideas. He introduced the steam engine in the family owned factories and worked out with Jean-Baptist Queruel the Bontemps process based on sugar beet extraction. Politician fully involved in social action and in developing in France the English model of savings bank, he is regarded as the “father of workers “. He also founded a cotton factory in Lyon. He is the cousin of Louis Say (who becomes BEGHIN SAY well known French Sugar Factory).

  • André Marie Ampère

    Born in Lyon, from philosophy (according to him “the only real important science”) to electrodynamics, he has explored all fields of knowledge. He applied mathematics in physics of his time. He founded the electromagnetism theory and we owe him most of its todays existing terms. His name is one of the seventy two scientist names inscribed on the Eiffel Tower. Inventor of the solenoid, the electrical telegraph and the electromagnet, his name Ampere is the international standard unit of electric current intensity.

  • Juliette Récamier

    Born and raised in Lyon, woman of witt and society person, her fashionable salon was, from the Consulate to the end of July Monarchy, a gathering place for some of the most influential political and literary figures. Friend of Germaine de Staël, she shared her little inclination for Napoleon. Fascinated by Antique, Etruscan and Greek style art, she imposed her taste . The so called “Récamier” couch, a backless day bed having two raised ends but nothing on the long side in which she liked to recline, was named after her. She greatly influenced the french taste for art under the Empire.

  • Barthélémy Thimonnier

    Born near Lyon, son of a cotton manufacturer, he studied at Saint Jean seminary in Lyon before becoming a tailor. He invented the first sewing machine called the “couseuse à fil continu” (sewing machine with continuous thread fed) .The patent for this machine was issued in 1830.

  • François Barthélemy Arlès-Dufour

    Elected at the age of 35 at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lyon, he played an important role in the industrial development of the city with the organization of the railway line between Lyon and Paris. He was also the initiator of the Canal de Suez project. In terms of financial performances, he created in 1863 the Credit Lyonnais Bank. He is also known for his many humanist actions. He founded the International and Permanent League for Peace together with the journalist Emile de Girardin and the pacifist Frédéric Passy. He also contributed to the development of the Saint-Simonianism in France (liberal position based on social justice) whose maxim states: “All social institutions must aim to continuous improvement of all sorts of moral, intellectual and physical responsibilities towards the poorest and vulnerable social class”.

  • Paul CHENAVARD

    French painter from the “Lyon School” and great thinker influenced by Hegelian spiritualism, he is friends with Delacroix and attends the literary salon of Madam Berthe de Rayssac. Supporter of philosophical art, he designed the decoration of the Pantheon, ordered by Sir Ledru-Rollin, as a ”universal palingenisia”, syncretic and encyclopedic synthesis of the History of Humanity. But this order was finally cancelled and the initial cardboards are still remaining in the Beaux-Arts Museum in Lyon.

  • Clairville

    At first actor and theater director in Lyon, he is better known under the nickname of “Clairville”. Under this name, he has been one of the most prolific 19th Century French librettists. He is credited with over six hundred plays, four hundred of them published and performed, thus earning the title of the "Alexander Dumas of the operetta”. We owe him the operetta of “Les Cloches de Corneville”, known in English as "The Bells of Corneville" or "The Chimes of Normandy" still being performed today.

  • Claude Bernard

    Born near the City of Lyon, physiologist doctor, and strong supporter of the positivist approach, he is the creator of experimental medicine and modern biology. We owe him today's knowledge of the glycogenic function of the liver and understanding of how insulin affects diabetes. He has received many awards (from both the Academy of Science and the Academy of Medicine). His wife founded the French S.P.A. (Animals Protection Society). The scientific pole of Lyon Universities is named Claude Bernard Lyon I University in his honor.

  • Henri Germain

    Born in Lyon, banker and great financial counsellor, discreet but influent politician, his life has been closely linked to the Credit Lyonnais Bank history. He has been one of its founder and main leader from 1863 to 1905. He wrote the "Doctrine Germain" which advocates the strict splitting between deposit and investment banks to limit excessive risk-taking in terms of investment. He was the first president of the “Société d’enseignement professionnel du Rhône” (Teaching company for professionals in Rhône department) founded by Arlès-Dufour.

  • Julie Victoire Daubié

    First French woman allowed to take the Baccalaureate exam in Lyon, her registration request was initially rejected by the Paris Academy. She obtained the degree in August 17th, 1861. Eminent Latinist, she was also the first woman, in October 28th, 1871, to graduate ès Lettres from the University of Paris-Sorbonne, in spite of being banned from attending class. She demonstrated great enthusiasm for Saint-Simonian ideas and strove to improve women education. In 1844, she wrote a reference book called 19th Century poor women.

  • Pierre Marie Bossan

    Born in Lyon, he was the pupil of well-known French architect Henri Labrouste and won in 1850 the architecture award Grand Prix de Rome. After his return from an initiatic journey in architecture in the South of Italy and fascinated by the byzantine art, he created a “Greek-Roman-Gothic” new architectural style. He became one of the most famous ecclesiastic architects of his time. His most famous work is Our Lady of Fourvière Basilica. He also built the “Couvent de la Visitation”, completed in 1854, where is hosted today Fourvière Hotel.

  • Clair Tisseur

    Born in Lyon, French writer and architect. He built several churches in the region as well as the Town hall of the 2nd arrondissement in Lyon. He is the founder and unique member of the “Académie Gourguillon” (a sort of local cultural society). Fascinated by the history of Lyon, he worked together with many newspapers and published many humorous works including in 1879 Les Vielleries Lyonnaises (Lyonnaise Oldies), in 1885 the Très humble traité de phonétique lyonnaise (The modest textbook of Lyonnaise phonetics, transcription of local words or expressions) and in 1894 the famous Littré de la Grand’Côte, popular dictionary with Lyonnaise anecdotes and expressions people had long forgotten, published under the pen name of Nizier du Puitspelu.

  • Émile Guimet

    Industrialist from Lyon (he took over the Pechiney Company founded by his father, inventor of the Bleu Guimet, an artificial ultramarine blue color), ethnologist and art collector, he was fascinated by the civilizations he discovered and studied during his many trips particularly to Egypt and Japan. He founded in Lyon the Guimet Museum, conceived as a "scientific factory". His art collections from Far East gave birth to the Guimet Museum of Asian Arts in Paris.

  • Ernest Chantre

    Prominent naturalist, archaeologist and anthropologist from Lyon, he was a great specialist of countries such as Caucasus, Armenia and Anatolia. Assistant Manager of the Natural History Museum of Lyon, he founded the “Anthropology Society” of Lyon. He was also a great photographer.

  • Louis Jean-Baptiste Lépine

    Born in Lyon, he was an eminent lawyer, a French politician and became Prefect of Police for Paris (Seine). He founded the “Brigade criminelle” a dedicated unit against high-profile criminals. We also owe him the creation of the police bicycle unit "les hirondelles", the police emergency call centers , the one-way streets and the pedestrian crossings. In 1901 he founded the famous Lépine competition (French inventions competition) to help hardware dealers and toy manufacturers whose business was in crisis at that time.

  • Lucien Bégule

    Stained-glass painter, photograph and archaeologist from Lyon, he is one of the major figures of the history of stained-glass window art. He created the workshop Atelier de Choulans in his family house located in the 5th arrondissement of Lyon. His technical knowledge and his enthusiasm for innovation, made him win the Paris Universal exhibitions of 1889 and 1900. He worked with well-known French architect Pierre Bossan and was a close friend of the Lumière Brothers.

  • Nizier Anthelme Philippe

    Also known as Maître Philippe de Lyon, he was a famous healer and occultist, follower of the Martinism, a form of esoteric Judeo-Christian cult. He enjoyed a great influence over the Russian Imperial Family and the Tsar Nicholas II gave him the Title of Doctor of Medicine and the rank of Colonel in 1901. He is buried in the Cemetery of Loyasse in Lyon.

  • Pierre Babolat

    Born in Lyon. In 1875, one year after the invention of tennis, he created, at the request of an English tennis racket manufacturer named Bussey, the very first tennis strings made of natural gut. Till then, the Babolat family was specialized in processing sheep guts for cold meats, strings for wind instruments and surgical sutures. The Babolat new activity remained confidential until the brilliant feats in the 1920’s of the French Musketeers, winning the Davis Cup and considered as the “first real great tennis players”. Pioneer in modern sponsoring, the Babolat Company created by Pierre BABOLAT is nowadays a worldwide leader in the tennis industry, for strings as well as rackets.

  • Jean-Joseph Carries

    Sculptor, ceramist and modeller born in Lyon, he was highly admired and gained considerable recognition at the end of the 19th century. Keen to do things well, and inspired by naturalism and symbolism, he created hybrid figures giving to his work an oneiric and melancholic tone. In 1893 he sculpted perhaps his most famous work entitled Faune (Faunus) exhibited at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.

  • Hippolyte Flandrin

    Born in Lyon, he was a pupil of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. After being awarded with the Grand Prix de Rome in 1832, he moved to the Villa Medicis. His work became famous, such as Young shepherd sitting (1835, Musée des Beaux Arts de Lyon), Young male nude seated beside the Sea (1837, Musée du Louvre), Napoléon III (1862, Musée du château de Versailles) and he enjoyed great success as a portraitist. At the same time he was commissioned to paint the decoration of churches. Dubbed the "new Fra Angelico", he is considered a central figure in the revival of religious painting in the 19th century. He received two orders from the city of Lyon: one that he completed at the Saint-Martin d'Ainay Church; the second remained at the planning stage for the ceiling of the City Hall. In Paris, he created murals for St. Severin and Saint-Germain-des-Prés Churches, as well as the nave of St. Vincent de Paul Church. He is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris.

  • Xavier Privas

    Born in Lyon. Songwriter under the pseudonym of Xavier Privas, poet, "goguettier" and composer, he received the yet flattering but low-paying title "Prince of Songwriters" by his peers in 1899. He was said to be "a romantic heart in the body of Porthos". Anxious to keep alive French song, he founded the Society "Songs for all", which aimed to teach to the public the old songs of France.

  • Frères Lumière

    The Lumière brothers applied for over 170 patents, mainly in the area of photography. They are considered as the great inventors of cinema as a moving picture projected in front of gathered people.

  • Louis Lumière

    Industrialist and photographer from Lyon, Louis Lumière is the inventor of the Cinematograph motion picture camera replacing the Thomas Edison’s Kinetograph camera. He shooted in 1895 the film called Le jardinier (The gardener) becoming later on L’arroseur arrosé (The sprinkler sprinkled) being considered as the first fiction in the motion picture industry.

  • Auguste Lumière

    Chemist and biologist from Lyon, he gave his name to many medication and processes still used in Medicine such as the paraffin tulle. He invented, with his brother Louis, the instant photographic plates, the Blue Label Plates, sold in 28 different sizes, and which made the Lumière brothers rich. We also owe them the first color photography process named the “Autochrome”. Fascinated by Edison’s Kinetograph, they revolutionized the mechanism of intermittent movement using a device similar to the one found in the their mother's sewing machine. They are therefore the creators of the Cinematograph (device combining camera with printer and projector) making possible the screening in public of moving pictures.

  • Hector Guimard

    Architect and decorator born in Lyon, he is one the best-known representatives of the Art Nouveau style. He created the famous entrance canopies of the Paris Metro.

  • Famille Gillet

    The Gillet Family is a major family dynasty in Lyon's textile industry, pioneer in the introduction of chemistry in this industry.

  • François Gillet

    Born in the “Monts du Lyonnais”, he is an emblematic figure of social Catholicism of his time, embodying the spirit and dynamism of the 19th century industrialists of Lyon. He developed in the textile industry a new chemical process allowing to obtain a black color with unequaled shimmering effect called the noir imperial (imperial black), that was a very fashionable color during the Second Empire. Thanks to this invention, his company developed fast, growing from 70 to 350 employees in three years time, from 1850 to 1853, to reach 1200 in 1870. He also changed the dyers practices offering a new wide range of materials based on plants, animals and minerals used in chemistry.

  • Joseph Gillet

    Born in Lyon, he transformed his father's business into a major dyeing company, doing business worldwide, and in which artificial textiles such as artificial silk or viscose gained a more prominent position. He also played a decisive role in creating in Lyon The School of industrial chemistry in 1883.

  • Joseph Gillet

    Born in Lyon, he transformed his father's business into a major dyeing company, doing business worldwide, and in which artificial textiles such as artificial silk or viscose gained a more prominent position. He also played a decisive role in creating in Lyon The School of industrial chemistry in 1883.

Level 2

  • Tony Garnier

    Born in Lyon, Tony Garnier has revolutionized the early XXth century architecture by embracing new concepts in city planning. In this sense, he is regarded as the very first urbanist architect. Aware from an early age with housing issues due to his Canut silk worker origins, he worked at a project of a futurist industrial city during his stay at the Villa Medicis, after winning the Grand Prix de Rome in Architecture in 1899. His major works in Lyon are the Gerland Stadium, la Grande Halle slaughterhouse, and the “Etats-Unis” district located in the 8th arrondissement of Lyon.

  • Laurent Bonnevay

    Born near Lyon, “defender of the old workers and abandoned women”, Laurent Bonnevay is one of the XXth century key political figures in France. Moderate republican “but not moderatly republican", he was one of the “Vichy 80” Parliament members who refused to vote full powers to Maréchal PETAIN in 1940. Appointed Minister of Justice in 1948, he is the father of the very first law on French social housing and he created in 1972 the H.B.M ( “Habitations Bon Marché” low-cost housing) and the H.L.M in the Rhône region (“Habitation à Loyer Modéré” low-cost rent) today known as O.P.A.C. The Lyon ring road “Boulevard Périphérique” bears his name.

  • Antoine Mathias

    Born in Lyon, graduate engineer from the Ecole Centrale of Lyon, batch 1891 laureate, entrepreneur, Judge and President of the Commercial Court of Lyon between 1926 and 1933, he is the grandfather of Jean Luc Mathias, the èhôtels-Lyon designer.

  • Valentine de Saint-Point

    Born in Lyon, great-granddaughter of French poet Alphonse de Lamartine, this woman of letters with a sharp mind has been one the key figures during the Belle Epoque period (1900-1930). She was known as a writer, poet, painter, playwright, art critic, choreographer, lecturer, journalist and a great feminist. She is the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane. Converted to Islam religion, she moved to Egypt (Cairo) and worked as an acupuncture and dowsing consultant until her death. She is buried in Cairo cemetery.

  • Gabriel Voisin

    Born near Lyon from an industrial foundry family, he was an innovative and prolific engineer whose ideas revolutionized not only emerging civil and military aircraft sector but also the car industry. We owe him the first experimental seaplane flight in 1905 called The Duck and the invention of metallic tubular frames instead of wooden frames used at that time. He also designed and produced cars and many French presidential cars were Voisin in the twenties.

  • Ninon Vallin

    Joséphine-Eugénie, known as “Ninon”, was born near Lyon. She was a lyric soprano opera singer. Awarded first prize from the Music Conservatory of Lyon in 1906, she achieved an international career under the auspices of Claude Debussy. She had a considerable popularity in operas worldwide, captivating South America. In 1953, she founded the Montevideo Music Conservatory. Back to Lyon, she retired from the stage at the age of seventy-one years old. She taught lyric art at the Music Conservatory of Lyon until she died.

  • Blanc et Demilly

    Antoine Demilly formed with his brother-in-law Théo Blanc a duo of photographers whose signature is essential in the history of photography. Thanks to their complementarity and their capacity for technical innovation, they earned the respect and friendship of the greatest of their time, whose portrait they did. Artists such as Maurice Utrillo, Pablo Picasso, Edouard Herriot or the Lumière brothers regularly visited their gallery located rue Carnot in Lyon. Blanc & Demilly surely left a trace of their art in every bourgeois family of Lyon, immortalizing throughout their careers all the exciting events that mark a life, such as baptism, first communion, engagement, wedding... Their relationship started when they got married to the two daughters of Edouard Bron.

  • Pierre Scize

    Of his real name Michel-Joseph Piot, he was a major court reporter for the « Figaro » newspaper, covering the well known trials of the « Legal Purge » that followed the Liberation of France, the Marshal Pétain trial, the Nuremberg trials, and also the major criminal cases of the post-war years such as Petiot and Dominici. He first studied dramatic art in the Lyon Conservatory but a severe World War I injury forced him to give up his theater career. However, he owes to the city his pen name, in memory of the eponymous quay.

  • Antoine de Saint Exupéry

    Born in Lyon, he made his first flight in 1912 in the Bugey region, near Lyon. Writer and poet, this aviator, pioneer of the French airmail industry, provided flight connections with Saint-Louis of Senegal. Simultaneously, he published novels and essays inspired by his experiences as an aviator, such as Vol de nuit or Terre des Hommes. He is the writer of the Petit Prince, a tale full of humanity famous worldwide. His plane disappeared at sea during a mission in Provence.

  • Henri Cochet

    Born in Lyon, his father was an employee of the Tennis Club of Lyon. Self-taught tennis player, he improved his technique while playing with his sister. Nicknamed The Wizard, he is one of the famous Four Musketeers French tennis players (Borotra, Brugnon, Cochet and Lacoste) who dominated the game between the 20s and the 30s. World Number 1 tennis player in 1928, he also won seven Grand Slam single titles and six times the Davis Cup, between 1927 and 1932.

  • Jean Boiron

    Doctor in Pharmacy, he created in Lyon the Rhodanian Homeopathic Pharmacy (PHR) which became by merging with Modern Homeopathic Laboratories, the world famous Boiron Laboratories. In 2003, Boiron became the world number one producer of homeopathic medicine.

  • Jacqueline Delubac

    Born in Lyon, this stylish French actress of the interwar period represented the quintessence of the Parisian refinement. Sacha Guitry was her Pygmalion, married her as his third wife highlighting the fact that having the double of her age, it was fair that she became his half. At her death, in 1997, she bequeathed to her hometown a great number of her modern and contemporary art pieces.

  • Marcel Teppaz

    Technician and mechanic from Lyon, he had the idea to replace the phonograph's handle mechanical drive by a small electric motor. He thus invented in Lyon in 1941, the record player. He was alone on the French market to manufacture this product. In the early 50s, he developed the portable record player. The Teppaz, then produced industrially in Croix-Rousse, Lyon's 4th arrondissement , became an icon at young people's parties in the 70’s. His model Oscar, sold at millions of copies worldwide, earned him the Oscar for best French company in 1962.

  • Pierre Grivet

    Born in Lyon, student at the Lycée du Parc and graduated from the Ecole Normale Supérieure , he was one of the pioneers of the opto-electronics sector. Detected very early by famous masters, he was then entrusted with the creation of an electronic microscope to counteract unquestioned German superiority and breakthroughs in the sector at that time. In 1944, he creates the first model in the Pasteur Institute. His scientific investigations in electrophysics and electromagnetic fields remained authority until the 60’s.

  • Henri Grouès, dit l’abbé Pierre

    Born in Lyon in the popular borough of La Guillotière  (7th arrondissement of Lyon), Henri GROUES, best known as Abbot Pierre, is one of the outstanding figures of the 20th century in regards to his charitable and social actions. Friar Minor, he wore the large cape of his religious Order. He is also known for having been a great resistant fighter from the very begining of the Word War II and wore until he died the béret des maquisards (beret worn by the members of the resistance). Shocked by the misery of people after the war, he became deputy in 1949 and founded the Emmaus communities to help poor and homeless people. He also managed to raise funds, after his public call on February 1st 1954, for the construction of social housing. His action and leadership inspired the creation by French Actor Coluche of Resto du Coeur (Restaurant of the Heart, feeding poor and homeless people for free). Many other charitable movements are still inspired by his actions.

  • Antoine Riboud

    Industrialist and businessman from Lyon, he founded the worldwide famous Danone Group (dairy and food products). He started first the merger of two glass manufacturers Souchon-Neuvesel glassworks and Glaces de Boussois, to form the Boussois Souchon-Neuvesel (BSN) group. Later on, the BSN Group and the Gervais Danone Company merged to form the Danone Group. Always concerned with the idea that economic and social improvements have to be linked, he was considered as a left-wing employer. He was also a strong defender of the sustainable growth concept.

  • Frédéric Dard

    Born in Lyon, Frédéric Dard grew up in the borough of Brotteaux  (6th arrondissement of Lyon) and started as a journalist for the local newspaper The Month in Lyon. Later he devoted himself to his passion for writing detective fiction series using different pen names inspired from American crime novels, such as Peter Cheyney. In 1949, he published under the pseudonym of San Antonio the book Réglez-lui son compte ! (Settle His Hash!). He started a great career of thriving writer, with his famous characters, the police superintended San Antonio and the inspector Bérurier. One hundred and seventy-five San Antonio adventures have been published. He was also a playwright, working closely with Robert Hossein, a well-known French scriptwriter.

  • Maurice Jarre

    Born in Lyon, he started his career as an engineer before devoting himself to his real passion : “the sound”. Great drummer, he became the most important French music composer for stage and film in the second part of the 20th century. He was three times awarded with the Oscar of the best soundtrack for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia in 1962, Doctor Zhivago in 1965, and A passage to India in 1984. We owe him the famous song “Lara theme”.

  • Jacques Deray

    Born in Lyon from a family of local industrialists, Jacques Desrayaud, became famous under the name of Jacques Deray. He was one of the greatest French thriller movie directors from the second half of the 20th century. Chosen by French actor Alain Delon to become his regular film director after La Piscine produced in 1969, he directed the most important actors of his time. He adapted on screen the most famous French thriller writers from Simenon to Manchette. In 2005, his friends Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Frémaux created in his honor the Jacques Deray Award for French thriller movies.

  • Christian Marin

    Born in Lyon, with an atypical physical, he was one of the major supporting French film and television actors in the late twentieth century, however admitting a preference for the theater where he played more than forty roles, both classical and boulevard (commercial theatre). From 1964, he impersonated the character of Maréchal des Logis Albert Merlot in the cult film Le gendarme de Saint-Tropez alongside Louis de Funès, and he was also the hilarious Lieutenant Ernest Laverdure, with his buddy Jacques Santi who played Tanguy, in Sky Fighters, a hugely successful television series from 1967 to 1969 adapted from Charlier's and Uderzo's comic strips, making the characters Laverdure and Tanguy a part of popular Francophone culture.

  • Jacques Martin

    Born in Lyon, grandson of Joanes Ducerf, kitchen chef of the Tsar Nicolas II, he was an actor, a radio and television presenter, and a major French television producer. After starting in theater in 1949, he continued his career in music hall as humorist, with his friend Jean Yanne. This lover of fine food and bel canto produced and directed between the 70’s and 90’s many popular entertainment TV shows such as Le Petit Rapporteur, L'École des fans ou Dimanche Martin.

  • Alain Chapel

    Born in Lyon, he was first trained by talented cook from Lyon, Jean Vignard, and continued as an apprentice at Fernand Point's gourmet restaurant in Vienne (30 km south of Lyon). He became a renowned Chef in the village of Mionnay, in the heart of the Dombes region (20 km northeast of Lyon), where he took over his parents restaurant Chez la Mère Charles. Meilleur Ouvrier de France, awarded three stars in the French Michelin Guide in 1973, he is considered as one of the precursors of French Nouvelle Cuisine (characterized by lighter and more delicate dishes, and an increased emphasis on presentation). Many of today’s greatest cooks were trained by his uncompromising talent, such as Alain Ducasse, who considers him as his master and has dedicated him every book he has published.

  • Max Meynier

    Born in Lyon and graduated from Lyon Business School (EM Lyon), he started his career as an actor and performed several roles. He ended up as a legendary French television and radio presenter, making most of his career at RTL radio station between 1970 and 1980 with his show called Les routiers sont sympas (Truck drivers are nice people) with an average of 800 000 auditors for four hours of daily live show. He also created and produced in 1988 a very popular television show called Le juste prix (The right price).

  • M. Papillot

    According to legend, Les Papillotes (wrapped chocolates in vivid paper with a small note inside) originated in Lyon, by the end of the 18th century, in the Terreaux district (1st arrondissement of Lyon), when a young employee of a chocolate manufacturer, in order to seduce the girl he was in love with and who worked on the second floor of the chocolate factory, had the idea to wrap love notes around chocolate sweets stolen from the production. The "official" version says that the chocolate factory owner, Mr. Papillot, discovering their little secret, decided to sack the young boy, but kept the idea that he found rather appealing to make money: The Papillote was born.

  • Roger Caille

    Pioneer in the computer business, he created in 1968 his own company, La CESI. It was the beginning of a remarkable career that led him to the creation in 1973 of Jet Services, specialized in express parcels transportation, that became the French leader in its sector. Founder of the Prisme, a Lyon's major business society that gathers the most influential business people of the city, Roger Caille also participated to the launch of TLM TV Channel, a local television network, and Lyon Mag, a general information local magazine. Visionary business leader, he is also regarded as a pioneer in sport sailing sponsorship, creating in particular three world records of the Atlantic Crossing, and later in basket -ball with the local team Jet Lyon Cro.

  • Famille Berliet

    The Berliet Family is a French dynasty of car and truck manufacturers from Lyon, who contributed greatly during the 20th century to the development of the French car industry with its heavy duty trucks. The Berliet trucks were used all around the world. Becoming a political issue during the Second World War, the family belongings were seized during the Liberation period and given back in 1949. In 1974, the French government forced Michelin Company to sell Berliet to Renault R.V.I (Renault Industrial Vehicles).

  • Marius Berliet

    Born in Lyon in a canut (silk workers) family and brought up in the worship of the “Petite Église” community (severe religious principles based on simple life, charity, and profound devotion), he is the eldest of seven children. Feeling his creativity stifled in the small family business, he built his first car called La pantoufle (The slipper) in 1895. His private company evolded first to an artisanal stage, later on to an industrial production. Before dying, Marius entrusted the empire he created to his eldest son Paul.

  • Paul Berliet

    Eldest son of Marius Berliet, the founder of the dynasty, he directed the car and truck manufacturing company from 1954 to 2008, with a long-term vision of the business following the motto: to know the past in order to understand the present and to image a better future. We owe him the opening of the company to the international markets and the idea of a collaborative model with developing countries in order to guarantee their independence. He was a strong defender of the dialogue between research and industry communities. He created in 1982 the Marius Berliet Automobile Foundation.

  • Famille Mérieux

    The Mérieux Family is an entrepreneurial dynasty from Lyon specialized in the field of chemistry and biochemistry, started by Doctor Marcel Mérieux, pupil of Louis Pasteur. The family founded major companies such as Sanofi Pasteur, Mérial (veterinary activity), Biomérieux (vitro diagnostics), Jean Mérieux P4 laboratory (research on infectious diseases), Biomnis (laboratory analysis), and also Mérieux Foundation and the humanitarian organization Bioforce.

  • Marcel Mérieux

    Leading figure of the biochemistry in Lyon, emulator and collaborator of Louis Pasteur, he started in 1897 the Mérieux Institute for the manufacturing of vaccines, achieving major breakthroughs in the treatment of tuberculosis (Robert Kock tuberculosis), and the screening of diphtheria and typhoid fever. This institute is today called the Sanofi Pasteur Institute and belongs nowadays to the Sanofi-Aventis pharmaceutical group.

  • Charles Mérieux

    Born in Lyon, he took over the leadership of the Mérieux Institute after the death of his father Marcel and his brother Jean. Pioneer in modern virology, he participated during World War II to the Resistance by creating and hosting the first clandestine blood transfusion center in the Lyon slaughterhouse. He also manufactured serum doses rich in proteins that he provided for free to the children of the city under the German occupation. He imported from the United States a great number of technologies allowing major breakthroughs such as disposable syringes and lyophilisation process. We also owe him the creation in 1999 of the P4 Jean Mérieux laboratory (research on infectious diseases), as well as the creation of the Mérieux Foundation, whose main objective is to facilitate access to care to vulnerable populations around the world.

  • Frères Véron

    Joseph Véron created in 1946 "the toys of our dreams (NOREV). NOREV is an anagram of his surname. Three of his nine siblings join him in the adventure. Peter manages the staff, Paul the production, and Emile the sales.

  • Joseph Véron

    Joseph Véron created in 1946 "the toys of our dreams (NOREV). NOREV manufactures its miniature cars in plastic material, and, later, in zamak: quality, reproduction accuracy, vibrant colors, affordable prices: the success is immediate. The models are all created from car manufacturer's plans with whom Norev develops a partnership. Children of those times play with perfect reproductions of their parent's cars. A strategic thinking around marketing and packaging is conducted. Joseph decides to coordinate the company's image and asks the illustrator P. Alainé to develop new visuals. The brilliant idea is to sell each miniature car in a single illustrated box whereas the competition was displaying theirs bulk in self-service units, thus significantly changing the way of selling miniature cars.

  • Émile Véron

    Emile is the youngest of the Veron family. He starts working as sales manager for NOREV, company founded by his brother Joseph. Due to divergence of views, Emile leaves NOREV and founds Rail Road Toys in 1961, which will become Majorette. Emile made two innovative choices: miniature cars are all the same size and all fit in the same box, disregard of the scale. In addition, a new distribution channel is privileged: tobacconist, gas stations, department stores ... Success is immediate. Majorette became public in 1977. Emile was a strong believer in Employees Participation and began to distribute shares to his staff. In 1993 the Majorette Company was finally sold to Idéal Loisirs Company.