Since it opened in 2013, the Banks of the Saône has been inviting visitors to explore the extraordinary variety of the surrounding landscapes. Modelled by a river which is sometimes tranquil and sometimes in flood, they are as diverse as they are surprising.
On a 15 km walk across 4 municipalities, which are 4 of Lyon’s arrondissements, from Rochetaillée-sur-Saône through to the Confluence, visitors wander along an idyllic route which echoes the very spirit of the river.
Designed around sequences which each have a strong identity, this walk reveals and highlights each of the sites en route. From the bucolic landscapes of the Val de Saône to the historic heart of the city of Lyon, development schemes have produced an unprecedented mix of the urban and nature, heritage and the contemporary.
The « River Movie » designed along the run of the river by Jérôme Sans, artistic director, thus reveals in the open air an innovative art trail: 23 works of art in situ by 13 international artists invite the visitor to a unique artistic experience in dialogue with the landscape. This project was from the outset a collaboration between artists and designers (architects and landscape architects), and resulted in works which invite the passer-by to interact with them and look at their surroundings with new eyes.
Each individual then writes their own story, arising from their personal desires and sensibilities.
As a place for contemplation, a stroll, play, discovery or relaxation, the Banks of the Saône are a new kind of riverside lifestyle.
Along a 15 km walk, seven sequences to experience …
Promenade des guinguettes // Rochetaillée-sur-Saône
Opposite the Monts d’Or, in a broad sweep of the Saône, between the old towpath and the new grassy area for leisure and picnics, this walk offers spaces for play, patches of greenery and pebble beaches on the riverside.
- The works of art to enjoy: Trompe le monde, D. Faustino – Beautiful Steps #7, Lang/Bauman – Le Génialithe, Le Gentil Garçon – La Cabane, T. Kawamata
- How to get there: BUS 40 and BUS 70
Promenade de Fontaines // Fontaines-sur-Saône
Opposite the exceptional landscape of the l’Île Roy and the slopes of the Mont d’Or, this stroll on the water’s edge crosses wide natural spaces punctuated by small pebble beaches, yet is just a stone’s throw from the bustling centre of Fontaines-sur-Saône.
- The works of art to enjoy: Souvenir du monde inversé, La théorie des nœuds, Cercles logiques, La Sucrerie, Le Gentil Garçon – La Tour-belvédère, T. Kawamata
- How to get there: BUS 40 and BUS 70
Promenade de l’ancienne écluse // Caluire-et-Cuire
Between the green shelter of the Cuire buttresses and the apses of the Île Barbe, the site of the old lock invites the visitor to a contemplative walk, punctuated by the passing barges and boats on the Saône.
- The works of art to enjoy: Le Belvedère and Les Lanternes de l’Île Barbe, JM. Othoniel
- How to get there: BUS 40
Promenade du chemin nature // Caluire-et-Cuire – Lyon 4
A place of real transition between the bucolic and the urban Saône, the trail turns into a veritable gallery of plant life – yet so close to the city – as it winds its way through natural spaces which change with the seasons.
- The works of art to enjoy: Les lucioles aquatiques, Les girouettes à crues, E. Samakh – La Terrasse, T. Kawamata – Au fil de l’eau, PM. Tayou
- How to get there: BUS 40 and S5
Promenade du bas-port Gillet // Lyon 4
In a quiet residential area undergoing a complete transformation, the Bas-Port Gillet has a much more urban feel: although punctuated by large grassy spaces and water gardens, the natural river banks have given way to small ports built by man over past centuries.
- The works of art to enjoy: Le jeu de la vie, M. Gaba – Nouages, P. Reinoso
- How to get there: BUS 40, 19, 31 and C14
Promenade du défilé de la Saône // Lyon 1 and Lyon 2
In a broad sweep of the river, around the slopes of Fourvière and the Croix-Rousse, this walk lined with gardens, invites the visitor to reflect and rediscover Lyon’s heritage – a moment of respite from the nearby urban hustle and bustle.
- The works of art to enjoy: Les planches, La Double-rampe, Le Balcon, T. Kawamata
- How to get there: BUS 40, C14, 31, C20 – METRO A
Parvis du Palais // Lyon 5
In this sequence – the only one on the right bank of the Saône – the Palais de Justice with its 24-column façade can be seen, replacing the Saône as the centrepiece of the landscape and forming a link between Old Lyon and the Presqu’île.
- The works of art to enjoy: The weight of one self, Elmgreen & Dragset
- How to get there: BUS 40 and 31 – METRO D
Finding out about the project at the Rives de Saône Pavilion
As the 1st installation on the trail, the Rives de Saône Pavilion is the information and customer service centre for the Banks of the Saône project. Located temporarily on the Saint-Antoine car park right in the heart of Lyon, this project centre is geared entirely to the needs of its visitors.
As an information centre, there are exhibitions throughout the year, showing the numerous facets and the ever-changing aspects of the project. As a place of discussion and dialogue, the team at the Pavillon also offers a year-round programme of events: guided walks on the banks linked to our exhibitions, thematic spotlighting for Lyon’s big events (European Heritage Days, Festival of Lights, Biennial Contemporary Art Festival etc.).
Our team is here to welcome you:
- Winter opening hours – from November to April: Wednesdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. / Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Summer opening hours – from May to October: Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The Rives de Saône Pavilion is situated at the corner of Pont Maréchal Juin and Quai Saint-Antoine – 69002 Lyon
Free admission, browsers welcome
How to get there
Metro: Line A – Cordeliers stop
Bus: Lines C3 – C13 – C14 (Cordeliers stop) // Lines 27 – S1 (Tupin stop) // Lines 31 – 40 (Albon stop)
Vélo’V: The stations at Quai Saint-Antoine – Place Regaud – Saint-Jean Rue de la Baleine