The eagerly anticipated Musée des Confluences has just opened its doors in France’s second city, Lyon. The museum’s planners had the task of drawing together anthropological and natural history collections totalling some two million assorted pieces, from preserved butterflies and fragments of meteorite to Inuit artefacts and samurai armour.
They chose a particularly symbolic spot for this fusing of different strands of knowledge: at the confluence of the wide Rhône and Saône rivers, at the southern point of the finger of land that forms the centre of Lyon.
Alongside the permanent collection housed inside the striking, angular glass-and-steel building, the temporary exhibitions that have kicked off the museum’s programme include a modern take on the Renaissance idea of a ‘cabinet of curiosities’, showing the natural world in all its weird and wonderful forms.
MAKE IT HAPPEN
The Musée des Confluences is open daily, except Mondays and public holidays (£7, or £5 after 5pm;). BA, easyJet and Flybe fly to Lyon from various UK airports.
The côsy Hotel des Célestins stands amid boutiques near the Place Bellecour – one of the largest public squares in Europe.