Life in the Cité Internationale
You may know the Cité Internationale for its Salle 3000 auditorium, its hotel complexes, its numerous restaurants, its cinema or its casino, but don’t forget you can also live there! BARNES Lyon introduces you to this neighborhood but also all the districts in Lyon.
A “city within a city” between the park and the Rhône
Located between the Rhône and the Tête d’Or Park, the Cité Internationale is one of Lyon’s new neighborhoods, an urban innovation created between 1995 and 2006 after the unique project by the Italian architect Renzo Piano, and the French landscape artist Michel Corajoud.
In addition to being a business, cultural and tourist hub, the site also includes five residential wings comprising nearly 500 apartments. These modern apartments are coveted for their unspoilt views over the Tête d’Or Park and the Rhône River, their open balconies and all the functionality of modern buildings.
They provide an opportunity to live at the heart of a site built from scratch, a separate little urban island, detached from the neighborhoods of Lyon ye only a few miles from the city center and close to the 6th arrondissement with its shops and businesses.
An ideal setting for urbanites
Its proximity to the Tête d’Or Park and its unique environment makes this a popular neighborhood with sports enthusiasts and those looking for green spaces away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Yet it still offers all the infrastructure, parking and public transport inhabitants of the Cité Internationale need to get out and about!
History of the Cité Internationale
An urban innovation
When the Lyon Fair in Chassieu moved to the Eurexpo site in 1984, a vast 86-acre site became available, ideally located between the Rhône and the Tête d’Or Park at the heart of the Lyon urban area. A new development project did not take long to emerge. One year later an international competition was launched by the Mayor at the time, Francisque Collomb. A working group was created to work on possible plans to develop the site.
The Municipality of Lyon chose to install a new Convention Center and business hub, with the aim of extending the metropolitan area. Yet it wanted the area to remain accessible to Lyon residents and so it was designed as a neighborhood. The project, structured around a semi-covered inner pedestrian street, forming the backbone of the site, was entrusted to Italian architect Renzo Piano.
In September 1993, some ten years after the Lyon Fair had changed location, construction began with the commencement of works on a vast scale to build the Convention Center, the first wing of offices and parking facilities followed by the Contemporary Art Museum (MAC).
1996 proved to be a major turning point in the history of the Cité Internationale. This was the year Lyon hosted the G7 summit, using the Contemporary Art Museum and the Congress Center. However, the event revealed that the buildings were far from sufficient. Le site was too cramped, and its hosting capacity insufficient. The idea to build a large-capacity Congress Center was quickly put forward and the Salle 3000 project was launched.
In 1999, when the four-star Hilton International with its 201 guest rooms and suites opened its doors, work began on first residences with the George V property developer.
A year later, Lyon inaugurated its casino, “Le Pharaon”, made possible by the Chaban Delmas legislation allowing for casinos in major cities that were not spa towns.
The first apartments at the Cité Internationale in the Pavillon de la Roseraie were ready in February 2001 and in April 2003, the second wing of apartments was completed, the Orangerie, park side. In accordance with the wishes of the Municipality and in particular Raymond Barre, a true “city within a city” was created which could welcome various publics to the site on a permanent basis.
The site is thus home to many business and cultural activities: a Convention Center, a Casino, hotels and apartments, restaurants, a UGC Ciné Cité cinema, the Lyon Contemporary Art Museum and an auditorium.
The Cité Internationale was completed in 2006, with the Crowne Plaza Lyon - Cite Internationale Hotel and the inauguration of the Salle 3000 auditorium. In 2014, Lavorel Hotels acquired the Hilton hotel in the Cité Internationale, bringing it under the Marriott Hotels & Resorts brand.
Nature & art au cœur du projet
The Cité Internationale was designed to strictly respect and coexist in harmony with its natural environment, set in an oasis of green between the river and the Tête d'Or Park. The buildings are laid out in arcs, mirroring the curve of the river, and the roof lines resemble the park’s glasshouses. The river banks have remained untouched and trees and greenery were planted. Although nature is a central focus of the project, art is also present everywhere: with lightworks designed by François Morellet using blue diodes, monumental statues created by Xavier Veilhan from stained polyester resin and reaching up to 26-ft tall (“les habitants”), and exhibitions at the Contemporary Art Museum… art is an integral part of the site offering visitors quite an itinerary.
A great selection of restaurants
Residents need only step outside their apartments to find a wide range of restaurants and eateries: restaurant 33 cité, Zucca, the Marriot Italian Brasserie, Suelta Verde or Mezzo di Pasta for a bite to eat on the go… A little further away, the 6th arrondissement is crammed full of great restaurants, some awarded Michelin stars, and crossing the Rhône and heading over to Croix-Rousse you will find hip cafés, typical Lyonnais “bouchon” restaurants, and small, secluded dining venues.
Fancy a movie? The UGC Ciné Cité Cinema is here! Not to mention the Casino for an adrenaline rush, with its slot machines, boule, English roulette and blackjack.
Schooling in the Cité Internationale neighborhood
The nearest schools are located in the 6th arrondissement and are accessible by car or by public transport:
- Jean Racine Kindergarten and Elementary School
- Jean Rostand Kindergarten and Elementary School
- Saint Nom de Jésus Elementary School
- Cours Diot Kindergarten and Elementary School
- La Rédemption Kindergarten and Elementary School
- Vendôme Middle School
- Fénelon Private Middle School
- Deborde Private Middle and High School
- Lycée du Parc Middle School
- La Trinité Private Middle School
Life in the Cité Internationale: public transport
Numerous bus lines serve the Cité Internationale:
- The C1 and C2 from the Part Dieu train station
- The C4 from the Jean Macé metro stop
- The C5 from the Bellecour metro stop
- The C26 from the Grange Blanche metro stop
- Line 70 from the Part Dieu train station
Discover also all the neighborhoods of the sixth arrondissement of Lyon :
(and casual housing)
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