Life in the Monplaisir district
From its industry to the genteel lifestyle of a residential district, Monplaisir is the emblematic district of Lyon’s economic and social development in the 19th and 20th centuries. BARNES Lyon gives you the guided tour of this district, and all the other districts of Lyon.
Life in Monplaisir
Formerly considered by the people of Lyon as the hub of the city's industrial production, times have certainly changed! Today, the district enjoys numerous advantages, allowing it to compete on level terms with the more coveted 6th and 4th arrondissements. Residential, commercial, a mix of bourgeois and bohemian, the Monplaisir district is highly regarded for its self-sufficing “village” side, out of the city center but with easy access via public transport. Located in the 8th arrondissement, it differs from the nearby sectors of Mermoz or the Etats-Unis, making it a somewhat privileged location. If you take the time to stroll down to the market in Place Ambroise Courtois, to go shopping on avenue des Frères Lumière, or relax on a terrace frequented by numerous students, you are certain to understand the buzz among its inhabitants. Some of them may be lucky enough to live in one of these townhouses with a garden… it doesn't get better than that!
Residents meet in the large market held in Place Ambroise-Courtois three days a week, or gather in the various shops on Avenue des Frères Lumière, the district's high street. Although Monplaisir has all the facilities you need (schools, youth and culture center, universities, cultural center, etc.), those wanting a trip to the Presqu’île can get to Place Bellecour in just 15 minutes on the metro. The metro line D serves this district with its Monplaisir-Lumière and Sans-souci stations.
The nearby Édouard Herriot Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine, which mark the boundary with the neighboring district Montchat, and the Jean Moulin Lyon III University in the former Manufacture des Tabacs (tobacco factory) contribute to the bustle of the district, with its numerous students.
History of Monplaisir: a predestined name?
It was the Baron des Tournelles, owner of the Château des Tournelles, located at the time in Cours Albert-Thomas, who gave this village its name. In 1828, he converted his estate and created 400 plots, interconnected by streets, a village which he named “Monplaisir”. This holiday resort and vacation home destination was a hit with the people of Lyon, who came here to breathe in the fresh air! However, as industry boomed, a number of factories in the automobile sector, photography and the cinema set up shop here. This is how the factories run by the Lumière brothers were established in the late 19th and early 20th century. The Institut Lumière, a museum devoted to filmmaking, was set up in the Château Lumière, a magnificent mansion built by Antoine Lumière, founder of the Lumière factories. During the deindustrialization period, Lyon's emblematic 20th century corporations, such as Calor, Berliet and Lafont, gave way to a working-class, residential village.
Real estate in Monplaisir
As of the 1960s and particularly at the end of the 1980s, with the arrival of the metro, the district flourished and attracted the middle classes. The rare bourgeois houses of the former industrial tycoons have been replaced by small residential buildings and the factories converted into housing units. Various new developments have since produced the small buildings erected in the 70s and 80s and a handful of pretty townhouses with gardens. A highly varied habitat, which gives the district a village feel in an urban environment.
What to do in the Monplaisir district?
The district may be primarily residential and detached from the bustle of downtown Lyon, but you would be mistaken in thinking that life is a bore here! Don’t forget that it is home to many students, who can be found on the terraces of cafés, or eating on the go in the district's small bistros. By day, the Avenue des Frères Lumière high street is a bustling hub with plenty of mouth-watering boutiques: the Barithel butchers, the François Gimenez pastry shop and, a more recent addition, Sébastien Bouillet and his famous macaroons! Foodies will find an array of excellent restaurants: the Esprit bistro, Monplaisir Côté Cour, Ninkasi Sans-Soucis, the Auberge Savoyarde, Restaurant Marguerite (a Bocuse Brasserie) and the Industrie Café Comptoir.
If walking, relaxing or sport are your thing, then head to Parc Blandan. This park on the site of a former military barracks, where the 3rd, 7th and 8th arrondissements meet, opened its gates in 2014. Organized around three large areas inherited from its military past: the esplanade, the fort and the moat, the Parc Blandan is a green space spanning 42 acres in the heart of the city and is one of the largest parks after the Tête d’Or and Gerland. Just as enjoyable for adults as for children, the park has a relaxation area, an original play area (bouncy castle, wood wall with a series of secret passages which open out on to three tubular slides), and almost 4 acres of parkland, sports pitches and leisure areas.
Schooling in Monplaisir
For families, there is a wide choice of schools on the doorstep.
- École maternelle et élémentaire Paul Emile Victor
- École maternelle et élémentaire Combe Blanche
- École maternelle et élémentaire Lumière
- École élémentaire Simone Signoret
- Collège Jean Mermoz
- Collège Victor Grignard
- Collège Longchambon
- Lycée Colbert
- Lycée La Martinière
- Lycée Auguste et Louis Lumière
- La Rédemption Kindergarten and Elementary School
- Saint Nom de Jésus Kindergarten and Elementary School
- Cours Diot Kindergarten and Elementary School
- The Nursery (Ombrosa) Kindergarten
- Deborde Middle & High School
- Fénelon Middle School
- La Trinité Middle School
(and casual housing)
Employment and income *
Average annual income per household