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November 22, 2018

The Saône: Lyon, Musée Miniature et Cinéma

Filed under: Europe, France, Photography, Travel, Writing — anotherheader @ 9:44 pm

A restaurant for tiny customers

One of the more unique things to see in Lyon is the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. The museum in Lyon’s old quarter holds collections devoted to the art of miniatures and to special effect techniques used in films prior to the digital age. Both portions of the museum are interesting. But of the two the exhibits of elaborate miniatures is the most distinctive and memorable; they are said to be unique in France.

In 2005 miniaturist Dan Ohlmann opened the doors of the museum. For the price of admission visitors can see more than 100 surprisingly realistic miniscule scenes. From the furniture to the lighting, the small rooms are amazingly accurate and intricately crafted. It’s a living museum; artists on the staff and from abroad create new scenes in the workshop. It is said that it’s never the same museum twice, all the more reason to return for a visit.

This model of an abandoned building looks very real.

Inside a miniature theater at Musée Miniature et Cinéma in Lyon

Le Vaperetto departs Lyon’s port de plaisance at La Confluence and takes passengers to Lyon’s old town.

By the naked eye the miniatures appear as small dollhouse-scaled rooms. It’s hard to discern the level of detail. But as intended these small worlds come to life before a camera. Indeed, this is a place where viewing the photos afterwards is an important part of a visitor’s experience. Just remember to crank down the aperture on your lens, if you can; managing the depth of field in these small scenes is a challenge. Bring your macro lens if you have one.


The Musée Miniature et Cinéma is located at Maison des Avocats, once home to Lyon’s lawyers, at 60 rue Saint Jean in Vieux Lyon. The closest Metro stop is the Vieux Lyon Station. Depending on where you are, it can be convenient to take Le Vaperetto, the water ferry that shuttles riders up and down the Saône. For 2€ passengers get transportation and a scenic view of the river.

We visited Musée Miniature et Cinéma in September of 2017.

Lyon is famous for its bouchons. This one never has any customers.

A small shop has new meaning

Abandoned building in miniature.

A cafeteria serving tiny food.

A small apartment

Drawing board

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