Only Lyon - Tourism and Conventions

History & memory

National Memorial Prison of Montluc

Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © F. Bellay
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Mémorial Montluc
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Mémorial Montluc
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Mémorial Montluc
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Mémorial Montluc
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Fréderic Bellay
Mémorial National de la Prison de Montluc © Fréderic Bellay
Once the prison of Jean Moulin, Marc Bloch, the Children of Izieu and 8,000 Jews, French resistance fighters, Montluc, a German prison in the city of the resistance movement, was nothing more than a stepping stone before deportation or execution.
Built in 1921, Montluc military prison is located opposite the fort bearing the same name, in one of Lyon's industrial areas. After the 1940 Armistice, the prison received a number of regular inmates, military prisoners and perpetrators of "Anti-national Activities" - mainly Gaullist and communist resistance members. Following the invasion of the Southern Zone in November 1942, the Germans requisitioned the prison and placed it under their exclusive control. Montluc then became an internment camp for members of the resistance, hostages, and victims of the racial persecution, prior to their transfer to Drancy and subsequent deportation to the concentration and extermination camps. Montluc operated in daily contact with the Gestapo headquarters, Avenue Berthelot, in the buildings of the Military School of Medicine, where interrogations were carried out (current site of the Resistance and Deportation History Centre). Teaching facilities (workshops, first-hand accounts and themed tours) for school groups. Prisoners were generally deported or shot around Lyon and the DOUA, while other condemned prisoners were shot within the prison itself, on the walkway, at a spot now known as the "Mur des fusillés". The massacre de Saint-Genis-Laval on the 20th of August 1944, when 120 prisoners were massacred under appalling conditions, gave rise to a vigorous protest from Cardinal Gerlier to the German authorities. On the 24th of August the prisoners were released, partly due to Resistance intervention and partly due to the departure of the prison guards, one week before the liberation of Lyon on the 3rd of September. The Montluc Prison Memorial is now one of the sites managed by the Ministry of Defence, classified as a "Haut Lieux de Mémoire" (major memorial site), and opened its doors to the public during the European Heritage days in 2010. Since its opening the site has continued to attract increasing numbers of visitors, enabling it to join the network of regional memorial sites alongside Lyon's Resistance and Deportation History Centre and the Jean Moulin Memorial in Caluire, but also on a larger scale it joins such sites as the Maison d'Izieu - Memorial to exterminated Jewish children. The Montluc Memorial therefore contributes to the reflections initiated by the issues specific to these memorial sites, not just in scientific and historic terms , but also concerning the issues surrounding public access and interaction, and teaching activities.


Educational visits, Themed tour, Tour free of charge, Guided tours

Langues parlées

English, French, Italian

Contact details

Mémorial National de la prison de Montluc 4 rue Jeanne Hachette 69003 Lyon 3ème

Tel. : 04 78 53 60 41


Free of charge.

Opening times

Open from Wed. to Sat.: 2 pm-5:30 pm. Guided tour at 3:30 pm. In Jul. and Aug.: from Tue. to Sat: 9 am-noon and 2 pm-5:30 pm. Guided tours at 10:30 am and 3:30 pm. Closed on bank hols.


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