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The nine arrondissements of Lyon
The nine arrondissements of Lyonmarker are the administrative divisions of the city. Unlike the spiral pattern of the arrondissements of Paris, or the meandering pattern of those in Marseillemarker, the layout in Lyon is more idiosyncratic. This is for historical reasons: following the annexation of the communes of La Guillotière, La Croix-Roussemarker and Vaise in 1852, the newly enlarged city was divided into 5 arrondissements, which originally spiralled out anticlockwise from the Hôtel de Ville (Town Hall); however, as the city's population expanded, it became necessary to split certain arrondissements, giving rise to today's seemingly random pattern.


Arrondissements of Lyon in 1852

  • 1st arrondissement: as today (Terreaux, Martinière/St-Vincent, Pentes de la Croix-Rousse)
  • 2nd arrondissement: as today (Cordeliers, Bellecour, Ainay, Perrache, Confluent)
  • 3rd arrondissement: former commune of La Guillotière (all of the Left Bank of the Rhône)
  • 4th arrondissement: as today (former commune of La Croix-Rousse)
  • 5th arrondissement: all of the Right Bank of the Saône (including Fourvière and the former commune of Vaise)

As the 19th century progressed, the area known then as Les Broteaux (sic) started to be developed by Morand and consequently the population of this part of the 3rd arrondissement began to increase rapidly. In 1867, the decision was taken to split the 3rd arrondissement in two, and a 6th arrondissement was created north of Cours Lafayette.

In 1894, the 6th arrondissement was expanded to include all of the Parc de la Tête d'Or, which until then had been split between Lyon and Villeurbanne.

As the turn of the century approached, the southern parts of the 3rd arrondissement also began to experience considerable development. By 1912, the population had increased so much that a decision was once again taken to split the 3rd arrondissement; a 7th arrondissement was created south of Cours des Brosses (today Cours Gambetta/Cours Albert Thomas/Avenue Rockefeller).

The development of Monplaisir and the surrounding area throughout the 20th century led to a further split, in 1959, when an 8th arrondissement was created to the east of the Lyon–Marseille railway line.

Four years later, Lyon's last annexation took place: in 1963, the commune of St-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe was incorporated into the 5th arrondissement. However, one year later, the decision was taken to split what had become a sprawling and populous arrondissement into two: in 1964, the 9th arrondissement came into being. The seemingly arbitrary boundary (along Avenue Barthélemy Buyer and across Fourvière to join the banks of the Saône north of St-Paul), which does not follow the historical limit between Lyon and Vaise (which lay further north), was probably drawn for convenience's sake prior to the completion of the Champvert neighbourhood, which is now split between the 5th and the 9th arrondissements.

Arrondissements of Lyon since 1964

  • 1st arrondissement: Presqu'île north (Terreaux, Martinière/St-Vincent), Pentes de la Croix-Rousse (Subway Lines A and C)
  • 2nd arrondissement : Presqu'île south (Cordeliers, Bellecour, Ainay, Perrache, Confluent) (Subway lines A, D and Tramway T1 and T2.
  • 3rd arrondissement: Préfecture, Guillotière north, Part-Dieu, Villette, Sans Souci/Dauphiné, Montchat, Grange Blanche north (Subway Line D and B, tramway T1, T3).
  • 4th arrondissement: Plateau de la Croix-Rousse, Serin (Subway Line C)
  • 5th arrondissement: Vieux Lyon (St-Paul, St-Jean, St-Georges), Fourvière, St-Just, St-Irénée, Point du Jour, Ménival, Battières, Champvert south (Subway Line D and Funiculars 1 and 2.
  • 6th arrondissement: Brotteaux, Bellecombe, Parc de la Tête d'Or, Cité Internationale (Subway Line A and Tramway T1).
  • 7th arrondissement: Guillotière south, Jean Macé, Gerland (Subway Line D and Tramway T1)
  • 8th arrondissement: Monplaisir, Monplaisir La Plaine, États-Unis, Bachut, Grand Trou/Moulin à Vent, Mermoz, Laënnec, Grange Blanche south (Subway Line D and tramway T4)
  • 9th arrondissement: Vaise, Gorge de Loup, Observance, Duchère (Balmont, Château, Plateau, Sauvegarde), Rochecardon, St-Rambert-l'Île Barbe (Subway Line D).

Geographically, Lyon's two main rivers, the Saône and the Rhône, divide the arrondissements into three groups:
  • To the west of the Saône, the 5th arrondissement covers the old city (Vieux Lyon), Fourvièremarker hill and the plateau beyond. The 9th is immediately to the north, and stretches from Gorge de Loup, through Vaise to the neighbouring suburbs of Écullymarker, Champagne-au-Mont-d'Ormarker, Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d'Ormarker, Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d'Ormarker and Collonges-au-Mont-d'Ormarker.
  • Between the two rivers, on the Presqu'île (Peninsula) are the 2nd, 1st and 4th arrondissements. The 2nd includes most of the city centre, including Place Bellecourmarker and Perrachemarker railway station, and reaches as far as the confluence of the two rivers. The 1st is directly to the north of the 2nd and covers part of the city centre (including the Hôtel de Ville) and the slopes (pentes) of the Croix-Rousse, up to Boulevard de la Croix-Rousse. To the north of the Boulevard is the 4th arrondissement, which covers the Plateau of the Croix-Rousse, up to its boundary with Cuire in the commune of Caluire-et-Cuiremarker.
  • To the east of the Rhône, are the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th arrondissements.

The future – further arrondissements for Lyon?

Although the neighbouring town of Villeurbannemarker is sometimes referred to as Lyon's "10th arrondissement", the likelihood of it ever being incorporated into the city is remote. Villeurbanne resisted annexation in 1852 (only ceding its section of the Parc de la Tête d'Or in 1894 in exchange for a considerable payment from its larger neighbour), and now has a sufficiently strong identity and sufficiently high population – 134,000 (2005 estimate), making it France's most populous suburban commune – for the prospect of annexation to be all but dead. Indeed, most of the benefits that being part of Lyon might bring for Villeurbanne are already provided by the Grand Lyon urban community (intercommunality structure).

List of arrondissements

INSEE code Postal code Arrondissement Date of création Cantons Population 1/1/2006 Population 8/3/1999 Area (ha) Density (99) (inhab./km2)
69381 69001 1st arrondissement 24 March 1852 Lyon-II 28,210 26,868 151 17,793
69382 69002 2nd arrondissement 24 March 1852 Lyon-I 30,276 27,977 341 8,204
69383 69003 3rd arrondissement 24 March 1852

(former commune de La Guillotière)
Lyon-VIII, Lyon-XI and Lyon-XIII 88,755 82,568 635 13,003
69384 69004 4th arrondissement 24 March 1852

(former commune of La Croix-Roussemarker)
Lyon-III 34,302 33,797 293 11,535
69385 69005 5th arrondissement 24 March 1852

(originally including the former commune of Vaise, in the 9th since 1964)
Lyon-V 47,330 46,985 623 7,542
69386 69006 6th arrondissement 17 July 1867

(detachment of a part of the 3rd)
Lyon-VI and Lyon-VII 49,965 48,167 377 12,776
69387 69007 7th arrondissement 8 March 1912

(detachment of a part of the 3rd)
Lyon-IX and Lyon-X 69,331 61,743 975 6,333
69388 69008 8th arrondissement 9 February 1959

(detachment of a part of the 7th)
Lyon-XII and Lyon-XIV 76,323 70,317 667 10,542
69389 69009 9th arrondissement 12 August 1964

(detachment of a part of the 5th + the former commune of Saint-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe)
Lyon-IV 47,813 47,030 725 6,487

See also

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