1894 Lyon
Plan of the Tête d'Or park
BIE-classUnrecognized exposition
NameExposition universelle, internationale et coloniale
Visitors3.8 million
VenueParc de la Tête d'or
Coordinates45°46′35″N 4°51′05″E / 45.77639°N 4.85139°E / 45.77639; 4.85139
Opening29 April 1894 (1894-04-29)
Closure11 November 1894 (1894-11-11)
Universal Expositions
PreviousWorld's Columbian Exposition in Chicago
NextBrussels International (1897) in Brussels
OtherCalifornia Midwinter International Exposition of 1894

The Exposition universelle, internationale et coloniale was a world's fair including a colonial exhibition held at Parc de la Tête d'or in Lyon, France in 1894. The exposition drew unwanted attention with the assassination of French President Sadi Carnot during his visit on 24 June 1894; he died the day after. The exposition drew 3.8 million visitors.


The exposition was originally planned as a national exposition to be held in 1892, but the short interval since the Paris 1889 Universal Exposition led to a postponement of two years and a call for international participation.[1]

Several names were given to the project: "l’Exposition internationale et coloniale de Lyon, en 1894", "Exposition nationale de Lyon en 1894" and "l’Exposition universelle de 1894" before the eventual name "Exposition internationale et coloniale".[1] At the same time San Francisco and Antwerp organised world's fairs as well.[1]

3.8 million people visited the exposition,[1] and the success of the exposition led to renaming the neighbourhood next to the exposition from Tête d'Or to Tonkin de villeurbanne,[2] thus referring to North Vietnam (Tonkin), at that time part of French Indochina, in order to satisfy the inhabitants attracted to the exotic colonial atmosphere.


The main building of the exposition was a 55-metre high metal dome with a diameter of 242 metres. Several themes got dedicated pavilions:

French colonies were represented as well in four pavilions:

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e Lyon 1894 : la Fête s’invite à l’Expo !, Florence Vidal, Mémoire de master "Histoire, histoire de l’art et archéologie", Université Lyon II, September 2010
  2. ^ Louis, Dominique (1996). Naissance d'un site urbain (in French). Éditions L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7384-4710-4.