Lyon, also known as Lyons in English is a city in east central France.
It is the third largest French city, the first being Paris and the second Marseille.
It is a major centre of business, situated between Paris and Marseille,
and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and a
significant role in the history of cinema.
It is also the religious capital of France for the Roman Catholic Church.
Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the second
largest metropolitan area in France after Paris, with 1,783,400 inhabitants at the 2007 estimate,
and approximately the 20th to 25th largest metropolitan area of Western Europe.
Its "urban region" (Région Urbaine de Lyon), represents half of the
Rhône-Alpes région population with 2,9 million inhabitants.
Lyon is also a major industrial center specialized in chemical, pharmaceutical,
and biotech industries.
Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the
The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a
UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lyon is known to be the silk capital of the world and is a centre for fashion.
It is also hosting the international headquarters of Interpol and EuroNews.
read full wikipedia reference about Lyon, France
LYON is physically the second biggest
city in France, a result of its uncontrolled
urban sprawl. Viewed at high speed from the Autoroute du Soleil,
the impression it gives is of a major confluence of rivers and
roads, around which only petrochemical industries thrive. In
fact, from the sixteenth century right up until the postwar dominance
of metalworks and chemicals, silk was the city's main industry,
generating the wealth which left behind a multitude of Renaissance
buildings. But what has stamped its character most on Lyon is
the commerce and banking that grew up with its industrial expansion.
It is this that gives the town its staid, stolid and somewhat
The city is now busy forging
a role for itself within a new Europe, with international schools
and colleges, the new HQ for Interpol, a recently inaugurated
eco-friendly tram system, a second TGV station with links to
the north that bypass Paris, and high-tech industrial parks
for international companies making it a modern city par excellence
. More so than any other French city, it has embraced the monetarist
vision of the European Union and is acting, with some success,
as a postmodern city-state within it.
Most French people would
find themselves in Lyon for business rather than for recreation:
it's a get-up-and-go place, not a lie-back-and-rest one. You
probably wouldn't plan a two-week stay - as you might in Provence's
cities - but Lyon certainly has its charms. Foremost among these
is gastronomy ; there are more restaurants per Gothic and Renaissance
square metre of the old town than anywhere else on earth, and
the city could form a football team with its superstars of the
international chef circuit. While the textile museum is the second
famous reason for stopping here, Lyon's nightlife, cinema and
theatre (including the famous Lyonnais puppets), its antique
markets, music and other cultural festivities might tempt you
to stay at least a few days. In addition it has been long established
as the home of major biennial festivals of art and fashion.
Lyon is organized into
arrondissements , of which there are nine. A visit to Lyon will
necessarily take you into the Presqu'île (1e and 2e arrondissements
), the area between the Rivers Saône and Rhône, and
you are more than likely to spend some time in Vieux-Lyon (5e)
on the west bank of the Saône, as well as the east bank
of the Rhône (3e), including the modern development known
as La Part-Dieu.
The centre of Lyon is the
Presqu'île , or "peninsula", the tongue of land
between the rivers Saône and Rhône, just north of
their confluence. Most of it lies within the 2e arrondissement
, but it's known by its quartiers , which include Bellecour ,
around the central square, and Perrache around the station. At
the top end of the Presqu'île, as the Saône veers
west, is the 1er arrondissement , known as Terreaux , centred
on place des Terreaux and the Hôtel de Ville. On the west
bank of the Saône is the old town, or Vieux Lyon , at the
foot of Fourvière, on which the Romans built their capital
of Gaul, Lugdunum. Vieux Lyon is made up of three villages: St-Paul,
St-Jean and St-Georges, and forms the eastern end of the 5e arrondissement
. The 9e lies to its north.
To the north of the Presqu'île
is the old silk-weavers' district of La Croix-Rousse , the 4e
arrondissement . Modern Lyon lies east of the Rhône, with
the 7e and 8e arrondissements to the south, the 3e arrondissement
in the middle, with La Part-Dieu TGV station amidst an assertive
cultural and commercial centre, and the 6e arrondissement , known
as Brotteaux , to the north. North of Brotteaux is Lyon's main
open space, the Parc de la Tête d'Or . The district of
Villeurbanne , home to the university and the Théâtre
National Populaire, lies east of the 6e and the park.
OTHER POPULAR DESTINATIONS IN FRANCE