Guide of Lyon

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Presentation of Lyon

LYONLyon is a city in east-central France in the region Rhône-Alpes. Lyon is the second-largest French urban area, the first being Paris and the third Marseille. It is a major center of business, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and having a significant role in the history of cinema with Auguste and Louis Lumière. Lyon is also a major industrial center specializing in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. There is also a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games.

Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région. The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as the silk capital of the world. 

History of Lyon

Lyon was founded on the Fourvière hill as a Roman colony in 43 BCE by Munatius Plancus, a lieutenant of Caesar, on the site of a Gaulish hill-fort settlement called Lug[o]dunon, from the Celtic god Lugus ('Light', cognate with Old Irish Lugh, Modern Irish Lú) and dúnon (hill-fort). Lyon was first named Lugdunum meaning the "hill of lights" or "the hill of crows". Lug was equated by the Romans to Mercury.

Agrippa recognized that Lugdunum's position on the natural highway from northern to south-eastern France made it a natural communications hub, and he made Lyon the starting point of the principal Roman roads throughout Gaul. It then became the capital of Gaul, partly thanks to its convenient location at the convergence of two navigable rivers, and quickly became the main city of Gaul. Two emperors were born in this city: Claudius and Caracalla. Today, the archbishop of Lyon is still referred to as "le primat des Gaules" and the city often referred to as the "capitale des Gaules".


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