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Lyon, France

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Lyon, France

This article is about the French city. For other uses, see Lyon (disambiguation).

Lyon

Top, Lyon, with the old city in the foreground. Centre, the Pont Bonaparte, at night, and the Pont Lafayette. Bottom, the Place Bellecour, with the Basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière and the Tour Metal in the background.
Coat of arms of Lyon
Coat of arms
Motto: Avant, avant, Lion le melhor.
(Old Arpitan: Forward, forward, Lyon the best)[nb 1]
Lyon
Lyon

Coordinates: 45°45′35″N 4°50′32″E / 45.7597°N 4.8422°E / 45.7597; 4.8422Coordinates: 45°45′35″N 4°50′32″E / 45.7597°N 4.8422°E / 45.7597; 4.8422

Country France
Region Rhône-Alpes
Department Rhône
Arrondissement Lyon
Intercommunality Urban Community
of Lyon
Subdivisions 9 arrondissements
Government
 • Mayor (2008–2014) Gérard Collomb (PS)
Area
 • Urban (1999) 954.19 km2 (368.41 sq mi)
 • Metro (2006) 3,306 km2 (1,276 sq mi)
 • Land1 47.95 km2 (18.51 sq mi)
Population ()[4]
 • Rank 3rd in France
 • Urban (2010) 1,551,228[1]
 • Metro (2008) 2,118,132.[2][3]
 • Population2 484,344
 • Population2 density 10,000/km2 (26,000/sq mi)
Time zone CET (GMT +1)
INSEE/Postal code 69123 / 69001-69009
Elevation 28–349 m (92–1,145 ft)
Website lyon.fr

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Lyon (/lˈɒn/; French pronunciation: [ljɔ̃], locally: [lijɔ̃]; Arpitan: Liyon [ʎjɔ̃]; historically spelled Lyons) is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Etymologically it relates to the Celtic God Lugoves, Lugh as do Laon and Leiden. Lyon is located approximately 470 kilometres (292 miles) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille, 420 km (261 mi) from Strasbourg, 160 km (99 mi) from Geneva, 280 km (174 mi) from Turin. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais.

The population of Lyon is 484,344 (2010).[4] Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the largest conurbation in France outside Paris, with a population estimated to be 1,551,228 (2010);[1] its overall metropolitan area was estimated to have a population of 2,118,132.[2][3] Its urban region represents half of the Rhône-Alpes region population with 2.9 million inhabitants.[5] Lyon is the capital of this region, as well as the capital of the smaller Rhône département.

The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk and in modern times has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France. It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière, who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival 'Fête des Lumières' which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. Legend says that the Virgin Mary saved the city from the plague and, to thank her, a statue was built. On the day it was erected, the whole city was lit by candles that its citizens had put at their windows. The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais, has increased Lyon's profile internationally through participation in European football championships.

Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking as well as for chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, and in recent years has fostered a growing local start-up sector.[6] Lyon also hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, Euronews and International Agency for Research on Cancer. By some measures, Lyon is ranked 2nd in France as an economic centre and convention centre.[7] Lyon was ranked 8th globally and 2nd in France for innovation in 2011.[8] It ranked 2nd in France and 38th globally in Mercer's 2010 liveability rankings.

History

Main article for early, mainly Roman, history: Lugdunum. Main article for both Roman and later history: History of Lyon.

Fourvière hill was a Roman colony in 43 BC 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 ) and dúnon (hill-fort). Lug[us] was equated by the Romans to Mercury.

Marcus Vipsanius 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 "Primat des Gaules" and the city often referred to as the "capitale des Gaules".

The Christians in Lyon were martyred for their religion under the reigns of the various Roman emperors, most notably Marcus Aurelius and Septimus Severus. Local saints from this period include Blandina (Blandine), Pothinus (Pothin), and Epipodius (Épipode), among others. In the 2nd century AD, the great Christian bishop of Lyon was the Easterner Irenaeus.

Burgundian refugees from the destruction of Worms by the Huns in 437 were resettled by the military commander of the west, Aëtius, at Lugdunum, which was formally the capital of the new Burgundian kingdom by 461.

In 843, by the Treaty of Verdun, Lyon, with the country beyond the Saône, went to Lothair I, and later became a part of the Kingdom of Arles. Lyon came under French control in the 14th century.

Fernand Braudel remarked, "Historians of Lyon are not sufficiently aware of the bi-polarity between Paris and Lyon, which is a constant structure in French development...from the late Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution".[9] In the late 15th century, the fairs introduced by Italian merchants made Lyon the economic countinghouse of France. (Even the Bourse (treasury), built in 1749 resembled a public bazaar where accounts were settled in the open air.) When international banking moved to Genoa, then Amsterdam, Lyon remained the banking centre of France.

In 1572, Lyon was a scene of mass violence against Huguenots in the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacres.

During the French Revolution, Lyon rose up against the National Convention and supported the Girondins. In 1793, the city was assaulted by the Revolutionary armies and under siege for over two months before eventually surrendering. Several buildings were destroyed, especially around the Place Bellecour. Jean-Marie Collot d'Herbois and Joseph Fouché administered the execution of more than 2,000 people. A decade later, Napoleon ordered the reconstruction of all the buildings demolished during this period.

During the Renaissance, the city's development was driven by the silk trade, which strengthened the city's ties to Italy. (Italian influence on Lyon's architecture can still be seen today.)[10] Thanks to the silk trade, the city became an important industrial town during the 19th century. In 1831 and 1834, the canuts (silk workers) of Lyon staged two major uprisings. The 1831 uprising saw one of the first recorded uses of the black flag as an emblem of protest.

In 1862, the world's first funicular railway was built between Lyon and La Croix-Rousse.

During World War II, Lyon was a centre for the occupying German forces as well as a stronghold of resistance. The traboules (secret passages) through houses enabled the local people to escape Gestapo raids. On 3 September 1944, the city was liberated by the 1st Free French Division and the Forces Françaises de l'Intérieur. The city is now home to a resistance museum. (See also Klaus Barbie.)

Geography

The Rhône and Saône rivers converge to the south of the historic city centre forming a peninsula or "Presqu'île". There are two large hills, one to the west and one to the north of the city centre, as well as a large plain which sprawls eastward. West of the Presqu'île, the original medieval city (Vieux Lyon) was built on the west bank of the Saône river at the foot of the Fourvière hill. This area, along with portions of the Presqu'île and much of the Croix-Rousse is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To the west is Fourvière, known as "the hill that prays". This is the location for the highly decorated basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, several convents, the palace of the Archbishop, the Tour métallique (a highly visible TV tower, replicating the last stage of the Eiffel Tower) and a funicular (a railway on a steep hill).

To the north is the Croix-Rousse, known as "the hill that works". This area is traditionally home to many small silk workshops, an industry for which the city was once renowned.

Place Bellecour is located on the Presqu'île between the two rivers and is the third largest public square in France. The broad, pedestrian-only Rue de la République leads north from Place Bellecour. The 2nd arrondissement has many of the finest old residential buildings in Lyon and the area is known for its concentration of old Lyonnaise Catholic families, particularly in the Ainay part of the arrondissement.

East of the Rhône from the Presqu'île is a large area of flat ground upon which sits much of modern Lyon and contains most of the city's population. Situated in this area is the urban centre of Part-Dieu which clusters the Tour Part-Dieu (affectionately nicknamed "The Pencil"), the Tour Oxygène, the Tour Swiss Life (a shopping centre) and Lyon Part-Dieu (one of Lyon's two major rail terminals).

North of this district is the relatively wealthy 6th arrondissement, which is home to the Parc de la Tête d'Or (one of Europe's largest urban parks), the prestigious Lycée du Parc to the south of the park, and Interpol's world headquarters on the park's western edge. The park contains a free zoo that has recently been upgraded.

Panorama of the inner city of Lyon, taken from the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière's roof.

Climate

Lyon is classed as Humid Subtropical (Koppen: Cfa). Winters are colder than much of the south of France due to its more inland position, averaging 3.2 °C (37.8 °F) in January. Summers are very warm, averaging just above 22 °C (71.6 °F) in July. Precipitation is adequate year-round, at an average of 830 millimetres (32.7 in), but the winter months are the driest.

Climate data for Lyon
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 17.9
(64.2)
21.9
(71.4)
25.7
(78.3)
30.1
(86.2)
34.2
(93.6)
38.4
(101.1)
39.8
(103.6)
40.5
(104.9)
35.8
(96.4)
28.4
(83.1)
23.0
(73.4)
20.2
(68.4)
40.5
(104.9)
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
8.4
(47.1)
13.0
(55.4)
16.3
(61.3)
20.6
(69.1)
24.0
(75.2)
27.7
(81.9)
27.2
(81)
22.7
(72.9)
17.4
(63.3)
10.8
(51.4)
7.1
(44.8)
16.9
(62.4)
Average low °C (°F) 0.3
(32.5)
1.1
(34)
3.8
(38.8)
6.5
(43.7)
10.7
(51.3)
14.1
(57.4)
16.6
(61.9)
16.0
(60.8)
12.5
(54.5)
9.3
(48.7)
4.3
(39.7)
1.6
(34.9)
8.1
(46.6)
Record low °C (°F) −23
(−9)
−22.5
(−8.5)
−10.5
(13.1)
−4.4
(24.1)
−3.8
(25.2)
2.3
(36.1)
6.1
(43)
4.6
(40.3)
0.2
(32.4)
−4.5
(23.9)
−9.4
(15.1)
−24.6
(−12.3)
−24.6
(−12.3)
Precipitation mm (inches) 47.2
(1.858)
44.1
(1.736)
50.4
(1.984)
74.9
(2.949)
90.8
(3.575)
75.6
(2.976)
63.7
(2.508)
62.0
(2.441)
87.5
(3.445)
98.6
(3.882)
81.9
(3.224)
55.2
(2.173)
831.9
(32.752)
Avg. precipitation days 9 8 8 9 11 8 7 7 8 10 9 9 104
Mean monthly sunshine hours 74 101 170 191 221 254 283 253 195 130 76 54 2,002
Percent possible sunshine 26 35 46 47 48 54 60 58 52 38 27 20 45
Source: Météo France[11]

Administration


Lyon is the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région, the préfecture of the Rhône département, and the capital of 14 cantons, covering 1 commune, and with a total population of 484,344 (2010).[4]

Like Paris and Marseille, the city of Lyon is divided into a number of municipal arrondissements, each of which is identified by a number and has its own council and town hall. Five arrondissements were originally created in 1852, when three neighbouring communes (La Croix-Rousse, La Guillotière, and Vaise) were annexed by Lyon. Between 1867 and 1959, the 3rd arrondissement (which originally covered the whole of the Left Bank of the Rhône) was split three times, creating a new arrondissement in each case. Then, in 1963, the commune of Saint-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe was annexed to Lyon's 5th arrondissement. A year later, in 1964, the 5th was split to create Lyon's 9th – and, to date, final – arrondissement. Within each arrondissement, there are a number of recognisable quartiers or neighbourhoods:

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), Fourvière 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 Écully, Champagne-au-Mont-d'Or, Saint-Didier-au-Mont-d'Or, Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d'Or and Collonges-au-Mont-d'Or.
  • Between the two rivers, on the Presqu'île are the 2nd, 1st and 4th arrondissements. The 2nd includes most of the city centre, including Bellecour and Perrache 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 of La Croix-Rousse. To the north of the Boulevard is the 4th arrondissement, which covers the Plateau of La Croix-Rousse, up to its boundary with the commune of Caluire-et-Cuire.
  • To the east of the Rhône, are the 3rd, 6th, 7th and 8th arrondissements.

The Urban Community of Lyon, also known as Greater Lyon is the intercommunal structure gathering the city and some of its suburbs. The Urban Community encompasses only the core of the metropolitan area of Lyon.

Mayors

Mayor Term start Term end   Party
Antoine Gailleton 1881 1900
Victor Augagneur 1900 01905-10-30October 30, 1905 PRS
Édouard Herriot 01905-10-30October 30, 1905 01940-09-20September 20, 1940 Radical
Georges Cohendy 01940-09-20September 20, 1940 1941 Nominated and dismissed by Vichy
Georges Villiers 1941 1942 Nominated and dismissed by Vichy
Pierre-Louis-André Bertrand 1942 1944 Nominated by Vichy
Justin Godart 1944 01945-05-18May 18, 1945 Radical
Édouard Herriot 01945-05-18May 18, 1945 01957-03-26March 26, 1957 Radical
Pierre Montel, interim 01957-03-26March 26, 1957 01957-04-14April 14, 1957 Radical
Louis Pradel 01957-04-14April 14, 1957 01976-11-27November 27, 1976 Centre-right
Armand Tapernoux, interim 01976-11-27November 27, 1976 01976-12-05December 5, 1976 Independent
Francisque Collomb 01976-12-05December 5, 1976 01989-03-24March 24, 1989 bgcolor=| UDF
Michel Noir 01989-03-24March 24, 1989 01995-06-25June 25, 1995 RPR
Raymond Barre 01995-06-25June 25, 1995 02001-03-25March 25, 2001 bgcolor=| UDF
Gérard Collomb 02001-03-25March 25, 2001 incumbent PS

Culture

UNESCO World Heritage Site
Historic Site of Lyons
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière on the hill.
Type Cultural
Criteria ii, iv
Reference UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1998 (22nd Session)

Since the Middle Ages, the residents of the region speak several dialects of Arpitan language. The Lyonnais dialect was partly replaced by the French language as the importance of the city grew. However, it is still alive and, in addition, some "frenchified" Franco-Provençal words can also be heard in the French of the Lyonnais, who call their little boys and girls "gones" and "fenottes" for example.[12]

  • The Lumière brothers pioneered cinema in the town in 1895. The Musée Lumière, built as Auguste Lumiere's house, and a fascinating piece of architecture in its own right, holds many of their first inventions and other early cinematic and photographic artefacts.
  • 8 December each year is marked by the Festival of Lights (la Fête des lumières), a celebration of thanks to the Virgin Mary, who purportedly saved the city from a deadly plague in the Middle Ages. During the event, the local population places candles (lumignons) at their windows and the city of Lyon organizes impressive large-scale light shows onto the sides of important Lyonnais monuments, such as the medieval Cathédrale St-Jean.
  • The church of Saint Francis of Sales is famous for its large and unaltered Cavaillé-Coll pipe organ, attracting audiences from around the world.
  • The Opéra Nouvel (New Opera House) is the home of the Opéra National de Lyon. The original opera house was re-designed by the distinguished French architect Jean Nouvel between 1985 and 1993 and is named after him.
  • Lyon is also the French capital of "trompe l'œil" walls, a very ancient tradition. Many are to be seen around the city. This old tradition is now finding a contemporary expression, for example in the art of Guillaume Bottazzi.[13][14]
  • The Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a Roman Catholic congregation that operates schools in Europe and North America, was founded in Lyon in 1821.
  • The African Museum of Lyon is one of the oldest museums situated in Lyon.[15]
  • The Museum of Resistance and Deportation looks at the various persons prominent in the Resistance movement in World War II. The building is strongly linked to Klaus Barbie. Lyon sees itself as the centre of the French resistance and many members were shot in Place Bellecour in the town centre. The exhibition is largely a series of mini-biographies of those involved.
  • The unusual project Lyon Dubai City, a reproduction of some districts of Lyon in Dubai, is a major point for the tourism in Lyon.
  • Lyon is a pilot city of the Council of Europe and the European Commission Intercultural cities programme.

UNESCO World Heritage Site

The Historic Site of Lyon was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998. In its designation, UNESCO cited the "exceptional testimony to the continuity of urban settlement over more than two millennia on a site of great commercial and strategic significance."[16] The specific regions composing the Historic Site include the Roman district and Fourvière, the Renaissance district (Vieux Lyon), the silk district (slopes of Croix-Rousse), and the Presqu'île, which features architecture from the 12th century to modern times.[17] Both Vieux Lyon and the slopes of Croix-Rousse are known for their narrow passageways (named traboules) that pass through buildings and link streets on either side. The first examples of traboules are thought to have been built in Lyon in the 4th century. The traboules allowed the inhabitants to get from their homes to the Saône river quickly and allowed the canuts on the Croix-Rousse hill to get quickly from their workshops to the textile merchants at the foot of the hill.

Gastronomy

Lyonnaise cuisine is renowned. For several centuries Lyon has been known as the French capital of gastronomy, due in part to the presence of many fine chefs including Paul Bocuse and other gastronomes like Colette Sibilia. This reputation also comes from the fact that two of France's best known wine-growing regions are located near Lyon: the Beaujolais to the North, and the Côtes du Rhône to the South. Beaujolais wine is very popular in Lyon and remains the most common table wine served with local dishes.

Lyon is the home of very typical and traditional restaurants serving local dishes, and local wines served at bouchons.

The city is famous for its morning snacks formerly had by its silk workers, the mâchons, made up of local charcuterie and usually accompanied by Beaujolais red wine. Traditional local dishes include Rosette lyonnaise and saucisson de Lyon (sausage); andouillette (a sausage of coarsely cut tripe); pistachio sausage; coq au vin; esox (pike) quenelle; gras double (tripe cooked with onions); salade lyonnaise (lettuce with bacon, croûtons and a poached egg); marrons glacés; coussin de Lyon, sabodet and cardoon au gratin.

Cervelle de canut (lit. silk worker's brains) is a cheese spread/dip, a Lyonnais speciality. The dish has a base of fromage blanc, seasoned with chopped herbs, shallots, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar.

Sport

Lyon is home to the Ligue 1 football team Olympique Lyonnais, commonly known as "Lyon" or "OL". Team members have enjoyed unprecedented success recently, winning seven consecutive national titles and establishing themselves as France's premier football club. The team competes in the prestigious UEFA Champions League and currently plays at the Stade de Gerland, where the Danone Nations Cup is held every year. The team is set to move to a new stadium in Décines-Charpieu (in the eastern suburbs) in 2013, one which will hold 61,556 people. Lyon also has a rugby union team, Lyon OU, currently playing in Top 14. In addition, Lyon has a rugby league side: Lyon Villeurbanne Rhône XIII, or LVR XIII,[18] play in the French rugby league championship. The club's current home ground is Stade Georges Lyvet in Villeurbanne. Lyon is also home to the Lyon Hockey Club, an ice hockey team that competes in France's national ice hockey league. The Patinoire Charlemagne ist also the seat of Club des Sports de Glace de Lyon, the club of Olympic champions Marina Anissina and Gwendal Peizerat, and world champions Isabelle Delobel and Olivier Shoenfelder (both pairs competed in ice dancing). Finally, Villeurbanne also has a renowned basketball team, ASVEL, whose members play at the Astroballe arena in Laurent Bonnevay.

Economy

The GDP of Lyon is 62 billion euro,[19] and the city is the second richest city after Paris. Lyon and its region Rhône-Alpes represent one of the most important economies in Europe and, according to Loughborough university, can be compared to Philadelphia, Mumbai or Athens concerning its international position. The city of Lyon is working in partnerships to more easily enable the establishment of new headquarters in the territory (ADERLY, Chambre du commerce et d'industrie, Grand Lyon...). According to the ECER-Banque Populaire, Lyon is the 14th favorite city in the European Union concerning the creation of companies and investments. High-tech industries like biotechnology, software development, game design, and internet services are also growing. Other important sectors include medical research and technology, non-profit institutions, and universities. Lyon is home to some of the most dangerous viruses in the world (class 4) in the Jean Merieux laboratory of research, like Ebola, Marburg, Nipah, Hendra, and Lassa.[20]

The city is the headquarters of many companies like Euronews; Lyon Airports; BioMérieux; Sanofi Pasteur; LCL S.A.; Cegid Group; Boiron; Infogrames; Groupe SEB; Renault Trucks; Irisbus; LVL Medical, GL Events; Compagnie Nationale du Rhône; and intergovernmental agencies IARC, Interpol. The specialization of some sectors of activities has the consequence of creating several main business centers: La Part-Dieu, located in the 3rd arrondissement is the second biggest business quarter after La Défense in Paris with over 1,600,000 m2 (17,222,256.67 sq ft) of office space and services and more than 40,000 jobs.[21] Cité Internationale, created by the architect Renzo Piano is located in the border of the Parc de la Tête d'Or in the 6th arrondissement. The worldwide headquarters of Interpol is located there. The district of Confluence, in the south of the historic centre, is a new pole of economical and cultural development.

Tourism provides a big boost to the Lyon economy with one billion euros in 2007 and 3.5 million hotel nights in 2006 provided by non-residents. Approximately 60% of tourists visit for business, with the rest for leisure. In January 2009, Lyon ranked first in France for hostels business. The festivals most important for attracting tourists are the Fête des lumières, the Nuits de Fourvière every summer, the Biennale d'art contemporain and the Nuits Sonores.

Demographics

The population of the city of Lyon was 484,344 at the 2010 census,[22] 14% of whom were born outside Metropolitan France.[23]


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text:sources Cassini et INSEE

Main sights

Antiquity

Middle Ages and Renaissance

  • Cathedral of St. John, a medieval church with architectural elements of the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries, also the principal religious structure in the city and the seat of the Archbishop of Lyon;
  • Basilica of St-Martin-d'Ainay, one of the rare surviving Romanesque basilica-style churches in Lyon;
  • Église Saint-Paul, Romanesque (12th and 13th century) and Gothic (15th–16th century) church;
  • Église Saint-Bonaventure, 14th- and 15th-century Gothic church;
  • Eglise Saint-Nizier, Gothic church from the 15th century, having a doorway carved in the 16th century by Philibert Delorme;
  • Vieux Lyon (English: Old Lyon) area – Medieval and Renaissance quarter of the town, with shops, dining and cobbled streets;
  • The many Renaissance hôtels particuliers of the Old Lyon quarter, such as the Hôtel de Bullioud, were also built by Philibert Delorme.

17th and 18th century

19th century and modern city

Museums

Parks and gardens

  • Parc de la Tête d'Or, (literally, Golden Head Park), in central Lyon is the largest urban park in France at 117 hectares. Located in the 6th arrondissement, it features a large lake on which boating takes place during the summer months.
  • Jardin botanique de Lyon (8 hectares), included in the Parc de la Tête d'Or, is a municipal botanical garden and is open weekdays without charge. The garden was established in 1857 as a successor to earlier botanical gardens dating to 1796, and now describes itself as France's largest municipal botanical garden.
  • Parc de Gerland, in the south of the city (80 hectares);
  • Parc des hauteurs, in Fourvières;
  • Parc de Miribel-Jonage (300 hectares);
  • Parc de Lacroix-Laval (115 hectares);
  • Parc de Parilly (178 hectares).

Education


There are some international private schools in Lyon, including:

Transport


Saint-Exupéry International Airport, located east of Lyon, serves as a base for domestic and international flights. It is an important transport facility for the entire Rhône-Alpes region. Coach links connect the airport with other towns in the area including Chambéry and Grenoble. With its in-house train station (Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry), the airport is also connected to the TGV network. Since August 2010, the new Rhônexpress tram links the international airport with the business quarter of La Part Dieu in less than 30 minutes and can reach up to 100 km/hour; it offers connections with Underground A&B, Tramway T1,T2 & T3, and many bus lines. The Lyon-Bron Airport is a smaller airport dedicated to General Aviation (both private and commercial). Having helipads, the facility hosts a Gendarmerie and a Sécurité Civile (civilian defence) Base.

Lyon has two major railway stations: Lyon Part-Dieu, which was built to accommodate the TGV and has become the principal railway station for extra-regional trains; and Lyon Perrache, an older station that now serves primarily regional rail services. In practice, many trains, including TGVs, serve both stations. Smaller railway stations include Gorge-de-Loup, Vaise, Vénissieux, Saint-Paul and Jean Macé. Lyon is connected to the north (Lille, Paris, Brussels, and in the future Amsterdam) and the south (Marseille, Montpellier, and in the future Barcelona, Turin) by the TGV. Since 23 March 2012 there is also a direct TGV connection from Frankfurt via Strasbourg and Lyon to Marseille. It was the first city to be connected to Paris by the TGV in 1981.

The city is at the heart of a dense road network and is located at the meeting point of several highways: A6 (to Paris); A7 (to Marseille); A42 (to Geneve); and A43 (to Grenoble). The city is now bypassed by the A46. A double motorway tunnel passes under Fourvière, connecting the A6 and the A7 autoroutes, both forming the "Autoroute du Soleil". Prior to the construction of the bypass by the east, the tunnel was famous for its traffic jams, since traffic between northern and southern France, as well as from neighboring countries and local traffic, converged at this point, Lyon being virtually the only low passage between the Alps and the Massif Central (extinct) volcano range. Lyon is served by the Eurolines intercity coach organisation. Its Lyon terminal is located at the city's Perrache railway station, which serves as an intermodal transportation hub that also includes tramways, local and regional trains and buses, the terminus of metro line A, the bicycle service Vélo'v, and taxis.


The TCL (for Transports en Commun Lyonnais), Lyon's all-four public transit system, consisting of metro, tramways and buses, serves 62 communes of the Lyon agglomeration. The metro network has 4 lines ( A  B  C  D), 42 stations and runs with a frequency of up to a train every 2 minutes. There are 5 Lyon tram linesT1  T2  T3  T4  T5) since April 2009: T1 from Montrochet in the south to IUT-Feyssine in the north, Tram T2 from Perrache railway station in the southwest to Saint-Priest in the southeast, Tram T3 from Part-Dieu to Meyzieu, Tram T4 from Mendès-France to Feyzin ant Tram T5 from Grange Blanche, in the South-East to Eurexpo in the South-East. The Lyon bus network consists of the Lyon trolleybus system, motorbuses, and coaches for areas outside the centre. There are also two funicular lines from Vieux Lyon to Saint-Just and Fourvière.

The ticketing system is quite simple right now, knowing that the city has only one operator for public transport; the SYTRAL (TCL is the brand name used for the transport, it stands for Transport en Commun Lyonnais (Lyon Common Transport)).

In 2008, an 'RER' (commuter rail) project was started, with the objective of linking Lyon with the surrounding cities which are growing fast. It should have a total of 8 lines and will replace the actual TER lines operated by the SNCF (National French Railway Network). It was planned to be fully finished by 2010.

The public transit system has been complemented since 2005 by Vélo'v, a bicycle network providing a low-cost and convenient bicycle-hire service where bicycles can be hired and dropped off at any of 340 stations throughout the city of Lyon and Villeurbane, Lyon was the first city in France to introduce this bicycle renting system. Borrowing a bicycle for less than 30 minutes is free. Free rental time can be extended to another 15 minutes at any station. In 2011 the Auto'lib car rental service was introduced; it works exactly like the Velo'v but for cars.

Notable residents




Movies in Lyon

International relations

Twin towns – Sister cities

Lyon is twinned with:[25]

Gallery

The lion is a common sight in Lyon :

Other images :

See also

Notes

References

External links

  • Lyon, the City between two rivers - Official French website (in English)
  • City of Lyon official website;
  • ;
  • Official tourist office site

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