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About city Gallery Where to stay

Lyon, home to almost 2 million people, is a city located in the east of France in the Rhône-Alps Region. It’s the second-biggest and second-wealthiest French metropolis, after Paris. Lyon is considered to be a large industrial, business and cultural centre. It went down in history as the birthplace of the world’s first filmmakers – the brothers Lumière, about whom you can find out all it in a museum dedicated to their lives. Lyon is also the hometown of the writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

The city was founded by the Romans in 43 BCE, and emperors Tiberius Claudius and Caracalla were born here. Lyon became a French city only in the 15th century. During the Renaissance, it became known as a city of weavers which held a monopoly over silk manufacture and trade. Due to its great density and varying colours, Lyon’s silk was held in very high regard. Interestingly enough, even the city’s architecture was designed to accommodate the needs of the silk weavers, and at the time, Lyon was home to many Italian merchants who traded in the material. They had built a number of uniquely designed houses with patios, towers, arches and shingled roofs that remain to this day.

Lyon, France
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Lyon, France

In Lyon’s Old Town, every house has a traboule – a building whose corridor leads straight to two streets, connecting them. Traboules were designed to help the weavers transport big rolls of silk without getting them wet from rain or exposed to excessive sunlight. Now they’re one of the city’s main attractions – you won’t find any traboules anywhere else in the world.

Silk is manufactured here to this day, although in small quantities, which makes it very expensive. For remembrance, tourists usually buy a small silk accessory, such as a headscarf, shawl, handkerchief or tie.

While in Lyon, be sure to visit the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the metal tower, which resembles the Eiffel Tower and is considered to be the city’s symbol, the ancient theatre, Bellecour Square – one of the continent’s largest squares, the St. Jean Cathedral with its charming mechanical clock, and, of course, the UNESCO-protected Old Town.

Bike on red footbridge, Lyon, France
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Bike on red footbridge, Lyon, France

Lyon is also known for its Fine Arts Museum, which is second only to the Louvre. History enthusiasts will find much of interest in the Gallo-Roman Museum, children will rejoice in the Puppet Museum, and fashion aficionados shouldn’t miss the Fabric Museum.

The Old Town of Lyon is filled with bouchons – the city’s famous restaurants that serve traditional Lyonnaise dishes, which are simple and filling. You simply must try the famous andouillette (a type of sausage with herbs), blood sausage and salad Lyonnaise. The city is also known for its dried sausages. Food is traditionally washed down with Beaujolais wine, which is very popular in Lyon. The city is home to a great number of famous chefs and over 40 Michelin restaurants.

Cervelle de canut - cheese spread, specialty of Lyon
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Cervelle de canut - cheese spread, specialty of Lyon

Every year, on December 8th, the city holds the Festival of Lights to express its gratitude toward Mary who saved it from a deadly plague in the Middle Ages. During the festival, people light candles in their homes and go see various light shows.

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