Top, the Basilique de Notre-Dame de Fourvière, the Place des Terreaux with the Fontaine Bartholdi and Lyon City Hall at night. Centre, the Parc de la Tête d'Or, the Confluence district and the old city. Bottom, the Pont Lafayette, the Part-Dieu district with the Place Bellecour in the foreground during the Festival of Lights.
|Motto: Avant, avant, Lion le melhor.
(Old Franco-Provençal: Forward, forward, Lyon the best)
Location within Rhône-Alpes region
|Metropolis||Metropolis of Lyon|
|Intercommunality||Metropolis of Lyon|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Gérard Collomb (PS)|
|Area1||47.87 km2 (18.48 sq mi)|
|• Metro (2010)||6,018.62 km2 (2,323.80 sq mi)|
|Population (Jan. 2012)2||496,343|
|• Rank||3rd in France|
|• Density||10,000/km2 (27,000/sq mi)|
|• Metro (2012)||2,214,068|
|Time zone||CET (GMT +1)|
|INSEE/Postal code||69123 / 69001-69009|
|Elevation||162–349 m (531–1,145 ft)|
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Lyon or Lyons (UK /liːˈɒn/ or /ˈliːɒn/;French pronunciation: [ljɔ̃] ( listen), locally: [lijɔ̃]; Arpitan: Liyon [ʎjɔ̃]) is a city in east-central France, in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. The correct spelling in French is Lyon, but the spelling Lyons is sometimes specified in English, particularly in newspaper style guides. Lyon is located about 470 km (292 mi) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille, 420 km (261 mi) from Strasbourg, 160 km (99 mi) from Geneva, and 280 km (174 mi) from Turin. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais.
The municipality (commune) of Lyon has a population of 491,268 (January 2011) and is France's third-largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the seat of the metropolis of Lyon, and the capital of both the Rhône-Alpes region and the Rhône département. The greater metropolitan area of Lyon, a concept for statistical purposes that is not an administrative division, has a population of 2,214,068 (2012), which makes it the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Île-de-France (Paris).
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. Since the late 20th century, it has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France and in the world.
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.
Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking, as well as for the 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. Lyon hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, Euronews, and International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lyon was ranked 19th globally and second in France for innovation in 2011. It ranked second in France and 39th globally in Mercer's 2015 liveability rankings.
According to the historian Dio Cassius, in 43 BC, the Roman Senate ordered Munatius Plancus and Lepidus, lieutenants of the assassinated Julius Caesar and governors of central and Transalpine Gaul, respectively, to found a city for a group of Roman refugees. These refugees had been expelled from Vienne (a town about 30 km to the south) by the Allobroges and were now encamped at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. Dio Cassius says this task was to keep the two men from joining Mark Antony and bringing their armies into the developing conflict. The Roman foundation was at Fourvière hill and was officially called Colonia Copia Felix Munatia, a name invoking prosperity and the blessing of the gods. The city became increasingly referred to as Lugdunum (and occasionally Lugudunum). The earliest translation of this Gaulish place-name as "Desired Mountain" is offered by the 9th-century Endlicher Glossary. In contrast, some modern scholars have proposed a Gaulish hill-fort named Lug[o]dunon, after the Celtic god Lugus ('Light', cognate with Old Irish Lugh, Modern Irish Lú), and dúnon (hill-fort).
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 due 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, whose speech is preserved in the Lyon Tablet in which he justifies the nomination of Gallic senators, 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 beliefs under the reigns of 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 second century AD, the great Christian bishop of Lyon was the Easterner Irenaeus.
Burgundian refugees fleeing the destruction of Worms by the Huns in 437 were resettled by the military commander of the west, Aëtius, at Lugdunum. This became the capital of the new Burgundian kingdom in 461.
In 843, by the Treaty of Verdun, Lyon, with the country beyond the Saône, went to Lothair I. It later was made part of the Kingdom of Arles. Lyon did not come under French control until 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". 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 by Catholics against Protestant 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 its ties to Italy. (Italian influence on Lyon's architecture are still visible among historic buildings.) 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 for better working conditions and pay. The 1831 uprising had one of the first recorded uses of the black flag as an emblem of protest.
In 1862, the world's first urban 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.)
The lion has been the symbol of the city for centuries and is represented throughout the city.
Lyon in the 18th century
Lyon under siege in 1793
Lyon in 1860
Lyon in 2007
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 second 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 sixth 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.
Lyon lies in the broad transition zone between the temperate oceanic climates of northern France, the warm continental climate of northern Italy, and the subtropical Mediterranean climates to the south. Although Lyon does not share the drier summers typical of Mediterranean climates, it has summer temperatures that are warmer than typical temperate oceanic climates. In contrast, Lyon does not share the higher winter rainfall and cool summer temperatures typical of oceanic climates. Thus, Lyon appears to be located somewhat in the broad transition zone between these two climate types. The mean temperature in Lyon in the coldest month is 3.2 °C (37.8 °F) in January and in the warmest month in July is 22 °C (71.6 °F), which is just around the threshold for humid subtropical classification. Precipitation is adequate year-round, at an average of 830 mm (32.7 in), but the winter months are the driest.
|Climate data for Lyon (1981–2010 averages)|
|Record high °C (°F)||18.5
|Average high °C (°F)||6.4
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.4
|Average low °C (°F)||0.3
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.0
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||47.2
|Average precipitation days||9.0||7.8||8.4||9.3||11.3||8.4||6.9||7.1||7.6||10.2||9.0||9.1||104.1|
|Average snowy days||5.5||3.9||2.5||1.1||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.0||4.6||19.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||84||80||74||71||72||70||65||70||76||82||84||86||76.2|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||73.9||101.2||170.2||190.5||221.4||254.3||283.0||252.7||194.8||129.6||75.9||54.5||2,001.9|
|Source #1: Météo France|
|Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity, snowy days 1961–1990)|
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 third 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 fifth arrondissement. A year later, in 1964, the fifth was split to create Lyon's 9th – and, to date, final – arrondissement. Within each arrondissement, the recognisable quartiers or neighbourhoods are:
- 1st arrondissement : Slopes of La Croix-Rousse, Terreaux, Martinière/St-Vincent
- 2nd arrondissement : Cordeliers, Bellecour, Ainay, Perrache, Confluent
- 3rd arrondissement : Guillotière (north), Préfecture, Part-Dieu, Villette, Dauphiné/Sans Souci, Montchat, Grange Blanche (north), Monplaisir (north)
- 4th arrondissement : Plateau de la Croix-Rousse, Serin
- 5th arrondissement : Vieux Lyon (Saint-Paul, Saint-Jean, ), Saint-Just, Saint-Irénée, Fourvière, Point du Jour, Ménival, Battières, Champvert (south)
- 6th arrondissement : Brotteaux, Bellecombe, Parc de la Tête d'Or, Cité Internationale
- 7th arrondissement : Guillotière (south), Jean Macé, Gerland
- 8th arrondissement : Monplaisir (south), Bachut, États-Unis, Grand Trou/Moulin à Vent, Grange Blanche (south), Laënnec, Mermoz, Monplaisir-la-Plaine
- 9th arrondissement : Vaise, Duchère, Rochecardon, St-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe, Gorge de Loup, Observance, Champvert (north)
Geographically, Lyon's two main rivers, the Saône and the Rhône, divide the arrondissements into three groups:
- To the west of the Saône, the fifth 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 second, first, and fourth arrondissements. The second includes most of the city centre, including Bellecour and Perrache railway station, and reaches as far as the confluence of the two rivers. The first is directly to the north of the second 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 fourth 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 third, sixth, seventh, and eighth 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.
|Mayor||Term start||Term end||Party|
|Victor Augagneur||1900||000000001905-10-30-0000October 30, 1905||PRS|
|Édouard Herriot||000000001905-10-30-0000October 30, 1905||000000001940-09-20-0000September 20, 1940||Radical|
|Georges Cohendy||000000001940-09-20-0000September 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||000000001945-05-18-0000May 18, 1945||Radical|
|Édouard Herriot||000000001945-05-18-0000May 18, 1945||000000001957-03-26-0000March 26, 1957||Radical|
|Pierre Montel, interim||000000001957-03-26-0000March 26, 1957||000000001957-04-14-0000April 14, 1957||Radical|
|000000001957-04-14-0000April 14, 1957||000000001976-11-27-0000November 27, 1976||Centre-right|
|Armand Tapernoux, interim||000000001976-11-27-0000November 27, 1976||000000001976-12-05-0000December 5, 1976||Independent|
|Francisque Collomb||000000001976-12-05-0000December 5, 1976||000000001989-03-24-0000March 24, 1989||UDF|
|Michel Noir||000000001989-03-24-0000March 24, 1989||000000001995-06-25-0000June 25, 1995||RPR|
|Raymond Barre||000000001995-06-25-0000June 25, 1995||000000002001-03-25-0000March 25, 2001||UDF|
|Gérard Collomb||000000002001-03-25-0000March 25, 2001||incumbent||PS|
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.
- The Lumière brothers pioneered cinema in the town in 1895. The Institut 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.
- 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.
- 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 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." 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. 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 from their workshops to the textile merchants at the foot of the hill.
Lyon has a long and storied culinary arts tradition. The noted food critic Curnonsky referred to the city as "the gastronomic capital of the world". Renowned 3-star Michelin chefs such as and Eugénie Brazier developed Lyonnaise cuisine into a national phenomenon favored by the French elite; a tradition which Paul Bocuse later turned into a world-wide success.
The "bouchon" is a traditional Lyonnais restaurant that serves local dishes such as sausages, duck pâté or roast pork; along with local wines. Two of France's best known wine-growing regions are located near the city: the Beaujolais region to the north and the Côtes du Rhône region to the south. Another Lyon tradition is a type of brunch food called "mâchons", made of local charcuterie and usually accompanied by Beaujolais red wine. Mâchons were the customary meal of the canuts, the city's silk workers, who ate a late-morning meal after they finished their shifts in the factories. Other 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); (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, another Lyonnais speciality. The dish has a base of fromage blanc, seasoned with chopped herbs, shallots, salt, pepper, olive oil and vinegar.
Lyon is home to the Ligue 1 football team Olympique Lyonnais, a seven-time winner of the French first division championship (2002-2007). The team plays at the 43,000-seat Stade de Gerland, which also hosted matches of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. In 2016, the team plans to move to a new stadium with a capacity of 59,000 located in the eastern suburb of Décines-Charpieu.
Lyon has a rugby union team, Lyon OU, currently in Pro D2. In addition, Lyon has a rugby league side called Lyon Villeurbanne that plays in the French rugby league championship. The club's current home is the in Villeurbanne.
Lyon is also home to the Lyon Hockey Club, an ice hockey team that competes in France's national ice hockey league. is 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). Villeurbanne also has a basketball team, ASVEL, that plays at the Astroballe arena.
The GDP of Lyon is 62 billion euro, and the city is the second richest 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.
The city is the headquarters of many companies like Euronews; Lyon Airports; BioMérieux; Sanofi Pasteur; LCL S.A.; Boiron; Infogrames; Groupe SEB; Renault Trucks; Irisbus; LVL Medical, GL Events; Compagnie Nationale du Rhône; Norbert Dentressangle 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.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 is an important part of 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.
The population of the city of Lyon proper was 491,268 at the January 2011 census, 14% of whom were born outside Metropolitan France.
- The Roman ruins on the hillside near the Fourvière Basilica with the Ancient Theatre of Fourvière, the Odeon of Lyon and the accompanying Gallo-Roman Museum;
- Amphitheatre of the Three Gauls, Roman ruins of an amphiteatre.
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 centuries
- City Hall on the Place des Terreaux, built by architects Jules Hardouin-Mansart and Robert de Cotte;
- Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon, fine arts museum housed in a former convent of the 17th century, including the Baroque chapelle Saint-Pierre;
- Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon (17th and 18th century), historical hospital with a baroque chapel;
- Temple du Change (17th and 18th century), former stock exchange of Lyon, Protestant temple since the 18th century;
- Place Bellecour, one of the largest town squares in Europe;
- Chapelle de la Trinité (1622), the first Baroque chapel built in Lyon, and part of the former École de la Trinité, now Collège-lycée Ampère;
- Église Saint-Polycarpe (1665–1670), Classical church;
- Église Saint-Just (16th to 18th century), Classical church;
- Saint-Bruno des Chartreux (17th and 18th century), church, masterpiece of Baroque architecture;
- Église Notre Dame Saint-Vincent (18th century), Neoclassical church.
19th century and modern city
- Opéra National de Lyon (1831), renovated in 1993 by Jean Nouvel;
- Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière, large 19th-century basilica on the top of Fourvière Hill;
- Tour métallique de Fourvière (1894);
- La Mouche Cattle Market and Abbatoir (1914, 1928), designed by Tony Garnier;
- Sainte Marie de La Tourette monastery (1960) designed by Le Corbusier;
- Saint-Exupéry International Airport (formerly Satolas Airport), designed by ;
- Gare de Lyon Saint-Exupéry (1994) by Santiago Calatrava;
- Palais des congrès de Lyon (1998), designed by Renzo Piano and a group of buildings for various functions;
- Tour du Crédit Lyonnais;
- Tour Oxygène;
- Tour Incity.
- Musée des beaux-arts de Lyon (Fine Arts Museum), main museum of the city and one of the largest art galleries in France. Housed in the "Palais Saint Pierre", a former 17th-century convent, it displays a major collection of paintings by artists (including Tintoretto; Paolo Veronese; Nicolas Poussin; Rubens; Rembrandt; Zurbaran; Canaletto; Delacroix; Monet; Gauguin; Van Gogh; Cézanne; Matisse; Picasso; Francis Bacon...); collections of sculptures, drawings and printings, decorative arts, Roman and Greek antiquities; the second largest collection of Egyptian antiquities in France after that of the Louvre; and a medal cabinet of 50 000 medals and coins.
- The Gallo-Roman Museum displaying many valuable objects and artworks found on the site of Roman Lyon (Lugdunum) such as Circus Games Mosaic, Coligny calendar and the ;
- African Museum of Lyon;
- Centre d'histoire de la résistance et de la déportation;
- Musée des Confluences, new museum of Sciences and anthropology which opened its doors on 20 December 2014.
- La Sucrière, contemporary art center;
- Hôtel-Dieu de Lyon houses the "Musée des Hospices Civils", a permanent exhibit tracing the history and practice of medicine from the Middle Ages to modern time;
- Musée des Tissus et des Arts Décoratifs, decorative arts museum;
- Musée d'art contemporain de Lyon, contemporary art museum;
- Musée Gadagne, museum of the history of Lyon housed in a historic building in Vieux Lyon. Also includes a large collection of marionnettes.
- Musée des Automates, museum of automated puppets in Vieux Lyon, open since 1991.
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).
- École Centrale de Lyon;
- École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
- EM Lyon (École de Management de Lyon);
- ECE Lyon (École de Commerce Européenne de Lyon);
- Institut d'études politiques de Lyon (Sciences Po Lyon);
- CPE Lyon;
- ECAM Lyon (École Catholique d'Arts et Métiers de Lyon);
- École pour l'informatique et les nouvelles technologies;
- ENTPE (École Nationale des Travaux Publiques de l'État);
- École des Beaux-Arts;
- Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Lyon (located in Villeurbanne);
- Polytech Lyon located in Villeurbanne;
- Institut supérieur européen de gestion group;
- ISARA (Institut Supérieur d'Agriculture Rhône Alpes);
- Institution des Chartreux;
- Université Claude Bernard (Lyon 1);
- Université Lumière (Lyon 2);
- Université Jean Moulin (Lyon 3);
- IAE (Institut d'Administration des Entreprises de Lyon);
- Catholic University of Lyon;
- ESDES Business School;
- IDRAC (International School of Management);
- Wesford Graduate Business School;
- IFAG (Business Management School);
- Institut supérieur européen de formation par l'action;
- Le Lycée du Parc;
- La Martiniere Lyon;
- CEESO (Centre Européen d'Enseignement Supérieur de l'Ostéopathie);
- Bellecour, Ecoles D'Arts.
There are some international private schools in Lyon, including:
- Cité Scolaire Internationale de Lyon;
- Includes the Section Japonaises (リヨン・ジェルラン補習授業校 Riyon Sheruran Hoshū Jugyō Kō), which the Japanese Ministry of Education (MEXT) counts as a part-time Japanese supplementary school
- International School of Lyon;
- Montessori School of Lyon.
Other Japanese supplementary schools:
- The Association Pour le Developpement de la Langue et de la Culture Japonaises (ADLCJ; リヨン補習授業校 Riyon Hoshū Jugyō Kō) is held in the Maison Berty Albrecht in Villeurbanne, near Lyon. It was formed in 1987.
Lyon–Saint Exupéry 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 lines ( T1 T2 T3 T4 T5) since April 2009: T1 from Debourg 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 Gaston Berger. 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 for another 30 minutes at any station. In 2011 the Auto'lib car rental service was introduced; it works exactly like the Velo'v but for cars.
Twin towns – Sister cities
Lyon is twinned with:
- Aleppo, Syria
- Beersheba, Israel
- Beirut, Lebanon
- Birmingham, UK (since 1951)
- Craiova, Romania (since 1992)
- Frankfurt, Germany (since 1960)
- Guangzhou, China (since 1988)
- Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam (since 1997)
- Leipzig, Germany (since 1981)
- Łódź, Poland (since 1991)
- Milan, Italy (since 1966)
- Minsk, Belarus (since 1976)
- Montreal, Canada (since 1979)
- Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
- Pécs Hungary
- Saint Petersburg, Russia (since 1993)
- St. Louis, United States (since 1975)
- Turin, Italy
- Yerevan, Armenia (since 1992)
- Yokohama, Japan (since 1959)
The lion, symbol of the city, is a common sight in Lyon:
A lion door knocker in Lyon
The Lion Place Sathonay
The lion at Maison des Avocats
A real lion in the Parc de la Tête d'Or
The lion on the seal of Lyon
Other images :
The théâtre des Célestins.
The théâtre gallo-romain.
Mullioned windows, Renaissance house, climb the Great Coast
Maison des avocats in the Vieux Lyon
The Tour Rose in the Vieux Lyon
Parc de la Tête d'Or
Belltower of Charity
Nave of Church of Saint-Bruno des Chartreux
Faculties and the University Bridge
The Rhône, Pont Lafayette