Lyon, France

Description of Lyon

Lyon is a French town located in the south-eastern quarter of France, at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône. Seat of the council of the metropolis of Lyon, to which its particular status confers at the same time the attributions of a metropolis and a department, it is also the capital of the arrondissement of Lyon, that of the departmental constituency of the Rhône and that of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Its inhabitants are called the Lyonnais.

The town is located at the geographical crossroads of the country, north of the Rhone corridor which runs from Lyon to Marseille. Located between the Massif central to the west and the Alpine massif to the east, the city of Lyon occupies a strategic position in the north-south traffic in Europe. Former capital of the Gauls at the time of the Roman Empire, it is the seat of an archbishopric whose holder bears the title of primate of the Gauls. Lyon became a very commercial city and a first-rate financial center during the Renaissance. Its economic prosperity is also carried at this time by the silk and the printing industry then by the appearance of industries in particular textiles, chemicals and, more recently, by the image industry.

Lyon is historically an industrial city. Downstream of the Rhone, along the river, the south of the agglomeration, hosts many petrochemical activities, in what is called the valley of chemistry. After the departure and closure of the textile industries, it gradually refocused on the sectors of activity of advanced techniques, such as pharmacy and biotechnology. Lyon is the second largest student city in France, with four universities and several grandes écoles. Finally, the city has preserved an important architectural heritage ranging from the Roman era to the twentieth century via the Renaissance and, as such, the districts of Old Lyon, the Fourvière hill, the Peninsula and the slopes of the Croix-Rousse are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

In 2021, Lyon constitutes, by its population, the third municipality in France with 522,250 inhabitants, the city-center of the second urban unit with 1,702,921 inhabitants and the second attraction area of France with 2,308,818 inhabitants. It is the prefecture of the Rhône department, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, the South-Eastern defense and security zone and the headquarters of the metropolis of Lyon, which brings together 59 municipalities and 1,424,069 inhabitants in 2021. The city exerts an attractiveness of national and European importance. Its importance in the cultural, banking, financial, commercial, technological, pharmaceutical fields, or even arts and entertainment make it a global city of "Beta-" rank according to the GaWC ranking in 2020, comparable to Osaka, Saint-Petersburg or Stuttgart. The city has also been home to the headquarters of the International Agency for Research on Cancer since 1965 and that of Interpol since 1989.


How to orient

Lyon is located where the Rhone meets the Saona river.

The old Lyons (le vieu L LonOn) extends through narrow and inaccessible streets, departing in the three districts of St. Paul to the north (bankers), St. John (traders) in the center, and St. George (silk workers) to the south. The houses of all three districts are perched around the churches, from which they derive their name. That of St. John, perhaps more refined than the basilica above, recalls very closely, as a facade, the church of Notre-Dame of Paris, a tribute, not unique, to the capital.

On the peninsula between the two rivers stands the modern Lyon rich in the museum of fine arts, the church of St. Bonaventure in the district of Cordeliers (so called because it housed the church of the same name officiated by the Franciscans who carry a white cord around the sides) Moderna Bellecour square, quadrangular and harmonic, one of the largest in France, a huge square surrounded by buildings of the secolo

On the other bank of the Saona extends, at the foot of the Fourviere hill, the old town (Vieu L Its most famous monument is the cathedral of St. John with Gothic and Romanesque forms. To the south of the cathedral is the district of St. George (Saint-Georges) lying on the homonymous street narrow between the hill and the eastern bank of the Saona. To the north of the cathedral there is, instead, the most picturesque district, that of Saint Paul, gathered around the homonymous church. One of its most touristy streets is the rue du Boeuf which takes its name from the statue of a miniature ox in a niche on the corner of Neuve Saint Saint The street is surrounded by Renaissance buildings such as the cour des Loges and the Tour Rose both transformed into 4-star hotels.

The old city of Lyon is characterized by an intricate road system. Traboules is the local expression that indicates a sort of covered passage that crosses the courtyards of the houses connecting the main streets.



Presqu'gle (1 arr arrondissement) - Between the two rivers, the true heart of the city. North of Presqu'gle and the slopes of Croi Ro-Rousse hill; home of the canuts (silk workers), it is still a 'rebel'neighborhood today.
Confluence (2 arr arrondissement) - An emerging district with great contemporary architecture in an industrial area.
Part - Dieu (3 arr arrondissement)-Part-Dieu, north of Guill Moderna, Montchat, north of Monplaisir; the most populated arrondissement with the rich and popular districts, and industriali industrial or military sites and a modern business district.
Croi Ro-Rousse (4th arrondissement) — North of Presqu'gle between the two rivers, it is known as "the hill that works" because it housed silk workers until the secolo This industry has shaped the unique architecture of the area.
Fourviere Hill and Vieu L LyOn (5 arr arrondissement) - Also known as "the hill that prays" because of the many churches and religious institutions it houses. The hill was also the place where the Romans settled.
brotteau Br (6 arr arrondissement) — The richest district, near the beautiful park T Or
Guillotiere (7 arr arrondissement) - A picturesque neighborhood with a large immigrant population.
Etats-Unis (8 arr arrondissement) - An interesting housing project of the 20s.
Vaise (9 arr arrondissement) - Another developing district.

Fourviere, Vieu L LonOn, Croi Cr-Rousse and much of the Presqu'ile are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Be sure to visit Sainte-Fois-Lon

The postal codes for Lyon begin with 69 for its e Rod Rhone department and end with the district number: 69004 is therefore the zip code for the 4 arr Special postal codes can be used for businesses.


Travel Destinations in Lyon

Lyon does not have world famous monuments such as the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty, but it offers very different neighborhoods that are interesting to visit and that hide architectural wonders. As time goes on, the city becomes more and more welcoming to pedestrians and cyclists. So a good way to explore it might be to get lost somewhere and enjoy what comes out, and not always follow the guide.

A good way to visit some attractions without spending money is to visit churches, traboule, parks, etc.For those who instead intend to visit museums (which are almost the only attractions you can not see for free), the L Cit It is available at the tourist office and some hotels, costs 2 21 for a day, costa 31 for 2 days and 4 It includes unlimited rides on the public transport network, free or reduced admission to major museums and exhibitions and a guided tour per day per person (Vieu L Ly The price is a bit high, so before buying evaluate if it is for you a good deal according to your plans.

Do not hesitate to buy a detailed map at a book store or newsstand; many places of interest or good restaurants are in small streets that you will not find on simplified maps like those that you can get at the tourist office.

At any time of the year (except the F Lum Ter des Lumieres), tourists are still not very numerous, but they are concentrated in some small areas, in particular Fourviere and Vieu L

Guided tours mainly in French are available at the tourist office with prices ranging between 12 and 70.


The Roman monuments

The city having an important past of Roman domination presents the important vestiges of the theater and the Roman Odeon within the archaeological area of the Fourviere Hill with next to the interesting Gallo-Roman Museum of Fourviere and the Amphitheater of the Three Gauls.

Roman Grand Theatre



The many churches of the city offer the opportunity to visit for free and admire the different styles as for the Gothic churches the Cathedral of Lyon, 'Eglise Saint-Nizier, Romanesque Basilique Saint-Martin d'ainay, Eglise du Bon-Pasteur, Baroque Church of San Bruno della Certosa, eclectic Basilique Notre-Dame de Fourviere or the oldest of all the Eglise Saint -ust

Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (Cathedrale Saint-Jean Baptiste)

Basilica of Saint-Martin d'Ainay

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière



The city has a rich offer of museums of different types in addition to the aforementioned Gallo-Roman Museum should be noted the Museum of miniature theaters and cinemas with miniatures and installations of famous films, the Museum of the press, the Historical Museum of Lyon and International Museum of Puppets, the Museum of Fine Arts the Museum of contemporary art, the Museum vivant du Cinema in memory of the fact that the city gave birth to the Lumiere brothers and the Museum urbain Ton Gar

Among the most representative buildings: the H .Tel de ville, the large complex of the H .Tel-Dieu and the Palais de j

Of sure effect the Fourviere Metal Tower with a vague reference to the Eiffel Tower and two interesting murals the Mur des Canuts and the Mur des Lonn


Events and parties

Nuits sonores. may. An increasingly popular festival dedicated to electronic music.
Festival Nuits de Fourviere. from June to early August. The Roman theaters host various shows such as concerts (popular music, classica International artists who usually fill much larger venues are often seduced by the special atmosphere of the theaters.
Biennale. september-December. Lyon hosts alternately biennials of dance (even years) and contemporary art (odd years) from September to December/January. The dance biennale is traditionally opened by a street parade in which the inhabitants of Greater Lyon participate through neighborhood associations. If you are in town at that time, don't miss this colorful and fun event.
Festival of Lights(F Lum 8 December. It is by far the most important event of the year. It lasts four days around December 8. Initially it was a traditional religious celebration: on December 8, 1852, the people of Lyon spontaneously lit their windows with candles to celebrate the inauguration of the golden statue of the Virgin Mary (the Virgin had been the patron saint of Lyon since she allegedly saved the city from the plague in 1643). The same ritual was then repeated every year.

Over the past decade, the celebration has turned into an international event, with light shows by professional artists from all over the world. They range from small installations in remote neighborhoods to massive light and sound shows, the largest traditionally taking place in the Place des Terreau. The most important monuments such as the town hall, the Ht The university buildings of Lyon II / Lyon III along the Rhone are also among the most beautiful illuminations. The traditional celebration continues, though: during the weeks leading up to December 8, traditional candles and glasses are sold in shops across the city. This festival attracts around 4 million visitors each year; for example, it now compares, in terms of attendance, to Munich's Oktoberfest. Needless to say, accommodation for this period should be booked months in advance. You will also need good shoes (to avoid crowds in the subway) and very warm clothes (it can be very cold at this time of year).


What to do

Lyon is an important university center. French language courses are available at InfleonOn, Alliance Francaise, L BlOn-Bleu, Ecole Interculturelle de Francais. If you are looking for an immersion program, you can take a look at the Alpadia Language School, formerly known as ESL school, Learn French groups in L.

Boat trips on the Saona (Navig'inter Company), ☎ +33 4 78 42 96 81. 28 Tue-8 Nov, Tue-Fri 14:00-18:00; Sat-Sun 11: 00-18: 00. A boat trip can be a good way to see Lyon from another point of view. Boats take you upstream of Ile Barbe or downstream of the Confluence. Overnight trips are available on Fridays and Saturdays.

Parks and gardens
Long Rhone, quai Charles de Gaulle, ave de Grande-Bretagne, quai de Serbie, quai Sarrail, quai Augagneur, quai Claude Bernard, ave Leclerc (Metro: Foch, Guillotiere, Stade de Gerland). The right bank of the Rhone River has been transformed from an ugly parking lot into a 5 km promenade with various landscapes and beautiful views of the Croi aree The place was immediately successful among locals. A bicycle is perfect for exploring the area.
Along Saona, quai Rambaud, quai Saint-Antoine, quai Gillet(Metro: Perrache, H Ville After the success of the operation of the Long Rhone, the municipality decided to renew the operation, this time with the Saona river. The aim is to create a 22 km walk along the banks of the Saona, divided into two parts (for now): between Confluence and Barb The work is still in progress but some parts are already open. The promenade stretches largely in the suburban territory and is much greener than the banks of the Rhone. The portion near Rochetaillee offers many restaurants on the water (guinguettes) serving fresh seafood.


Getting here

By plane

1 Lyon Airport (IATA: LY A rapidly developing airport. It hosts few intercontinental flights (Dubai, North Africa), but can be easily reached via a European hub (Paris, London, Frankfurt). Air France serves most airports in France and major European airports. EASetEt serves a number of destinations in Europe, including London, Berlin, Bruell Most other major European airlines also operate flights between Lyon and their respective hubs.

Connections to the airport
2 RhnENepr Press (To find the station, follow the red signs in the airport terminals. Cross the TGV station, which can also be a 10-minute walk if you arrive from Terminal 3 (airlines lo cos To get to the platform (not to be confused with the general railway) you need to exit the terminal and take the escalator to the lower floor.). Adults Adulti 16,10, round trip, 2 27,80; children € 13,40 singles, 2 23,50 round trip (Jun 2018). Departure trains: Mon-Sun 06:00-21:00 every 15 minutes; 04:25-06:00 and 21: 00-24: 00 every 30 minutes. The airport is connected to the city center via a light rail line. This is the only way to reach Lyon by public transport. Rhne But there are more stops including one that connects with the metro (line A)to Vaul en
The train provides power outlets andiFi
TaiI (The taxi are located outside Terminal 1 (follow the signs)). €40-50. Ask to be dropped off at one of the metro stations on the eastern side of the city (Vaul en-en-Velin La Soie, Mermoz-Pinel) to save on the fare.

Other nearby airports
3 Grenoble Airport (GNB) (International Airport of Grenoble-Isere). Grenoble has an international airport where the lo cos cost Eas operanoEt and RyAnair operate with many flights from locations in the British Isles, but none from Italian cities. There are bus services to Lyon.
4 Geneva International Airport (GVA). Connections are provided by both buses and trains. Vi operates EASetEt with flights from Cagliari, Naples and Rome Fiumicino. Lyon can be reached by train,but it takes about two hours( 2
5 Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG). The largest of the three Parisian airports. EAS operaEt operates there with flights from Milan-Malpensa and Venice-Marco Polo and also from Bologna BLQ.

From here you can take a TGV (high-speed train) to L stazione In some cases, this makes the trip faster and more convenient. Trains run approximately every hour; be sure to purchase an interchangeable ticket to be able to catch the first available train after landing.

By car
Lyon is an important road hub in central and southern France:
A6 heading north towards Paris.
A7 south towards Marseille, Nice, Spain and Italy.
A43 to the east towards Grenoble, the Alps and northern Italy.
A47 and A89 to the west in the direction: Saint-Etienne, Clermont-Ferrand, Massif Central, to the west of France.
A42 to the north-east: Bourg-en-Bresse, Geneva (Switzerland), Germany.

These highways are connected around the city to the east by a ring road (Periphique) which is free, except in the northern part (Periphique Nord). The toll costs $ 2.20, but is a good alternative to the always congested Fourviere tunnel on the A6.

Real-time information on traffic jams, planned tunnel closures, weather warnings, available on the Onl sito

If you come for a day trip, leave your car at one of the many parking lots around the city. Follow the blue P + R signs from the highway. The P + R parks are operated by the local public transport company TCL and are located near the main metro or tram lines. They are closed after 01: 00, so you can not leave the car for the whole night.

The city has many underground parking lots, where you can leave the car for a high price. Many of these are operated by L Par

By train
From the rest of France, the train is generally the most convenient way to get to the city, with the exception of some regions, for example, the south-west. Lyon has three main train stations serving national and regional destinations:

6 Lyon-Part-Dieu Station (Gare de Ly Inaugurated together with the first TGV line in 1981. It is located in the heart of Lyon's main business district. It is the main railway station of the city: almost all national and international trains serving the city stop here.
The station offers luggage storage from 6: 15 to 23:00. A small crate costs 5.50€, the average 7.50.and the large 9.50€ for 24 hours and is located on the left side of the station. There is also a toilet in the same area for a fee of 0.80.

7 Lyon-Perrache Station (Gare de Ly The historic station, although now it is of lesser importance. It is served mainly by regional and some national trains. It is within walking distance of Place Bellecour and generally more convenient if you are staying in the city center.

8 Station of Lon Outside the city, it serves the airport. Only TGV trains stop here.

There are also stations more small serving destinations suburban and regional: St. Paul (B: station C3-St Paul), Vaise (M: station Vaise), Jean Macé (M: Jean Macé), Vénissieux (M: train station Vénissieux) and Wolf's Throat (M: Wolf's Throat).

Lyon is connected by TGV (fast trains) to Paris (two hours) and Marseille (1 hour 36 minutes). Many other domestic destinations are served directly, and there are several direct trains to Bruell Other international destinations include Barcelona, Frankfurt, Basel and Geneva, Milan and Turin. As a general rule, TGVs to and from Paris serve both Perrache and Part-Dieu stations; other TGVs generally only serve Part-Dieu.
Coming from London by Eurostar could be interesting, and now there are direct trains from St Pancras International to Part-Dieu several times a week, with a journey time of 4 hours and 41 minutes.

By bus
International bus services are operated by major companies such as Eurolines, Starshipper, Ouibus, Flius Buses usually stop at Perrache Bus Station, which is located near Perrache Train Station.

By bike
You can access Lyon by bike using the viarh percorso


Transport around city

The city center is not that big and most of the attractions can be reached on foot. The walk from Place des Terreau a to Place Bellecour, for example, is about 20 minutes. The general rule is that metro stations are generally about a 10-minute walk away.

Be careful when crossing the main axes: the traffic is intense and passing with red is dangerous.

By public transport
Lyon's public transport system, known as TCL, is considered one of the most efficient in the country. The central areas are very well served; as are the campuses and eastern suburbs, where many jobs are concentrated there. The western suburbs are more residential and can be difficult to reach. As everywhere in France, the network can be troubled by strikes.

Metro and tram run approximately from 05:00 to 24: 00. Some bus routes do not operate after 21: 00. Check the TC B TCL website for line details and itineraries. On the site there are also downloadable and interactive maps.

Tickets can be purchased at vending machines in the stations, but they do not accept paper money (coins only), and foreign credit cards without tokens (magnetic stripe only) are likely to be refused. Tobacconists and newsagents displaying a "TCL" sign also sell tickets. Single tickets can be purchased from bus drivers, but in this case the price is slightly increased. Group tickets are available at the tourist office, as well as for the L Cit Weekly and monthly passes are only available to residents. Tickets can also be purchased at TCL offices (TCL Agences) near major metro stations. To find the one at the Part-Dieu, exit the train station through the Rhone gate (follow the signs of metro B), cross the square and turn right, then pass in front of the restaurant terraces.

Tickets for public transport in Lyon are integrated and are valid on all vehicles:
Single ride 1,90€
2 hours 3 ore
24 hours 5.80€
48 hours 11€
72 hours 15€

Be sure to validate your ticket every time you board a bus or tram, even during the transfer, otherwise you may be fined. Look for a gray machine near the doors. More information on the TCL website or by calling TCL ☎ +33 4 26 10 12 12. They are open daily until 24:00 and have English speaking staff.

There are four metro lines (A to D). The first line of the network was Line C in 1974 (lines A and B were already planned, but Line C took less time to complete because it used an existing funicular tunnel). Line A was opened in 1978. Trains generally run every 2 to 10 minutes, depending on the line and time. The information panels above the platforms display waiting times for the next two trains and useful information such as delays, upcoming closures, etc. (but in French).

The A line (Perrache - Vaul Va-en-Velin La Soie) serves Presqu'gle, the neighborhoods around the Parc de la T OrTe d'Or and then runs under Cours Emile Zola, the main artery of Villeurbanne. The last two stops (Laurent Bonneva e and vaul La La Soie) provide numerous bus connections to the eastern suburbs. Line A connects line D to Bellecour, line C of the H VilleTel de Ville, line B to Charpennes, tram lines T1 and T2 to Perrache and T3 to Vaul. It is very busy at peak times, particularly between Bellecour and H.
Line B (Charpennes-Gare d'ullins) serves in particular Part-Dieu station and Gerland stadium. It connects with line A in Charpennes and line D in Sa Gamb
Line C (HôTel de Ville - Cuire) uses a short cog railway and serves the Croi collina Due to the configuration of the infrastructure, the frequencies are not very good.
Line D (Gare de Vaise), the busiest of the four lines, is fully automated; this allows a good frequency during off-peak hours, especially at night and on Sundays. There are many bus connections to the outskirts of Gare de Vaise, Gorge de Loup, Grange Blanche, Parill.

The metro is generally reliable, clean and comfortable. In addition to the classic metro, there are two funiculars that connect the metro station D 9 Vieu L Lon

There are also five tram lines (T1 to T5). But to provide a direct connection between Lyon's two main train stations (Perrache and Part-Dieu, both on the T1), they are not very interesting if you stay in the city center; they are more useful for reaching campuses and suburban areas.

With more than 130 bus routes, you should be able to go virtually anywhere away from downtown. Some are trolleybuses, Lyon is one of the few cities in France that still uses this system. There are three special bus routes: C1, C2 and C3, where there are large articulated trolleybuses that pass frequently. These are sometimes referred to as Cristalis (actually the brand name of the vehicles).

In tax
Tax Rates are set by the authorities: 2 2 when climbing, then per km:o 1,34 (day, 07: 00-19: 00) or 2 2,02 (night, Sunday, public holidays). The driver can charge a minimum of € There are also a number of possible additional costs: € 1,41 for the 4 passeggero passenger, 0 0,91 for animal or large baggage, €

Taii cannot be stopped on the street; you have to go to a ta stazionei station or call one. The main companies of ta sono:

TL (Tax), ☎ +33 4 78 26 81 81,
L Prest+33 687 974 790. It provides a high-level ta servizioi service in Lyon and throughout France. Executive and VIP service with personal welcome at airports and train stations in Lyon. City tour. Ski resort transfers, gratuito
Allo Ta Ta, ☎ +33 4 78 28 23 23.
Ta Radio, ☎ +33 4 72 10 86 86.
Cabtai+33 4 78 750 750.

By car
Traffic is heavy, parking is very difficult or quite expensive, and there are some directional signs. Avoid driving inside the city if you can. For the city center, look for signs indicating Presqu'le In the Presqu'le and other central districts, it is strongly recommended not to park in the "no parking" areas; you may be towed with a tow truck. Unpaid parking tickets are also common; a specific city police patrol is in charge of checking parking payments in the city center. The fine for unpaid parking is € 11 (you may get multiple tickets on the same day in central neighborhoods); the fine for parking in a prohibited area is € 35. If you park in a dangerous place (e.g. you block an emergency exit), the fine can be up to €

The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years and a surcharge may apply for drivers under 25 years old. The main rental companies have offices at the railway stations Part-Dieu, Perrache and at the airport. Better to take from Part-Dieu, as the subsequent navigation is much easier.

By bike
Lyon has an increasing number of bike paths. But trouble spots remain, especially when it comes to crossing major roads. Also, keep in mind that there are two hills with steep slopes. A map of cycling routes is available online.

Since May 2005, Lyon also has a public bicycle service called Velo'v that allows travelers, after registering a credit card, to get on and off at more than 300 points in the city. To use it you need a credit card (Visa / MC / French CB) to take advantage of the service. It is very cheap:
Day ticket : gratuito 1,5, then free for the first 30 minutes of each ride, € 1 for 30 up to 60 minutes, then 2
7-day ticket: 5 €

30 minutes is usually more than enough if you are close to the city center.

If you have taken a bike and you realize that you have a problem (broken chains, deformed wheels, flat tires or even missing pedals), put it back in its place and repeat the procedure to take another one. The improvements made to the system made this operation quick and easy.

The system works only with a European credit / debit card. Otherwise the transaction is stopped, no explanation given on the terminal. It should accept all cards with a chip, but foreign cards may encounter difficulties. You will need to pre-authorize a deposit of € 150 which will be refunded (minus the fee) until the bike is returned correctly within 24 hours. You must have a sufficient balance in your bank account.

You must rent a bike immediately after purchasing a temporary pass or the ticket will become inactive (this is true only for the first rental). The terminals only have a limited English translation, which makes the procedure rough, but once you know the system, it's a great way to get around town. There are so many bikes that sometimes it can be a problem to return them.

When returning a bicycle, you must hear two short beeps and make sure that the green light on the rod is on. This indicates that it was returned and locked. A long, continuous beep and no status light indicate that something has gone wrong. Try again by lifting the bike out of the saddle and pushing it back - it can be a bit tricky to get it right.

There is an iPhone app called Velo that can help you find a free bike or parking space.

A classic bike rental service is available from:

10 L Location), ☎ +33 4 27 46 39 39, Adult bike Bici 14 / day, Bici 65 / week. Mon-Sat 09:00-13:00, 15:00-19:00, Dom by appointment. Also rent scooters and motorcycles.



The usual hours for shopping in the center are 10: 00-19: 00, from Monday to Saturday. Some larger places close a little later (19:30). Shops are closed on Sundays, except in December and in Vieu L Ly

1 La Part-Dieu, 17 Rue du Dr Bouchut (Metro: Part-Dieu, near the station of the same name), ☎ +33 4 72 60 60 62. Mon-Sat 09: 30-20: 00. A huge shopping center on four levels, with most of the most important fashion brands. Avoid Saturday afternoons, the place is terribly crowded. There is also the possibility to find restaurants.
2 P Commerc Le de Commerces et de Loisirs de Confluence, 7 rue Paul Montrochet (Tram: H R Mon-Sat 10:00-20: 00. Shopping center with fashion shops, restaurants and multiplex cinema, in a new area.


How to have fun

Advance booking is often necessary for major institutions (auditorium, opera house, cinema of Celestins and Croi Ro Big names sell months in advance.



1 Auditorium (Auditorium Maurice-Ravel), 84 rue de Bonnel (Metro: Part-Dieu), ☎ +33 4 78 95 95 95. The National Orchestra of Lyon plays in this impressive and modern concert hall Moderna which also hosts concerts of musica

2 Théâtre Tête d'or, 60 avenue du Maréchal de Saxe (Bus: C3-Saxe-Lafayette / Tram: Saxe-Préfecture / Metro: Place Guichard), ☎ +33 4 78 62 96 73. This is the only theater in Lyon that shows popular comedies in the Parisian "boulevard" style.
3 Institut Lumiere, Rue du Premier Film (Metro: Monplaisir-Lumiere), ☎ +33 4 78 78 18 95. The museum also has a theater that shows thematic series of film masterpieces (in the original version). The theater is located in the Lumiere factory, which wa the setting for the fir t film in history (The sortie des usines Lumiere).

There are also small independent theaters. Take a look at Les Ateliers, Espace 44, Thetre

"Cafe-tea" is a very nice way to spend an evening with a show (usually comedy), drinks and food.

Guignol, now 200 years old, is a very famous figure in the puppet theater. This irreverent canut who often defies the law in his adventures was created by Laurent Mourguet, himself canut, in 1808. Guignol's main characters are his wife Madelon,his drinking friend Beau Gn It was only in the 50s that Guignol became the favorite character of children. Nowadays, some theaters perpetuate the tradition for children and adults.

UGC. The other major film company has four cinemas in Lyon (Part-Dieu, Cite Internationale, Astoria, Confluence). L'astoria (M: Massena) has foreign films in the original version.

4 Olp Mpique LonnOnnais, Groupama Stadium; 10, avenue Simone-Veil, 69150 Decines-Charpieu. The local football team has been national champion several times, between 2002 and 2008. The women's team also dominates the championship and won the UEFAom The men play at the Groupama stadium (Parc Ol Ol Mpique LyOnnais under the corporate naming rights) in the suburb of Decines, which opened in 2016 shortly before that year's European Championship (in which it hosted several matches). Tickets are not too difficult to get, except for major European matches.
5 LOU Rugb Mat, Matmut Stadium de Gerland, 353, Avenueean Lyon's rugby team jumped into the top two tiers of the country's league system (Top 14 and Pro D2) in 2010; they have played in the Top 14 since 2016-17. The team moved to OL's home in Stade de Gerland for 2017-18.


Night clubs

Lyon offers a beautiful nightlife. A good starting point is Place des Terreaux In the streets climbing the hill there are many beautiful places. These are also many bars in the pedestrian streets of The Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon), all around the Cathedral St-Jean (Metro: Vieux Lyon in the 5th arrondissement).

Foreign students often gather in English or Irish pubs,which are particularly concentrated in the Vieu zona English-speaking staff everywhere, of course.

Bars W
Lyon is certainly a great starting point to explore the French vineyards: the BeaujOlais, Burgundy, the Rhone Valley and the lesser-known Jura, Savoy and Buge sono Therefore, it is not surprising to see an increasing number of wine shops in Lyon.

Along the Rhone River there are several off-duty riverboats (peniches) that serve as nightclubs or bars.


Where to eat

Restaurants have their own menus with prices displayed outside. As everywhere in France, prices always include service, bread and tap water (ask for a carafe of water). Tipping is rare and is only expected if you are particularly satisfied with the service. This is especially true in budget or mid-range restaurants, perhaps less so in expensive places where it can be considered more appropriate; nothing is mandatory, though. Typical suggestions depend, of course, on the price of the menu and the level of satisfaction, but they are generally not high. If you pay by credit card and want to add a tip, you can tell the responsible person how much they will have to charge the card.

Meals are usually from 12:00 to 14:00 for lunch, from 19:30 to 22: 00 for dinner. Visitors from areas such as North America and Northern Europe may be surprised to find many places still closed at their usual dinner times. Places that offer daily service are located in tourist areas and are unlikely to serve quality fresh food. Night service is quite rare in quality restaurants, but you can always take the usual fast-food or kebab.

The cuisine of Lyon
Traditional restaurants in Lyon are called bouchons; the origin of the word is unclear (literally means "cork"). They appeared at the end of the secolo These women are referred to as mere (mothers); the most famous of them, Eugenie Brazier, became one of the first chefs to receive three stars (the highest ranking) from the famous Michelin food guide. He also had a young apprentice named Paul Bocuse. Eating in a good bouchon is definitely a must. They serve typical local dishes:

Salade lyaise (Lyon salad): green salad with bacon cubes, croutons and poached egg;
Saucisson chaud: a boiled and boiling sausage; it can be cooked with red wine (saucisson beau be;
Quenelle de brochet: flour and egg gnocchi with pike and shrimp sauce (Nantua sauce);
Tablier de sapeur: marinated tripe covered in breadcrumbs and then fried, even locals often hesitate before trying it;
Andouillette: sausage made with minced, usually served with a mustard sauce;
Gratin dauphinois: the traditional side dish, baked cut potatoes with cream;
Cervelle de canut: fresh cheese with garlic and herbs.
Veal kidneys with mustard: veal kidneys in mustard sauce. Delicious experience.

These dishes are very tasty. They were created as workers ' food, so they are usually fat, and the portions are usually quite large. The quality is very variable since the bouchons are one of the main tourist attractions of the city. A good tip: never trust the large signs with the inscription Veritable bouchon lonnonnais (genuine bouchon) or with a list of typical dishes on the window. Those who need to write this are often tourist traps. In tourist areas, especially Rue Stean And if someone on the street tries to get you into a restaurant, avoid it. A good bouchon, offers excellent value for money.

In bouchons and other low-middle-range restaurants, base wines can be served to the plate, a typical bottle containing 46 cl and filled from a barrel or a wine tank. The smallest fillette (girl) contains 28 cl. This is certainly cheaper than a 75 cl bottle, but quality is not always guaranteed.

Lyon was named "capital of gastronomy" by the great gastronomic writer curnonsk Cur Fortunately, the local gastronomy has greatly evolved since then and there is now much more to eat in Lyon than in the bouchons. Kebab shops, Asian food, bistros, three-star restaurants-Lyon has them all.

Locals generally like to eat out, and the best places are known quickly by word of mouth. In addition, the restaurants are on average quite small. It is strongly recommended to book a table, especially for dinner, otherwise you can end up in one of the tourist traps. Since many good local chefs seem to enjoy a good family weekend, there are many more interesting options on weekdays.

Moderate prices
1 Pimprenelle Bar, 13 Rue des Quatre Chapeau ((Metro: Cordeliers), + Brunch Brun Mon-Sat 07:00-22:30. This place is quite popular for its Sunday brunch.

Average prices
2 Le Lay), ☎ +33 4 78 42 94 08. Full menu 2 23,50 / 27,50. Mon-Sun 12: 00-00: 00. In another street full of tourist traps, this restaurant offers excellent classic local and French cuisine. Try the grenouilles (frogs). Very nice terrace. Good wine list at attractive prices.
3 Brasserie Georges, 30, cours de Verdun (behind Perrache station), + From 2 25 to 35. An exceptional traditional Brasserie, serving traditional dishes with an Alsatian twist in a refined interior. A true Art Deco delight. Founded in 1836, with a tradition of high quality service. It also contains a brewery and a bar and the interior is worth a visit even if you don't want to eat.


Where to stay

It is generally not difficult to find a hotel room in Lyon, except for the F Lum You can find hotels of major chains, such as Sofitel, Hilton, Bestester

Moderate prices
1 Camping des Barolles, 88, Avenue Marechal Foch (A450 motorway, junction 6b), ☎ +33 4 78 56 05 56, € 19 (Jun 2016). Check-in: 15: 00, check-out:12: 00. The campsite is equipped for free campers, chalets and camping. There is a small shop at the reception. It is a couple of minutes from a large shopping center. To get to Lyon by public transport, take bus 78 to Oullins and then change to the metro. Friendly staff. ifi

High prices
2 NH L A Airport, 915 Rue d'Espagne, ☎ +33 4 72 23 05 50. 98€. Moderna has 245 modern rooms and a restaurant, meeting rooms and a spa.



Real security problems in the city center are rare, but the usual advice of common sense applies.

In the subway you can risk a robbery. Thieves take advantage of the moments of crowds to open bags or backpacks and take off the wallet.

Rue Ste Catherine, behind Place des Terreaux Police watch closely, but it's probably best to avoid the area if you're alone, especially after 3:00 when bars are closed. Similar problems can be encountered in Vieu L

In populated places like Rue de la Republique or outside the Part-Dieu station, you might meet people advertising for charity; they can be recognized by their specific and colorful clothes. They will not ask for money, but rather give informational documents that encourage donating.

Homeless people sell newspapers like Macadam or Sans-abri that help them make money without begging; they should have an ID card issued by publishers. But there are also people who try to contact you to get money for some imaginary charity, sometimes selling postcards or other items. Never give money directly to someone on the street who claims to work for charity and has no official documents, or if the documents seem dubious.


Emergency numbers

Police, Polizia 17.
Firefighters, Pompieri 18.
Medical emergency, ☎ 15
European emergency number, ☎ 112


How to stay in touch

Central post office, 10 place Antonin Poncet (Metro: Bellecour), ☎ +33 4 72 40 65 22. Mon-Fri 09:00-19:00, Thu until 20:00, Sat 09: 00-12: 30.
Terreau Post Office, 3 rue du President Edouard Herriot (Metro: H Metro), ☎ +33 4 72 00 58 34. Mon-Fri 10:00-19:00, Sat 10: 00-17: 00.
There are another 42 post offices in all the districts of Lyon.



To make a call from abroad, dial the appropriate international access code for your area, followed by the IDD access code for France +33, followed by the regional code (ignoring the area code 0) followed by the local number.

To call abroad from France, dial the country code 00, followed by the country code IDD, followed by the region code (ignoring the area code 0) followed by the local number.

The region code (city) for Ly A phone number in Lyon looks like this; (04) XX XX XX XX In the international format it looks like this: +33 4.

To dial a Lyon number from another country, use the local international access code (for example, 00), followed by 33 4.
To dial a Lyon number from France use 04 XX XX XX XX
When dialing from a mobile phone, it may be easier to always dial +33 4 XX XX XX XX



Most internet cafes and call shops are located in the Guillotiere district (Metro: Guillotiere) and behind Place des terreaux


Keep informed

L poche not a few is the most popular guide regarding shows and events that take place in Lyon. It is a weekly publication found in newspaper resales. It also contains lists of restaurants and nightclubs.
Cultural events are listed by the weekly Le Petit Bulletin (free, available in cinemas, theaters, some bars, etc.and online).


In the surroundings

Thanks to its geographical position and its historical commercial role, Lyon is at the centre of a dense communications network and is therefore an excellent starting point for exploring south-eastern France. Most destinations around Lyon are served by regional trains of the TER Rh rete The region's extensive motorway network also enables fast and efficient travel. A lot of interesting cities, attractions and natural sites can be reached in less than 2 hours of travel. A more detailed list can be found at the regional tourist office.

Grand parc de Miribel -on Access is possible by bike from Lyon, using the cycle path along the Rhone (about 20 minutes from the T Or In the spring and summer months, the area is served by TCL bus line 83, from La Soie station in Vaul en-en-Velin (metro line A, tram T3).), ☎ +33 4 78 80 56 20. Admission is free. It is a large park with more than 2,400 hectares including a lake near the Rhone River where you can engage in many recreational activities (hiking, horse riding, cycling, golf) and nautical activities (boating, swimming ,ind There are several beaches, large stretches of forest, plenty places for picnics and barbecues. It is a popular destination for locals, especially during the summer when it is too hot in the city.

North of Lyon is the region of Dombes, in the Ain department. Its many lakes and ponds offer a pleasant environment for hiking and birdat The main attractions are the bird park of Villars-les-Dombes, with a large collection of exotic birds, and Perouges, a small medieval village. Its buildings date back to the Middle Ages and is a popular weekend destination for those living in Lyon.

The famous vineyards of the Beauj There are many castles where you can buy Beau vino Festivals are organized during the Beau stagione The local villages have an interesting typical architecture, their buildings are made of a local yellow limestone called pierres dores. Take the A6 motorway north of Lyon to Belleville, then follow some smaller roads. Interesting places can also be found at: Oingt, Ville-Morgon.

Some attractions:
Vienne, 30 km south of Lyon, is famous for its international festival ofazz It also features many medieval and ancient Roman buildings. There is also a large archaeological museum in the nearby town of Saint-Romain-en-Gal. Access by train (TER) or A7 motorway.
Car Museum of Rochetaillee, Ch Roch, ☎ +33 4 78 22 18 80, Fax+33 4 78 22 69 60. Adults € 5, free for children under 18 years. Tue-Sun 09: 00-19:00 in July and August, Tue-Sun 09:00-18: 00. Moderna has a very nice collection of modern and old cars. The main attraction of the museum is the armored car of Adolf Hitler.
Eveu ospita, about 20 km northwest of Lyon, is home to the convent of Sainte Marie de La Tourette. Designed by Le Corbusier, it is one of 17 of his works worldwide to be listed as a World Heritage Site.


Farther away

The French Alps offer an extraordinary natural environment with beautiful landscapes and numerous opportunities for outdoor activities: hiking, mountaineering, rock climbing, skiing and snoboard All this just a couple of hours away from Lyon! A lot of natural parks and ski resorts, from the refined to the familiar. There are also many interesting cities to discover: Annec Sav, the "Venice of Savoy" with its beautiful lake and canals, Chambery (historical capital of Savoy), Ai les-les-Bains (spa town overlooking Lake Bourget), chamonix (access road to Mont Blanc), Grenoble (the "Silicon Valle francese French", with its high-tech industries and its lively student life), with lots of museums, local culinary specialties and historical sites to make a nice trip. Access is easy from the motorway, from Lyon using the A43 motorway. Regional trains serve all major cities in the Alps from Lyon, often in less than 2 hours. However,the most famous ski and mountain resorts (except chamonix There are some intercity bus routes, but the service is often poor and not always reliable. Having a car might therefore be highly desirable, but if you don't have one some local travel agencies sell weekend ski packages to major ski resorts, including transportation from Lyon (see box on the right).

The French-speaking regions of Switzerland and in particular the cities of Geneva and Lausanne, as well as the beautiful resorts surrounding Lake Geneva. Regional trains from Lyon stop in Geneva. You have to use the Swiss Railways (CFF) to go further. By car, cross the A42 to Geneva. If you are planning to drive on Swiss motorways, don't forget to buy your motorway ticket! You can buy one at the border or at the Automobile Club of Lyon (18, Quai Mo +33 478 425 101).

Southern Burgundy, especially the city of Mâ

The Jura Mountains and the small town of Nantua, whose lake is famous for its crayfish. Nantua sauce is a staple of l cucina

The dense forests of Auvergne and its capital, Clermont-Ferrand, which is the gateway to the extinct volcanoes of the Pu. Great if you like nature and hiking. Another interesting city is Le-pu en-en-Vela., whose cathedral is one of the four starting points for pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela.

Saint-Etienne, an industrial power and once renowned for its arms manufacturer. A city with many elegant buildings, public squares and some narrow pedestrian streets all within walking distance of Place du Peuple. Less than 1 hour by car or train.

Northern Italy, in particular the Aosta Valley, Piedmont and Turin. 3 hours by car, through the Mont Blanc motorway tunnel. Direct rail service is unfortunately non-existent, although by 2025 it is planned to build a direct high-speed rail line between Lyon and Turin.



Geographical location

Lyon is located in continental Europe, in the south-eastern quarter of France, at the confluence of the Saône and Rhône rivers. The city is surrounded by several mountain ranges, the Massif Central to the west and the Alps to the east, and is located in the Lyon plain. Lyon and its region are located at a crossroads of Western Europe, connecting the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and Eastern Europe to the Atlantic Ocean ; the city is located as the crow flies 26 kilometers from Vienna to the south and by road 54 km from Saint-Etienne, 106 km from Grenoble, 151 km from Geneva, 306 km from Turin, 313 km from Marseille, 441 km from Milan, 463 km from Paris, 333 km from Basel, 495 km from Strasbourg, 537 km from Toulouse, 637 km from Barcelona, 684 km from Nantes, 698 km from Frankfurt am Main, 737 km from Munich and 972 km from Brest.

The Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, of which Lyon is the administrative capital, covers an area of 69,711 km2. The former Rhône-Alpes region, of which the city was prefecture, integrated the Urban Region of Lyon (RUL) dissolved in 201510, which corresponded to the territories organized around the metropolis (zone of influence of 50 to 100 km of radiation) and counted 2.9 million inhabitants (estimate 2004). Lyon naturally became the seat of the metropolis of Lyon, a collectivity with a special status exercising the skills of a department and an intercommunality.



Located in its lower part at an altitude of 162 meters, at the confluence of the Rhône and the Saône, Lyon is dominated by three hills :
The Fourvière hill, with an altitude of 294 meters on the forecourt of the basilica and 318 meters at the top of it. Nicknamed by Jules Michelet the "mystical mountain" — which will become by dint of deformations the "praying hill" -, it houses the seat of the bishopric, several convents and hosts at its summit the basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. The hill is located in the west of the city and extends to the south and west with the neighborhoods of Saint-Just, Point-du-Jour and Menival. From this part of the city, Mont Blanc is perfectly visible on a fine day.
The Croix-Rousse hill, with an altitude of 250 meters on the plateau, is the "working hill", because it was the place where the canuts lived and worked, workers who made the silky fame of the city. The hill occupies the north of the peninsula and extends north through the plateau of Caluire-et-Cuire and Rillieux-la-Pape to the foothills of Dombes. These two hills are separated by a rocky defile of the Saône: the defile of Pierre Scize ;
The Duchère hill is located on the foothills of the Monts-d'Or to the north-west of the city. It witnessed a dense urbanization at the end of the 1960s and today benefits from a major city project program.

Between the Fourvière hill and the Saône, a long and narrow district flourishes, the Old Lyon, which forms the medieval and Renaissance part of Lyon. The urban pattern is very dense, but compensated by smaller buildings than in the rest of Lyon, mainly due to the preservation of many medieval buildings, and the streets are winding. Old Lyon is divided into three parishes: Saint-Georges in the south, Saint-Jean in the center and Saint-Paul in the north.

On the peninsula, between the Rhône and the Saône, is the Place Bellecour, one of the largest pedestrian squares in Europe, in the center of which the equestrian statue of Louis XIV sits. It is the zero point of the roads starting from Lyon.

Beyond the Rhone, to the east, extends the Velin (or Lyon plain), located on the Bas-Dauphiné plateau (in Viennese), urbanized according to an orthogonal plan in the Brotteaux and Part-Dieu neighborhoods then a more disorganized plan heading towards the Lyon ring road, which delimits Lyon intramural and its suburbs.



The Rhône and the Saône rivers cross the city, entering it respectively from the east and from the north. The Saône encircles Barbe Island to the north and then flows into the Rhone: the Peninsula is the part of the city that extends from the confluence to the Croix-Rousse hill.

The Rhone was a difficult river to control, largely because of the irregularity of the flow caused by its Alpine and glacial origin. The larger of the two rivers of Lyon flooded the city several times by its floods (the last very large flood dating from 1856), in particular in the Lyon plain which occupies the left bank of the Rhone with the districts of Brotteaux, Guillotière and Gerland. The construction of the great dyke of the Golden Head, the digging of the Miribel canal and the Jonage canal and the creation of the bodies of water of the Great Park of Miribel-Jonage (in particular the lake of Blue Waters) and the Grand-Large reservoir and a requalification of the banks, have put an end to the significant floods of the river.

The Rhone has calmed down since the nineteenth century with the development of numerous facilities along its course. The dykes and flood protection channels, then the dams and the power plants built by the Compagnie nationale du Rhône during the twentieth century, have gradually reduced the flow of certain sections, modified the hydraulic conditions and the functioning of the river.



Lyon has a semi-continental climate with Mediterranean influences in which there is more rainfall in summer than in winter. According to the Köppen classification, the city has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa), bordering on an oceanic climate (Cfb): the threshold between these two types of climate is an average temperature of 22 °C for the hottest month of the year. If we consider the average of July over the period 1920-2020 (ie since the start of official weather records in Lyon), the average temperature is 21.3 ° C which places us in Cfb. Whereas over the last reference period of 30 years (1981-2010), it is 22.2 ° C which "outclasses" in CFA. It is thus observed that global warming is causing Lyon to transition from a rather continental climate to a humid subtropical climate.

Summers are hot, sunny and stormy. Located in the south-eastern quarter of France, the city benefits from good sunshine. It is the 14th sunniest major city in France with an average duration of more than 2,002 hours per year. The amplitude of the temperatures during the day sometimes reaches about twenty degrees, and the maximum temperatures regularly exceed 35 degrees, amplified by an urban heat island effect. It is during the summer season that the Mediterranean influences are reflected in particular by strong heats, sometimes early in spring, as well as by periods of summer droughts more and more frequent; in autumn, Mediterranean episodes can occur. It is possible to hear cicadas during the summer, global warming being conducive to the development of the insect present for several years.

Conversely, the winters are cold and dry, and marked by frequent but not very persistent frosts due, here too, to the urban concentration. Snowfall is quite irregular depending on the year and especially decreasing: 17 days with snowfall per year on average from 1945 to 2009, only a dozen snow episodes over the entire period 2011-2018. The absolute record for snow thickness was 33 cm on December 31, 1970. The feeling of cold is often reinforced by the breeze, a north to north-easterly wind coming from a pressure gradient between northern Europe and the Mediterranean basin. Another regular wind, the midday wind can blow violently because of the compression of the air in the Rhone Valley.

With the drying up of the marshy areas and the virtual elimination of the use of coal, the fog, which has long made the reputation of the city, no longer concerns, in the 2000s, a number of days slightly different or even lower than that known in other cities, even if it can be persistent in the off-seasons (autumn and spring), especially in the Saône Valley. Frosts are common and temperatures usually vary by about ten degrees at most during the day.

At the France weather station at Lyon-Bron airport, the annual average temperature was, between 1920 and 2020, 11.9 ° C with a minimum of 3 °C in January and a maximum of 21.3 ° C in July. The minimum temperature was -24.6 °C on December 22, 1938 and the highest of 41.4 °C on August 24, 2023.

Lyon intramural knows an urban heat island (ICU) more or less important depending on the weather conditions. This is due to urban density, human activities but above all to the lack of vegetation and light surfaces (therefore reflecting light). It should be noted that the temperatures recorded at Lyon-Bron airport, which is located in a peri-urban area, are generally lower than those in the city center, although located a few kilometers away. This heat island makes scorching nights particularly difficult to bear where it is most marked. This temperature difference is even more striking if we compare it with the data recorded at the France weather station at Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport, located 20 km as the crow flies from the city center.



The name of the locality is attested in the forms Lugdon, Luon then Lyon since the thirteenth century.

The ancient Lugdun, Lugdunon, latinized in Lugdunum is composed of two Gallic words: of Lug a Celtic god (in charge of order and law) and dunos ("fortress", "hill"), the whole designating therefore "the fortress of Lug". Lug is a Celtic god whose messenger is a raven, it is the equivalent among the Germanic god Wotan always accompanied by his two crows Ugin and Munin. So it would be the "hill of the god Lug" or the "hill of crows". Julius Pokorny brings the first part of the word closer to the Indo-European radical *lūg ("dark, black, marsh") and brings it closer to Ludza in Latvia, Lusatia in Germany (from the Sorbian Łužica), Lužice in the Czech Republic; on this basis, it could also be closer to Luze in Franche-Comté and various hydronyms such as Louge. The meaning of the toponym would then be the "hill" or the "luminous mount".

Lugdunum therefore originally designates the hill of Fourvière, on which the ancient city of Lyon is founded.

Further down, in the current Saint-Vincent district, was the Gallic village of Condate, probably a simple hamlet of sailors or fishermen living on the banks of the Saône. Condate is a Gallic word meaning confluence, which gave its name to the Confluence district.

The city, in Roman times, is called Caput Galliæ, "capital of the Gauls" (see Lyon under Antiquity). The legacy of this prestigious title, the Archbishop of Lyon is still called the Primate of Gauls today.

During the revolutionary period, Lyon found itself baptized Commune-Freed on October 12, 1793 by a decree of the National Convention. It resumed its name in 1794, after the end of the Terror.

Lyon is called Liyon in Francoprovençal (see frp:Liyon)



If the place seems inhabited since prehistory, the first city, Lugdunum, dates from 43 BC Under the Roman Empire, Lyon became a powerful city, capital of Roman Gaul. The fall of the Roman Empire relegates it to a secondary role in the European space due to its remoteness from the centers of power. Then the division of the Carolingian Empire places it in a border town position. Until the fourteenth century, political power was entirely in the hands of the archbishop, who jealously protected the autonomy of his city. It is necessary to wait until 1312-1320 to see the consular institution counterbalance its power, at the very moment when the city definitively integrates the kingdom of France.

During the Renaissance, Lyon developed considerably and became a major European commercial city. This second golden age is mowed down by the Wars of Religion. During the absolute monarchy, Lyon remains an average French city, whose main wealth is the work of silk. The Revolution devastated the city, which opposed the Convention in 1793. Taken militarily, it is severely repressed and comes out of the revolutionary turmoil very weakened.

Napoleon helps his recovery by supporting the silky, which arrives at the same time as the development of the Jacquard loom. It is the starting point of an economic and industrial boom that lasts until the First World War. During the nineteenth century, Lyon was a canute city and experienced violent workers' revolts in 1831 and 1834. The Belle Époque marks the end of the domination of Lyon silk and the rise of many other industries (automobiles, chemistry, electricity). The municipality, for its part, regained its powers with the Third Republic and embarked on a long century of radicalism, which ended with Édouard Herriot in 1957. The Second World War saw Lyon, one of the main cities of the free zone, being the center of the largest Resistance networks. Jean Moulin, in particular, unifies them within the United Movements of the Resistance.

At the end of the war, Lyon recovered quickly and experienced vigorous urban development, with the construction of a large number of residential areas. Endowed with powerful industries and a booming tertiary sector, the city holds its rank as a major French and European metropolis.

A quote from the historian Fernand Braudel presents the richness and complexity of the history of Lyon :

"The fate of Lyon is no simpler than that of the river. Any city, no doubt, is a complicated being, Lyon more than any other, which strikes the historian by its richness, its sudden transformations, its originalities, even its strangeness. It is not the same from one century to the next century and, more constrained than going of its own free will, it passes endlessly from one originality to another. It is, by itself, a difficult problem for the historian of France, perhaps the key problem, surely the key indicator. »


Prehistory and Antiquity

From the Neolithic to the second Iron Age, the various discoveries of numerous traces of habitats and objects of all kinds attest to the existence of a relay of wine trade between the Mediterranean coast and the North (sixth century BC). In the absence of more elaborate artifacts, at that time we could not speak of a village or a city. On the hill of Fourvière, thousands of amphorae have been found. It is possible that this is a place where the Gallic leaders gathered to feast in honor of the god Lug.


Head of the Saplings

Lucius Munatius Plancus founded a Roman colony on the site under the name of Colonia Copia Felix Munatia Lugdunum in 43 BC. The beginnings of the colony are poorly known. It is not provided with a wall, at most an earthen rise surrounds it with ditches and palisades like the Roman camps. But the city of earth and wood gives way to buildings with stone masonry foundations. The development of the city is rapid because of its eminently strategic location. The name of the city will evolve into Colonia Copia Lugdunum.

In 27 BC, General Agrippa, son-in-law and minister of Augustus, divided Gaul. Lugdunum becomes the capital of the province of Lyon Gaul and the seat of imperial power for the three Gallic provinces, and becomes the Caput Galliarum, the "Capital of the Gauls". From 19 BC, Augustus laid out the urban network, which welcomed the four routes opened through Gaul from Lugdunum. With the arrival of the various successive emperors, the city will expand, beautify and enrich itself. Two Roman emperors were born in Lyon: Claude, born in 10 BC and Caracalla, born in 186. In 64, the notables of Lugdunum became aware of the fire that ravaged Rome, and sent four million sesterces of aid for reconstruction. The following year, in 65, Lugdunum was the victim of a terrible fire; Nero in turn donated four million sesterces to Lugdunum for its reconstruction.

The key position of Lugdunum, at the confluence of the Arar (Saône) and the Rhodanus (Rhône), makes it an important river port. It is also a first-class road junction, connected on the one hand to Rome by the South of Gaul (Narbonnaise), the Rhone valley and Marseille, and on the other hand to Aquitaine and Armorica, the Seine valley and the port of Boulogne, link to the island of Brittany; it allows access to the Rhine, via the Doubs valley or via Helvetia, to hold the border (the "limes") facing Germany ; it will then be directly connected to Italy by the valleys of the Alps, after the submission of the still independent Alpine tribes. This double position brings the whole of northern and Western Gaul into contact with the rest of the Empire at Lugdunum. Its status as a Roman colony granted by the Senate and the role of capital of the Gauls favor the development of the city.

Under the Flavians (from 69 to 96), then under the Antonines (from 96 to 192), Lugdunum prospered, and experienced peace like the Roman world. Its population is estimated between 50,000 and 80,000 inhabitants, which makes it one of the largest cities in Gaul with Narbo Martius (Narbonne). The city spreads mainly over four particularly delimited areas: the upper town (place where the original colony was founded), the Celtic town of Condate, the Canabæ and the right bank of the Saône, below the upper town. The necropolises are located along the access roads to the city.



Under the Severans (193-235), the city will begin to decline, due in particular to the quarrels over imperial successions. Clodius Albinus, a pretender to the throne, settled in Lugdunum at the end of the second century to wait and confront Septimius Severus. He is defeated in the Battle of Lugdunum and Severus plunders the city.

At the end of the third century, during the reorganizations of the Tetrarchy, Lugdunum lost its rank as capital of the Gauls in 297, in favor of Trier, closer to the border of the Rhine. Lugdunum is no more than the administrative seat of the small province of First Lyon (Lyon, Burgundy and Franche-Comté).

In the first years of the fourth century, the city lost its water supply due to the looting of the lead pipes of the aqueducts, which failed to be replaced by failing local authorities. This leads to a displacement of the population, which leaves the Fourvière plateau to take refuge near the river.

The end of Lyon's antiquity is announced by the installation of Burgundians in Sapaudie as a federated people by the Roman general Ætius, after the destruction of their kingdom near the Rhine. They create a new kingdom there, independent of the decaying Roman Empire; and integrate Lyon there, of which they make one of their capitals.



The first settlements of Christianity in Gaul are known to us by a letter transcribed by Eusebius of Caesarea in his Ecclesiastical History. It makes it possible to date the implantation of Christianity in the city to the middle of the second century. Lyon is a favorable place for this arrival by its central location in the European exchange currents, and the high proportion of foreigners circulating and settling in the city. During the first times (until the third century), Lyon seems to be the only Gallic city to have a bishop.

The best known episode of this Christianization is that of the martyrs of 177. Described by the letter of Saint Irenaeus taken up by Eusetius of Caesarea, it shows the deaths of Saint Pothinus and Saint Blandine, among others.

During the fourth century, the city closes and destroys its pagan temples and reorganizes its social life around its bishop and the church calendar. Lyon becomes one of the intellectual centers of Christianity, illustrated in the fifth century by Sidoine Apollinaire


Middle Ages

Lyon, during the Middle Ages, presents itself as a city of average importance, far from the centers of power, the great currents of exchanges, little involved by the great conflicts that shake the great powers.


Topographic and demographic history

Throughout the first half of the Middle Ages, Lyon was withdrawn on both banks of the Saône. From the fifth to the tenth century, there is a lack of sources and archaeological studies to describe the city precisely, but it seems that there are few evolutions, no large-scale civil constructions and few new religious establishments.

With the turn of the year one thousand, the Rhodanian city begins to develop again. The eleventh and twelfth centuries date the constructions of the castle of Pierre Scize and the rampart which surrounds the canonical district of Saint-Jean. In the civil field, the first stone bridge of Lyon, on the Saône, is built at the level of the Place du Change and completed in the 1070s. In the religious field, Lyon is heavily renovating several churches: that of Barbe Island, Ainay, for example. Saint-Just is completely rebuilt, near the old location. The most important work, however, is that of Saint-Jean Cathedral, begun by Archbishop Guichard de Pontigny from the 1170s, and which continues the following centuries.

From the thirteenth to the fifteenth century, urban transformations remain modest. The city is developing very slowly, continuing the works committed before. The great novelty is the construction at the end of the twelfth century of a wooden bridge over the Rhone. To replace it, a second one was built next to it, in stone, a considerable work that engulfed fortunes and was completed only at the end of the fourteenth century. At the end of the Middle Ages, the new builders are the mendicant orders, who establish themselves in the city, and in particular on its near outskirts. In the religious field, a number of churches have been renovated, such as Saint-Nizier church, whose northern bell tower hosts the belfry.


Political and religious history

Lyon is one of the capitals of the kingdom of Burgundy from 470 to 534, when it passes, like the Burgundian kingdom, under the authority of the Merovingians.

The city is a hotbed of the Carolingian renaissance, under the impetus of its archbishop Leidrade (friend of Alcuin), the deacon Florus, then Agobard of Lyon. After the Treaty of Verdun and the succession of Charlemagne, the city returns, with the kingdom of Burgundy to Lothair, like the rest of the eastern bank of the Saône. However, located far from the centers of power, its religious leaders remain fairly independent of the various powers that nominally reign over them, while remaining under the influence of the various forms of the Kingdom of Burgundy. In the ninth and tenth centuries, the raids and looting that shook the surrounding regions (the Normans went up the Rhone, and, in 911, the Hungarians ravaged Burgundy), did not seem to reach Lyon.

The city has a certain influence on the religious level. The archbishop of Lyon was elevated to the rank of Primate of Gauls by Pope Gregory VII in 1078, even if this distinction is essentially honorary. Two councils were organized in the thirteenth century, and it welcomed popes on several occasions: Innocent IV stayed there, Clement V was crowned there, John XXII was elected and crowned there. Lyon also sees the birth of the Waldensian Evangelical Church, with the sermons of Pierre Valdo which begin within the city around 1170. But the movement disappears from the history of Lyon as soon as the initiator of the movement is expelled by the local diocese, in 1183.

If, during the eleventh and twelfth centuries, the archbishop of Lyon manages to remain sole master of the city despite the attempts of the Forez dynasty, he only manages to curb the emancipation movement of the bourgeois of the city. These obtain in 1320 the so-called Sapaudine charter, which establishes their autonomy and their control of the city. The burghers obtained it after decades of struggle and with the support of the King of France Philip IV, who definitively encompasses Lyon in his kingdom in 1312.

During the Hundred Years' War, Lyon, close to the Duchy of Burgundy, was asked to take his side. After having maintained its neutrality for as long as possible, it remains faithful to the kings of France, without suffering any fighting. Like all cities in France, Lyon must meet a very significant war tax burden, which triggers the revolts of 1393 and 1436.


Renaissance and religious wars

This period is one of the golden ages of the city. Getting considerably richer, its population increases enough to almost triple with a peak around 60,000 to 75,000 inhabitants. Despite this demographic growth, the city does not push back its walls, becoming denser by the subdivision of numerous cultivated lands and the improvement of buildings. Many buildings from this period remain in Old Lyon. It is from this time that the traboules date, passages through the courtyards of buildings making it possible to get from one street to another parallel street. They required less space than the construction of cross streets or alleys.

The economic growth of Lyon then made it one of the most prosperous cities in Europe, thanks to the success of the four annual fairs. The whole of the great European trade now passes for a century through Lyon, and the largest banks of the time, mainly Italian, settle in the city, including the Medici, the Gadagnes or the Gondi. Lyon is also developing thanks to its own industries, the most important of which are silk and printing with in particular the printers Sébastien Gryphe, Étienne Dolet and Jean de Tournes. At this time, several kings make triumphal entrances into the city, offering real festive moments to the inhabitants. Bonfires, parade, banquet, dances, music and theatrical sketches are organized to mark the spirit of the guest. Solemn entrances have existed since the Middle Ages, but it was during the Renaissance that they expressed all their grandeurs. They participate considerably in the influence of the city. The entry of Henry II in 1458 is particularly grandiose, according to the work written by Maurice Scève on this occasion.

The succession of the Italian Wars brings the French court to Lyon on many occasions, as the largest city of the kingdom before the Alps. This succession of great characters attracts scholars, artists and poets. This is how a Lyon school of poetry develops during this period, whose greatest representatives are Maurice Scève and Louise Labé. Several important artists settle in Lyon, the most notable being Corneille de Lyon.

The wars of Religion put an end to the prosperity of the city. Taken militarily by the Protestants in 1562, Lyon is marked in particular by the exactions of the Baron des Adrets, who organizes massacres of Catholics, looting and destruction of religious buildings. The Saint-Just cloister is completely razed, many iconoclasts mutilate the Catholic buildings, including the Saint-Jean Cathedral. The city will take a long time to recover and will not regain the previous prestige: most of the printers have emigrated to Geneva ; likewise, the major banking families fled Lyon at that time never to return (the city was home to 75 Italian banks in 1568, but only 21 in 1597).


Seventeenth and eighteenth centuries

From September 14 to 21, 1602, there were continuous rains in the region. The Saône overflowed in September 1602 and reached prodigious heights. On September 27, the Saône went up to the stairs of the great door of the church of the Great Augustinians, almost entering the cloister in front. Afterwards, she entered the cloister up to her knees and into the church up to the first degree of the two which are below the lamp which is in front of the great altar. The tombs of the church sank into the earth and they had to be raised and repaired. She surpassed the Quai des Célestins submerging, with the contribution of the waters of the Doubs, the faubourg de Vaise, Bellecour, grounding part of the buildings of the royal arsenal of Rigaudière, the Place Confort, the convent of the Jacobins, the streets of the Boys, Grenette, the Triperie and Pescherie. On the Saint-Jean side, we went by boat along the Rue de Flandres and the port Saint Paul to the Puys de la Sel.

During the two centuries of royal absolutism, the military and civil administration of the city passed into the hands of the royal officers :
the governors (office mainly held by the Villeroy family), whose military authority extended over the province of Lyonnais, ie Lyonnais proper, Forez and Beaujolais
the intendants (of justice, police and finance), representing the king in the generality of Lyon. This was composed of five elections, financial districts whose capitals were Lyon, Villefranche-sur-Saône, Montbrison, Roanne and Saint-Étienne (see also the list of provosts of merchants of Lyon).

From the 1630s, tolerance reigned and was even supported by Archbishop Camille de Neufville de Villeroy under his episcopate (1653-1693). Around 1630, under the impetus of the Jesuit college (current Lycée Ampère), Lyon became an intellectual center of the Republic of Letters. The wealth of the notables of Lyon makes them enlightened amateurs of paintings, medals, and books. The city was embellished with the construction of the town hall; and Lyon benefited from royal largesse thanks to its loyalty to the crown during the Fronde. In the last quarter of this century, the silk factory monopolizes most of the economic forces of the city to the detriment of trading and banking, left to foreigners from Geneva, Lombardy, Tuscany and Switzerland.

In the eighteenth century, the city of Lyon is cramped in its historical borders. Indeed, the city is limited to the current peninsula and Old Lyon. The slopes of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse are unconstructible because they are land belonging to the Church, and the left bank is also the vast majority (with the exception of the Faubourg de La Guillotière) because it is located in a flood zone (Brotteaux). This explains the propensity of the Lyon buildings of the time to gain in height.

In the second half of the eighteenth century, an architect and then an engineer will set up pharaonic plans to expand the city of Lyon. First of all, Morand plans to dry up part of the marshes on the left bank and subdivide these lands according to a checkerboard plan. It connects this new district to the peninsula by a bridge, the Morand Bridge. The second project is that of Perrache, aiming to double the surface of the peninsula by extending it to the south. He puts this project into execution, but does not have time to subdivide it and the planned neighborhood is not built.

In 1765, Lyon was the subject of a long and laudatory article in the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d'Alembert, which emphasizes in particular the richness of its historical heritage, and begins with these words: "great, rich, beautiful, ancient & famous city of France, the most considerable of the kingdom after Paris, & the capital of Lyon".

The eighteenth century in Lyon is marked by two major inventions that were each tested in 1783: the steamboat and the hot air balloon.


French Revolution and Empire

Under the Constituent Assembly, Lyon became the capital of the Rhône-et-Loire department, which was split in two after the Lyon uprising. During the French Revolution, Lyon took the side of the Girondists in 1793 and rose up against the Convention. The city suffered a siege of more than two months before surrendering. The repression of the Convention is fierce. On October 12, 1793, the conventionalist Barère boasted of his success in these terms: "Lyon made war on freedom, Lyon is no more". Lyon thus takes the name of Freed City. More than 2,000 people were shot or guillotined, and several wealthy mansions around Place Bellecour were destroyed, as was Pierre Scize's castle.

On August 21, 1794, the National Convention sends two representatives to Lyon, Louis-Joseph Charlier and Pierre-Pomponne-Amédée Pocholle, to reorganize the city and the department after the excesses of repression. In particular, they will get the city to take its name back.

The seizure of power by Bonaparte is perceived favorably, as the end of the black period and the return to civil peace. The Consulate and the Empire favor the silk industry and take an interest in Jacquard inventions. Bonaparte had his uncle Joseph Fesch appointed to the archiepiscopal see in 1802.

In 1804, a project for an imperial palace was launched in Lyon (as in the other major cities of France). In 1811, a letter from the Duke of Cadore, then Minister of state, specifies: "the imperial palace will be raised on the water station, the garden will be in the peninsula, between the two rivers [sic], up to the Mulatière bridge". But the project never succeeds because of the wars throughout Europe.

Lyon welcomes Napoleon I when he returns from the island of Elba (see Hundred Days) on March 10, 1815. The latter will say, before leaving for Paris: "Lyonnais, I love you". This welcome will earn Lyon a royalist reaction during the Second Restoration.


Restoration and July monarchy

Thanks to the skills inherited from silk, the city enters the industrial revolution with the textile industry. It becomes in the nineteenth century an important industrial city, largely thanks to the canuts. The insurrection of 1834 starts from the Croix-Rousse district and causes tremors all the way to Paris.

The city is connected to Saint-Étienne by one of the first railways in the world (the first passenger transport line in France) by the engineer Marc Seguin from 1827 to 1832. Mechanization led to many social struggles with insurrectionary crises, such as the revolt of the Canuts in 1831.

The implantation of the Jacquard loom marked the development of a culture on complex mechanical systems. The inventions of the sewing machine by Thimmonier and, later, that of the cinema by the Lumière brothers are indebted to the mechanical tricks of the loom linking series of successive actions, including the sudden tape progressions.


Second Empire

During the feast of the Immaculate Conception on December 8, 1852, the custom of lampoons on the windows begins. The story of December 8th is intimately linked to the religious history of Lyon.

In 1850, the religious authorities launched a competition for the realization of a statue, envisaged as a religious signal at the top of the Fourvière hill. A year later, this competition was won by the Lyon sculptor Joseph-Hugues Fabisch, and the date of September 8, 1852 was chosen for its inauguration. But in August, the Saône rises from its bed and invades the construction site where the statue is to be made.

The inauguration is therefore postponed to December 8, the feast of the Immaculate Conception. On the same day, the newspapers announce the evening's program and the whole city prepares for the event. Some even plan to illuminate the facades of their homes with candles. But the bad weather will again upset the festivities, forcing the religious authorities to postpone the inauguration until December 12. Despite this setback, the enthusiasm of the Lyonnais was not extinguished.

From 18 p.m., the first windows light up, and at 20 p.m., the entire city is illuminated. A large part of the population takes to the streets, joyful and tender, surprised by this spontaneous and communicative gesture. The religious authorities follow the movement and the chapel of Fourvière then appears in the night.

That evening, a real party was born. Every year from now on, on December 8th, the people of Lyon place lanterns on their windows and meet up to wander through the streets of the city.

From an economic point of view, Lyon is still the first French financial center, as illustrated by the creation of the Crédit Lyonnais in 1863, by Henri Germain. The modification of the economic structure that will take place under this regime will call into question this pre-eminence to the advantage of Paris. However, the city really became richer under the Second Empire, with the continuation of the industrial revolution, in particular thanks to the Lyon capital invested in the factories and mines of the Stéphanie region. The chemical industry is diversifying and textiles are still flourishing: Lyon silks are then the first export post of France.

Following the example of Baron Haussmann in Paris, the mayor of Lyon and prefect of the Rhône, Claude-Marius Vaïsse, launched a policy of Major Works: in 1848, the urban fabric of the peninsula was considered obsolete. Two major breakthroughs have been made to ventilate this space: the Imperial Street (rue de la République) and the Empress Street (rue de l'hôtel de Ville, then rue Président-Herriot). Squares were also created: the Imperial square (Place de la République) and the Place des Cordeliers.

It was also at this time that the Tête-d'Or park was set up on the left bank.

Finally, Lyon was endowed in 1857 with a large station, the Perrache station, connecting the railways coming from Saint-Étienne (the completion of the Givors-Lyon section allows from 1832 the Saint-Étienne-Lyon link, the first passenger transport line in France), and the Paris-Lyon-Mediterranean link. Placed six meters above the ground on an embankment pierced by few passages, the station creates an urban break in the middle of the peninsula.

From 1835, the city became a mecca for the production and creation of new varieties of roses. Lyon rose growers are distinguished by the depth of their research and the innovative techniques they develop. Hundreds of new roses are created. Thanks to families of rose growers such as the Guillot, the Pernet-Ducher, the Meilland, for example, that Lyon will reach a worldwide notoriety. It is in this city that the French Rose Society was founded in 1886.

The nineteenth century in Lyon is marked by two major inventions: the bateau-mouche in 1862 and the Lumière cinematograph in 1895.


Industrial boom

For a long time very active on the artisanal level, the city sees its industrial fabric expand in the second part of the nineteenth century. Claude Marius Perret created a soda factory in Brotteaux in 1819. On the sea salt transported from the Camargue by the Rhone, he makes soda by hand, using the sulfuric acid produced by the neighboring vitriol factories. Chemistry then benefits from the rise of the silk industry, due to the variety of processing techniques, etching, dyeing, priming, with products derived from sulfuric acid, the base of most chemical reactions used industrially. Around 1840, he took over the copper mines of Chessy and Sain-Bel, to become the first producer of sulfuric acid in France thanks to a new pyrite transformation process. His factory in Perrache moved to Saint Fons in 1853, where twenty years later it occupied about 80 hectares, thus creating the "valley of chemistry" in Lyon. By 1860, it was the second largest chemical industry in France and expansion accelerated over the next two decades.


Modern Lyon

The beginning of the last century is marked by the mandate of Édouard Herriot (mayor from 1905 to 1957, except during the occupation), whose major urban planning projects, implemented by the architect Tony Garnier, lead to the development of the Brotteaux district, around the station of the same name and the Lycée du Parc. In the Gerland district, the Grande Halle des abattoirs (now halle Tony-Garnier) and the Gerland stadium were built in 1914, the latter originally planned for the 1924 Olympic Games, which finally took place in Paris. In Monplaisir, the Grange-Blanche Hospital was built (1913-1933) to replace the aging Hôtel-Dieu.

After the First World War, other projects were carried out: the Charité Hospital was destroyed, leaving its place to the central post office and the Place de la Charité (today Place Antonin-Poncet), adjacent to Place Bellecour. The United States district, strongly inspired by the ideal city dreamed up by Tony Garnier, is built in the seventh arrondissement (this part of the arrondissement will later become the eighth).

The Lyon Stock Exchange played a considerable role during the white coal boom of the 1920s, which saw French electricity consumption, including aluminum, quadruple while it simply doubled in Europe. The hydroelectric production alone is multiplied by eight. The sector accounted for 20% of French bond and especially equity issues in 1930 compared to 8% in the first part of the 1920s. Large dams are multiplying and make it possible to invest in high-voltage lines for large-capacity electrical interconnection, which makes it possible to connect the "two energy Regions": the hydraulic south and the coal north. Cheaper, hydraulics complement thermal power plants to lower their cost. The latter relay the hydraulics in the low-water season of the torrents. Then, the first dam lakes make it possible to meet the peaks of demand.


Lyon during the Second World War

During the Second World War, being located in an unoccupied area until November 1942, and very close to the demarcation line, the city welcomes refugees. It becomes a hotbed of resistance. The traboules, very linked to the history of Lyon, contribute a lot to this, because they make it easy to escape the Gestapo. The leader of the resistance Jean Moulin is nevertheless captured in Caluire, in his suburb. The city was bombed on May 26, 1944 by the Allied aviation, shortly before its liberation on September 3, 1944 by the 1st DFL and the FFI. In June 1944, the group of German and Austrian Communist Revolutionaries (RKD) exiled in France published in its underground newspaper Spartakus the almost complete organizational chart of the services of the "Gestapo" in Lyon. The Center for the History of the Resistance and Deportation, former headquarters of the Gestapo (see Klaus Barbie, Paul Touvier), today pays tribute to this past. Lyon also has the title of "capital of the Resistance", a glorious title awarded by General de Gaulle on September 14, 1944, a few days after the liberation of the city. The Senegalese tata of Chasselay, a military cemetery built in 1942, pays tribute to the action of the Senegalese tirailleurs for the defense of Lyon in June 1940.


Contemporary era

After the war, the city was the scene of dramatic events, in particular the death of a police commissioner in May 68, at the time of a very active protest in its art schools. The mandate of Édouard Herriot's successor, Louis Pradel, was marked by the development of the right bank of the Rhone quays on the motorway, the construction of the Duchère district, the Perrache exchange center, the Part-Dieu district, the Fourvière tunnel, the Gallo-Roman museum and the Lyon metro in particular. The deputy mayor of Sports, flourishing in the city, is Tony Bertrand (1912 - 2018), former French champion in the 400 meters.

The city was then headed by Francisque Collomb, whose two mandates (1976-1989) were marked by some great achievements such as the rehabilitation of the Tony-Garnier hall, the creation of Eurexpo, the Winston-Churchill bridge, the Part-Dieu train station, the arrival of Interpol, the renovation of the courthouse, the launch of the Cité internationale and the Palais des Congrès.

Between 1989 and 1995, under Michel Noir (former minister of Foreign trade), the city's opera house, the Place des Célestins and the Place des Terreaux were renovated. The term "Grand Lyon" is adopted to designate the urban community of Lyon, while the lighting plan is launched, highlighting the buildings of the city at night. The city organizes the 1990 World Chess Championship.

Under Raymond Barre (former Prime Minister), between 1995 and 2001, the world life sciences forum "Biovision" was created, the Higher normal schools moved to the Gerland district, while Lyon hosted the 22nd G7 summit in 1996. It was also under his mandate, in 1998, that the city obtained the classification of 427 ha of its territory as a world Heritage site by UNESCO.

In 2001, Gérard Collomb was elected mayor and then re-elected in the 1st round in 2008 and in the 2nd round in 2014. The banks of the Rhone are then landscaped, the Lyon agglomeration is equipped with a self-service bike rental system (Vélo'v). A vast urban planning operation (whose project is previous) metamorphoses the Confluence district and is accompanied, from 2009, by the redevelopment of the banks of the Saône as a promenade, from the confluence to the nautical basin (inaugurated in June 2010). Several high-rise building projects have been launched in the Part-Dieu district, in particular the Oxygen, Incity and future To-Lyon towers.

The urban community of Lyon is replaced on January 1, 2015 by the territorial collectivity of the Metropolis of Lyon. The city thus leaves the Rhône department


Urban Planning

Land use

The land use of the municipality, as it appears from the European database of biophysical land use Corine Land Cover (CLC), is marked by the importance of artificial territories (93.2% in 2018), a proportion substantially equivalent to that of 1990 (92.3%). The detailed distribution in 2018 is as follows: urbanized areas (53.4%), industrial or commercial areas and communication networks (32.1%), artificial green spaces, non-agricultural (7.7%), continental waters (6.7%). The evolution of the land use of the municipality and its infrastructures can be observed on the various cartographic representations of the territory: the Cassini map (eighteenth century), the staff map (1820-1866) and the maps or aerial photos of the IGN for the current period (1950 to today).


Boroughs and districts

In 1852, four suburbs of Lyon and a village were annexed to the city:
The Croix-Rousse plateau, southern part of the former commune of Cuire-la-Croix-Rousse and became a municipality in its own right in 1802 (current 4th arrondissement).
The Guillotière, formerly in the Dauphiné, extending over the current 3rd and 7th arrondissements.
Vaise was attached to form part of the 5th arrondissement. The district was then attached to the 9th arrondissement when it was created on August 12, 1964, and today forms the southern part of the latter.
The former village of Monplaisir (Monplaisir and Monplaisir-La-Plaine), western and southeastern part of the current 8th arrondissement.
Finally, in 1963, it was the turn of the Saint-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe district to be integrated into the 9th arrondissement, of which it now forms the northernmost part of the city.

The 1st arrondissement: it is the smallest in area of the nine arrondissements of the city. It consists of the lower districts (Terreaux, Saint-Vincent, La Martinière), then the upper districts (the slopes of the Croix-Rousse). Very lively day and night, it welcomes a population both bobo and popular. The youth of Lyon is particularly fond of it for its special and nocturnal atmosphere, especially around the Place des Terreaux, rue Sainte-Catherine and Place Sathonay.
The 2nd arrondissement: located on most of the peninsula, the 2nd arrondissement is one of the most beautiful sides of the city. Many well-known brands, monuments, famous streets and squares are concentrated there. The population that lives there comes mainly from the historical bourgeoisie of Lyon, especially between the Carnot and Bellecour squares, in the Ainay district. The Carnot square delimits the Ainay and Perrache districts. Behind "the vaults" are the districts of Sainte-Blandine and especially the new district of the Confluence, with its nautical square, housing the headquarters of the regional council, numerous buildings of contemporary architecture, mixed with vestiges of the industrial past of the district.
The 3rd arrondissement: it is often considered by the people of Lyon to be the "2nd city center" of Lyon. Indeed, with its wide lively avenues (avenue de Saxe, cours Lafayette, cours Gambetta, etc.) and the Part-Dieu business district, the 3rd is one of the economic lungs of the city. Behind the Part-Dieu station, there are the districts of La Villette and Dauphiné, residential sectors. Finally, to the east of the arrondissement, is the village-district of Montchat, which was partially urbanized by Jean Louis François Richard who married Louise Vitton. He sold part of his land to private individuals and, like other owners, gave the road to the City of Lyon. Today it is a quiet area, composed of small townhouses and is particularly popular with couples and families.
The 4th arrondissement: it is located in the north of the city, above the 1st arrondissement. It consists essentially of the district-village of La Croix-Rousse. Cradle of a singular culture and ancient traditions, the 4th historically welcomes a poorly affluent population, coming from the silk workers (canuts). Nowadays, the Croix-Rousse sees the establishment within it, a new population called "bobo".
The 5th arrondissement: located in the west of the city and bordering the banks of the Saône, it is notably composed of Old Lyon, a very touristic historical district, and the Fourvière hill, on which stands the Notre-Dame de Fourvière basilica. On the plateau are the residential districts of the Point-du-Jour (which is so named because it is the first district of Lyon to receive the rays of the rising sun), Saint-Just, Sainte-Irénée and Menival.
The 6th arrondissement: bordered by the Rhone, by the Tête-d'Or park and by the Cité internationale; the 6th is a particularly upscale arrondissement. There are many Haussmann buildings and mansions. This district is renowned for its calm, even if the Brotteaux district hosts a number of recognized bars and restaurants, around the old Brotteaux train station, which has now been redeveloped. Behind this station, there is the Bellecombe district, more contrasting and bordering Villeurbanne.
The 7th arrondissement: the 7th is the largest arrondissement of Lyon in terms of area. It welcomes a very cosmopolitan population around the popular district of Guillotière, universities (Carré des Gones) and Jean-Macé. Further south, the Girondins districts are unfolding, in full development and Gerland, known for its important scientific, sports and cultural center due to the presence of major schools, the International Cancer Research Center, the Tony-Garnier hall, the Lyon sports palace and the Gerland stadium.
The 8th arrondissement: located in the south-east it is mainly residential. The 8th integrates the village-district of Monplaisir, cradle of cinema. It is more popular in the south, around the districts of Mermoz (which is undergoing a major urban renovation), Bachut, Grand Trou and the United States.
The 9th arrondissement: located in the extreme north-west of the city, the 9th was born in 1964 by the split of the northern part of the 5th by grouping the districts of Vaise, Gorge de Loup, Duchère (third hill of Lyon) and the Industry district, known for its recent development in tertiary services and the video game industry. To the north of the arrondissement, we find clinging against the first foothills of the Monts d'Or, the quiet, even almost rural districts of Rochecardon and Saint-Rambert-l'Île-Barbe, a former village annexed to the city of Lyon in 1963.

The state statistical base available in open access on , demonstrates that about fifty disadvantaged areas are concentrated on the territories of Lyon and its agglomeration.

Among these fifty sensitive zones, four are classified as "urban free zone", the highest level of classification of the territories of the city policy in France, which designates neighborhoods "particularly disadvantaged with regard to the criteria taken into account for the determination of urban revitalization zones" and about twenty are classified as "sensitive urban zone", a level which groups the territories "characterized by the presence of large complexes or degraded housing districts and by an accentuated imbalance between housing and employment".

The five "urban free zones" of Lyon and its agglomeration are :
La Duchère (Lyon 9th) ;
Grappinière (Vaulx-en-Velin) ;
The Minguettes (Venissieux) ;
Plaine-de-Saythe-Bel-Air (Saint-Priest) ;
New town (Rillieux-la-Pape).



In 2009, the total number of dwellings in the municipality was 271,131, compared to 251,279 in 1999.

Of these, 88.7% were primary residences, 2.6% were secondary residences and 8.7% were vacant. These dwellings were for 2.9% of them detached houses and for 95.7% apartments.

The proportion of main residences owned by their occupants was 34.2%, up from 1999 (31.59%). The share of empty rented housing units (social housing) was always below the legal threshold of 20% and even declining: 16.2% against 18.1% in 1999, their number having decreased from 39,071 to 39,019.


Development projects

Urban projects of the Lyon Metropolis
Lyon enjoys an expansion policy driven by its growing economic attractiveness. It attracts investors, the business world, but also residents, whose number has been increasing again since the 1990s. Lyon is, on a French and European scale, one of the fastest growing cities. To meet this demand and above all to satisfy its requirements, the city of Lyon has set up projects responding to several themes: the economy, the living environment, urban planning, medicine or sport.


Urban development

Urban developments leave an important place to the requalification of the banks of the two rivers, with the aim of reconquering the banks of the Rhone and the Saône: completed, the development of the banks of the Rhone on the left bank has made it possible to transform vast parking lots and other simple platforms into a promenade consisting of green spaces, places of relaxation, fountains and gardens. The development of the left bank of the Saône has also transformed it into a place of relaxation conducive to culture and reunions.

The major city projects initiated by Greater Lyon affect the municipal territory, such as the ongoing rehabilitation of the Duchère district and the renewal of the Vaise and Mermoz districts.

The major Lyon Confluence urban project, currently underway between the Rhône and the Saône, must transform what was yesterday a site dedicated to industry into a real extension of the city center beyond the Perrache train station. At the end of the first phase, 130,000 m2 of housing, 120,000 m2 of hotels, services, shops and 130,000 m2 of offices must replace the industrial wastelands. By the end of the second phase, more than one million square meters should have been built. At the tip of the peninsula, the futuristic-looking Confluences Museum was built. It opened its doors on December 20, 2014 and is served by a T1 tram station, extended towards Debourg, in the Gerland district (7th arrondissement). The cost of this museum (more than 330 million euros) is at the origin of a controversy.

More specific projects have been carried out: Jacqueline Osty has been entrusted with the transformation of the Place des Jacobins in the heart of the second arrondissement, a space once very frequented by cars. The redevelopment includes wider sidewalks and an embellishment of the fountain and statues that throne in the center also pedestrianized. Converted after the departure of the civil hospices of Lyon, the Hôtel-Dieu has given way to a city of gastronomy, an Intercontinental luxury hotel in the central body of the building, shops specializing in tableware and interior decoration, as well as corporate offices. The multiple interior courtyards are redeveloped into high places of luxury, like Avenue Montaigne in Paris. The challenge is to give back to the inhabitants of Lyon public spaces between the private facilities of the project. A canopy covering one of the interior courtyards as well as the restoration of the dome and its ceiling height of 58 meters are the strong architectural signals of this rehabilitation. The opening took place between the end of 2017 and the end of 2019. Other projects in Greater Lyon, despite their remoteness from the center and located outside the municipal territory, contribute to the influence of the city-center: the ongoing requalification of the Silk Square, straddling Villeurbanne and Vaulx-en-Velin, although long neglected by the metropolis of Lyon, is now at the heart of a large-scale redevelopment and restructuring project, the completion of which would not occur before 2030. The creation of a leisure center, the extension of the real estate offer, the emergence of a tertiary center of European renown, the construction of 30,000 m2 of hotels. The business and commercial area of Lyon - Porte des Alpes in the town of Saint-Priest partially completed was launched in 1996. This project aims to make the Porte des Alpes a real tertiary pole. The technology park, symbol of the project, is almost completed and should eventually allow about 6,000 jobs. The Porte des Alpes is also the location of the "passive houses". There are 31 of them, these houses are prototypes of ultra-ecological houses, intended for housing.


Communication routes and transport

By its geographical location, Lyon is the point of convergence of many road infrastructures, and the essential point of passage of railway lines to the south of Europe. Traditionally connected to Paris and Marseille, the city of Lyon is now tending to strengthen its connections to the east, in particular the cities of Geneva in Switzerland, and Turin in Italy, and Lyon-Saint-Exupéry airport is experiencing a steady growth in its attendance and its services. Finally, the Lyon agglomeration has a dense network of urban and intercity public transport, with single rates within Greater Lyon.


Road infrastructure

Lyon and Villeurbanne are surrounded by a ring road, locally called "boulevard Laurent Bonnevay". It is unfinished to the west and southwest. It ends in the north-west at the Valvert gate and in the south at the Gerland gate. The city contains an expressway inside it: the north-south axis which follows the banks of the Rhone (right bank). The installation of the tramway in the city center, and the consequent reduction in traffic lanes, have favored the diversion of east-west traffic by the Croix-Rousse tunnel to the north, and by the ring road to the south. Geographical constraints and urban sprawl reduce the means of access to the city center, especially in the north in the Val de Saône and the Monts d'or, as well as in western Lyon. Relay car parks are installed on the outskirts of the city to encourage the abandonment of the car in favor of public transport.

Several motorways make it possible to reach Lyon from Chambéry and Grenoble to the south-east (A43 /A41), the A43 being now decommissioned at the entrance to Lyon (in the Mermoz district, the "Mermoz autopont" having been destroyed), Geneva and Bourg-en-Bresse to the north-east (A42 /A40), Vienna, Valencia and Marseille to the south (A7), Saint-Étienne to the south-west (A47, which later becomes national route 88, which aims to connect Toulouse to Lyon in 2 × 2 lanes via Albi and Mende), and Mâcon, Chalon-sur-Saône, Dijon, Paris and Reims to the north (A6).

Around its perimeter, the suburb is surrounded by the Eastern ring road (RN346), which runs along the entire Mid-plain industrial area. The RN346 and A46 north / A46 south together form the eastern bypass between Villefranche-Sud (Anse) and Vienne-Nord (Chasse/Ternay). A project between Villefranche-sur-Saône and Arbresle is underway. The project of a major bypass of Lyon from the west is being studied (A44): it would accompany the redevelopment into urban boulevards of the A6 and the A7 after their decommissioning (they became M6 and M7), and would reduce the traffic of the Fourvière tunnel and avoid the saturation of the eastern ring road.

However, two bypasses are still being planned in the west, the western ring road (T.O.P.) in the first ring, of which the Metropolis of Lyon is continuing development studies, and the motorway bypass (C.O.L.) in the second ring that the State-Region territorial coherence scheme provides for, have not been eliminated.


Urban transport

Lyon has the first public transport network outside the Île-de-France with 1.9 million trips per day provided by the TCL network.

The SYTRAL, the organizing authority for mobility in the Rhône department and the Metropolis of Lyon, is entrusted by the latter with the mission of establishing the urban travel plan, therefore "soft travel" and the development of public transport. These are operated under the TCL brand by Keolis Lyon via specifications and a public service delegation. It includes four metro lines (A, B, C, D), two funiculars (F1, F2), seven tram lines (T1, T2, T3, T4, T5, T6, T7) plus one line, the Rhônexpress (not part of the network but also managed by the SYTRAL), nine trolleybus lines (including three strong Cristalis lines C1, C2 and C3), and some 123 bus lines and four departmental coach lines (accessible with a TCL ticket within the urban transport perimeter. Similarly, the TCL are in charge of about 170 school lines. The Optibus service, complementary to the TCL network, is intended for people with reduced mobility.

By the topographic location of the city center, bordered by the two hills of Fourvière and Croix-Rousse, Lyon's urban transport report several particularities, such as the funicular nicknamed "string" or the metro line C, which runs on rack and remains the metro line with the highest gradient in the world (17.6%).

Various projects have been implemented to develop the Lyon metro, the latest being the extension of line B to the town of Oullins-Pierre-Bénite in the south. This extension expands the network by 1.5 kilometers and a new station was inaugurated in December 2013 under the name of "Oullins station".

In addition, in 2009, the implementation of the West Lyon tram-train began, connecting Saint-Paul station to several Rhône municipalities, integrated into the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes TER.

Finally, a "Lyon-style RER" project called the Lyon Regional Express Network (REAL) is being deployed by the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It consists mainly of a timing of the TER, the reorganization of the stations and the creation of the Lyon-Jean-Macé station, among others (others are being planned, such as at the Confluence). A pricing in "zones" will also be set up. The REAL will have eight lines, and will serve the departments of Ain, Isère, Loire and Rhône. Thus, new connections will be possible inside and outside the region (Lyon - Saint-Étienne - Grenoble, but also Geneva), these cities being indeed the economic and industrial centers of the region.

Moreover, in May 2005, the metropolis of Lyon set up with the company JCDecaux a system of bicycles for rent, called Vélo'v. The system is deployed on the territories of the municipalities of Lyon, Villeurbanne, Vaulx-en-Velin, Caluire-et-Cuire and Vénissieux. A computerized system for self-service bicycle rental, Vélo'v was at its pioneer launch and, until the launch of Vélib' in Paris, the most important self-service bicycle service in France. 45,000 bicycles are rented every day and 1,144,000 bicycles were rented in September 2021. 424 self-service bike stations are located in the metropolis of Lyon. In February 2020, the electric-assisted e-Vélo'v appeared (the battery is optional to rent): 2,500 were deployed.

In 2021, a bicycle express network (255 kilometers planned in 2026) is launched to promote the use of active modes in the metropolis: The Lyon Routes.

Finally, there are more than 50 taxi ranks within the city, which are shared by several taxi centers in the agglomeration.


Car Sharing

Citiz (ex-Autolib') is the first car-sharing service launched in the agglomeration in January 2008 a hundred car-sharing vehicles distributed over 37 stations. It is historically the 1st French agglomeration to offer such a service.

In October 2013, the metropolis of Lyon set up a second car-sharing service, called Bluely. Entirely financed by the Bolloré Group, it offered only electric cars available to the inhabitants of Lyon and Villeurbanne as well as some municipalities in the near suburbs. Initially, it had a fleet of 130 vehicles in 2013, before reaching 270 vehicles spread over 101 stations in 2019. However, the Bluely service ceased operations on August 31, 2020.


Railway service

Lyon intramural is served by six SNCF stations :
Lyon-Part-Dieu station was put into operation in 1983 to replace Lyon-Brotteaux for the arrival of the Paris-Lyon TGV. It is the first Lyon station in terms of the number of passengers with 32.6 million passengers for the year 2018. It is also the first French station for the number of connecting passengers ;
Lyon-Perrache station, located in the heart of the Peninsula, is historically the first Lyon station, built by the PLM Company, inaugurated in June 1857. Today it is the second largest in terms of attendance, with 6.1 million travelers in 2017 ;
Lyon-Saint-Paul station is the terminus of the TER lines from Arbresle, Sain-Bel, Lozanne and Brignais ;
TER also serve Lyon-Vaise, Lyon-Gorge-de-Loup and Lyon-Jean Macé, opened in December 2009.

230 TGV trains pass through the Part-Dieu and Perrache stations every day. A third TGV station, Lyon-Saint-Exupéry TGV, is located within Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport, outside Lyon. The Lyon agglomeration is thus a real railway junction connected both to the main Paris - Marseille axis (by high-speed rail or conventional network) and to other numerous lines. Other stations (Lyon-Saint-Clair, Lyon-Brotteaux and Lyon-Saint-Rambert-L'Île-Barbe) have been relieved of all traffic, in favor of the Part-Dieu and Perrache. In addition, Lyon has been hosting since March 31, 2009 the only TGV Technical Center dedicated to the routine maintenance of trains located outside the Île-de-France region.



Lyon has two air platforms originally managed by the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Lyon-Bron Airport was inaugurated in 1924 and saw the development of the Aéropostale and passenger traffic during the interwar period. Having become too cramped, the first airport was relieved in 1975 of airport activities in favor of Lyon-Saint-Exupéry International Airport, located 25 km further east. In October 2016, a decree formalizes the privatization of Lyon airport and the sale of the state's 60% stake to a consortium composed of Vinci, Predica and the Caisse des dépôts et consignations for 535 million euros. Lyon-Bron is, today, dedicated to private and business aviation.

Today, Saint-Exupéry is considered the second provincial airport after Nice-Côte d'Azur airport and connects Lyon to most European capitals and major metropolises. More than a hundred cities are connected once or several times a week, some up to five times a day, such as London. In 2008, a transatlantic line, operated by the American company Delta Air Lines had been set up and connected Lyon to New York again, but this line had to close because of difficulties in making the line profitable following the crisis. In 2016, the Canadian company Air Canada decided to open another annual transatlantic route, to Montreal, which was then only connected to Lyon by Air Transat in the summer. In 2018, Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport handled 11 million passengers. An idea of Pierre-François Unger was to relieve Geneva International Airport of part of its traffic in favor of Saint-Exupéry by connecting this axis by a railway line taking less than an hour, however not materialized.



The Rhône is managed by the Compagnie nationale du Rhône (CNR). The Edouard-Herriot port, in the 7th arrondissement, is the only one located on the banks of the river.

Natural and technological risks
Seismic risk
Lyon is in a low seismic hazard zone, according to the national seismic risk prevention program, the Earthquake plan, dated January 9, 2015.


Politics and administration

Political trends and results

Of bourgeois tradition, the city of Lyon would be likely to be governed by the right. However, we notice a schism in the electorate of the metropolis of Lyon, the well-to-do municipalities and boroughs in the North and North-West (the municipalities of the Monts-d'Or, Caluire-et-Cuire, etc.) are more turned to the right, while the more popular municipalities in the south and east of Lyon with an industrial tendency are more to the left (for example in Villeurbanne, Vaulx-en-Velin, or Vénissieux, where successive mayors since 1944 have come from the French Communist Party).

Gérard Collomb, a member of the Socialist Party, became mayor of Lyon for the first time, when he was in the minority in votes (10,000 votes fewer than the right), but in the majority in the number of boroughs won and in the total number of elected in all the boroughs. This electoral particularity is the result of a municipal voting method in force only in the three largest French cities (PLM law). Gérard Collomb was re-elected mayor of the city in 2008.

It is also difficult to decide on the question of an electoral identity of Lyon as the inhabitants seem to orient themselves differently according to the elections: while the right largely won it in 2007 during the presidential election or during the European elections of June 2009, the left imposed itself during the cantonal elections of 2008, and Gerard Collomb, socialist mayor, was largely re-elected in 2008.

However, we have noticed a marked evolution in Lyon over the past decade. A radical stronghold during the Third Republic, very oriented to the left, Lyon became a centrist stronghold during the Fourth Republic, like the Radical Party which slid to the right from that time. Until the dawn of the twenty-first century, this trend will strengthen, going so far as to make Lyon the "Capital of the UDF", a stronghold of the center-right. In the municipal elections of 1983 and 1989, the center-right and the right took away all the districts, collecting two thirds of the votes. The left was non-existent in Lyon at that time.

After a first warning shot at the municipal elections of 1995, the political retirement of Raymond Barre and the deep divisions of the center-right in 2001 actually began the rise of a center-left current, embodied by Gérard Collomb. A time denied on the occasion of the legislative elections of 2002 (3 UMP and 1 UDF), the movement resumes from the cantonals of 2004, where the PS removes cantons in districts rather favorable to the right (in the 3rd in particular). It amplifies during the legislative elections of 2007, where the PS takes two seats on the right, and during the cantonal elections of 2008 where the withdrawal of the right on its impregnable districts (2nd and 6th) is confirmed. The municipal elections of 2008 complete the turn that Gérard Collomb creates in Lyon during the mandates of these first years 2000-2010. It is, in fact, customary in Lyon, to be elected, to adopt the Lyon "moderantism", which is confirmed by the succession of political trends elected to the mayoralty, after the historical mayor of Lyon Édouard Herriot (RAD), followed by :
Louis Pradel (DVD) ;
Francisque Collomb (DVD);
Michael Black (RPR) ;
Raymond Barre (DVD) ;
Gérard Collomb (PS then LREM) ;
Grégory Doucet (EÉLV).

If there is a sociological mutation, there is therefore no political revolution. The political refocusing of Gerard Collomb allowed the latter to become mayor and to confirm his implantation in 2008. Re-elected in 2014, Gérard Collomb is appointed Minister of the Interior following the election of Emmanuel Macron. He resigned from his municipal duties in July 2017, making way for his first deputy, Georges Képénékian.

Gérard Collomb resigned as Minister of the Interior in October 2018, and the following November 5, he was re-elected mayor with 46 votes to 8, although Georges Képénékian then became first deputy again. In 2020, put in difficulty by environmentalists and by the right, in addition to a dissent, the designated successor of Collomb Yann Cucherat obtains only 15% of the votes, while this one, with only 17% of the votes, is put in difficulty during the first round of the metropolitan elections.

Although the electoral influence of the extreme right in Lyon is weak, the academic Alain Chevarin emphasizes that the city is a stronghold of radical nationalism: "We find all the movements there, from fundamentalist Catholics to neo-pagans, from those who want to conquer power by the ballot box, to those who practice rather a local agitation, sometimes violent, to establish themselves in territories that they consider as strongholds". Attacks against left-wing activists, trade unionists and migrants are recurrent.


Municipal administration

The municipality of Lyon is administered by a mayor and his deputies (executive power) and a municipal council (legislative power) whose members are elected, for six years, by the first third of the elected representatives from the lists of arrondissements, first elected by universal suffrage (direct suffrage) in each of the 9 arrondissements (a total of 221), then sitting on the municipal council, therefore numbering 73 municipal councillors.

The city council elects from among its members the mayor of Lyon, who is responsible for preparing and implementing the council's decisions, and who has important own skills (chief magistrate of the city, holding the power of police, among others). The mayor is therefore assisted by one or more deputies (maximum 21), who can receive certain delegations, at the request of the mayor to the city council. The Lyon City Council meets 10 times a year and is chaired by the mayor of Lyon or, in his absence, by his 1st deputy.

The municipality of Lyon is divided into nine municipal districts, which were created from 1852. An arrondissement is a territorial subdivision of the three most important French municipalities. Since the PLM law, the municipal organization of Lyon is comparable to that of Paris. Of the three cities affected by the PLM law, Lyon is the municipality with the smallest number of arrondissements (a total of 9), while Paris contains 20 and Marseille 16. This difference is mainly due to the area of Lyon (47.87 km2 - 240.62 km2 for Marseille) and the number of inhabitants (a little more than half of Marseille).

In each of the 9 arrondissements of the municipality, a borough council sits, with a borough mayor at its head. Each borough council is elected by direct universal suffrage, at the same time as the municipal council. There is a town hall per district in addition to the town hall of Lyon. They are not full-time town halls (in particular not raising taxes), but distribute the credits delegated to them by the city of Lyon.

Since the 2002 law and the obligation for cities with more than 80,000 inhabitants, "neighborhood councils" (35 in number for the city of Lyon) have been created, where residents, citizen and commercial associations represent their neighborhood. Their opinion is solicited for the developments of which the neighborhood is concerned, the building permits (site visit), etc.

The number of "ward councillors" is not limited (within a reasonable representation for the ward) and is open to all.


Military life

Lyon is the headquarters of the South-East defense and security zone, corresponding to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and as such hosts the general staff of the Terre Sud-Est region at the headquarters-Brother. The 7th equipment regiment remains the only intramural regiment, located on Avenue Chalemel-Lacour. The Desgenettes army training hospital is located there on boulevard Pinel. The neighboring town of Bron hosts the School of the army health service of Lyon-Bron. Finally, on the neighboring municipalities of Limonest and Poleymieux-au-Mont-d'Or, the 942 Mont Verdun air base extends.

In Lyon, the traditional military parade of July 14th takes place on July 13th.


Police and justice

The Lyon municipal police is one of the most important French municipal police in terms of staffing " (327 officers, excluding administrative staff) and the per capita ratio (67 per 100,000 inhabitants) places the city in the top of the national ranking", and the number of police officers on duty in the city has increased by 27 officers (from 809 in 2003 to 836 in 2009).

The town hall devotes more than 1.5 million euros per year to private security firms. Finally, the Lyon Association for Tranquility and Mediation was created in 2003, and is the result of a partnership with the city, the metropolis of Lyon, the SNCF, Keolis Lyon and the city's housing offices. It employs 23 people working in particular in the evening in the 9th arrondissement, and has been chaired since 2006 by the head of MICASEP (Mission for coordinating security and prevention actions)



The departmental-metropolitan fire and rescue service of the Rhône department and the metropolis of Lyon (SDMIS) is responsible for the protection of people, property and the environment in the town of Lyon.

For this, the service has eight barracks located in Lyon and its surroundings. These barracks defending Lyon are called company :

Lyon-Corneille Barracks (1st company), also called the central, located on rue Pierre-Corneille in Lyon ;
Lyon-Rochat Barracks (2nd company) located in the Madeleine district of Lyon ;
Lyon-Gerland Barracks (3rd company) located in the Gerland district of Lyon ;
Barracks of Lyon-Duchère (4th company) located in the district of Duchère in Lyon ;
Saint-Priest barracks (5th company) located in the town of Saint-Priest where logistics and some SDMIS services are also located ;
Villeurbanne-Cusset barracks (6th company) located in the town of Villeurbanne ;
Lyon-Croix Rousse Barracks (7th company) located in the Croix-Rousse district of Lyon ;
Barracks of Villeurbanne-La Doua (8th company) located in the town of Villeurbanne.
Within the walls of the 1st company is also the Headquarters of the SDMIS with the CTA-CODIS. These rescue centers are totally professionalized or overwhelmingly composed of professional firefighters.


Video surveillance device

A video surveillance program is implemented under the mandate of Raymond Barre from 1998, date of the first local security contract, and continued by Gérard Collomb, who installed in 2001 the Urban Supervision Center of Lyon (CSUL, 29 agents in 2010). There were thus 59 cameras in 2001, distributed between the Duchère and the Peninsula; and 219 in 2009, extended to other neighborhoods, including Old Lyon, Pery-Moncey, Gerland, the banks of the Rhone, the International City, etc. The CSUL is requested in priority for disturbances to public order, attacks on property and people coming far behind.

The images (which constitute personal data) are currently stored for 8 days, a period that should be extended to 15 days. Finally, a "college of ethics of video surveillance of public spaces" was created in 2003. The Regional Accounts Chamber notes that "to date, no complaint has been registered by the college of ethics and no request for access to images (right of access guaranteed by the Data Protection Act) for a reason relating to curiosity or image rights has been registered".

However, the effectiveness of this video surveillance system has been questioned (the Accounts Chamber notes in particular that the drop in crime figures was greater in Villeurbanne, a city without surveillance cameras, than in Lyon). According to this one,
"the tool is sufficiently expensive (more than a million per year on average since 2003, excluding personnel and overhead costs related to the service) for a global assessment of its interest to be undertaken. »



Lyon is home to the Court of Appeal of Ain, Loire and Rhône. Lyon has a judicial court, a labor council, an administrative court, an administrative court of appeal, a commercial court and a legal aid office. All these courts of the judicial order are located in the 3rd arrondissement, within the new courthouse built in 1995, the administrative courts being located in a specific building erected nearby. The Court of Appeal and the Assize Court are still present in the historic courthouse in Old Lyon.

Lyon is the second largest bar in France after Paris, with 4,000 lawyers registered at the bar in 2024.

The city also hosts two houses of justice and law (MJD), respectively since 1992 and 1999. These aim to "ensure a local judicial presence and in particular to offer a place for alternative measures of criminal treatment as well as actions aimed at the amicable resolution of civil conflicts" as well as to "contribute to local actions promoting the prevention of crime, assistance to victims and access to rights. »



The city has not welcomed any prisoners since 2009. Indeed, on May 2, 2009, the inmates of the Saint-Paul and Saint-Joseph prisons in the Perrache district (Lyon 2e) were transferred to the most recent prison in Lyon-Corbas (in the town of Corbas, in the south-eastern suburbs of Lyon). This transfer will then have had the effect of emptying Lyon of its prisoners, since even the Montluc prison (Lyon 3e) was emptied in February 2009, classified as a historical monument, it has become a national museum. The Saint-Paul and Saint-Joseph prisons were converted to accommodate the Catholic University of Lyon in 2015.