Location: Rhône-Alpes


Description of Lyon

Lyon is a town located in the Rhone department in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region , in the center-east of France. Lyon is the second largest administrative city in France, the third largest city in France . It is the economic center of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region , and the capital of the Rhône department . With its remarkable historical heritage renovated and preserved over time, Lyon is today one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Some of its neighborhoods have been classified as UNESCO World Heritage since 1998 and attract nearly 5,500,000 tourists annually (ONT figures).

Lyon is built on and around two hills and two rivers:
in the West, the hill of Fourvière, last buttress of the Massif Central;
in the North, the Croix-Rousse hill, extension of the Dombes plateau.
The two hills are separated by the Saône, while the Rhône runs along the Croix-Rousse on its eastern flank. The two rivers border the peninsula in the extension of the Croix-Rousse hill and meet to form the confluence. To the east, the plain was a swampy area (Brotteaux), flooded by the floods of the Rhone until the construction of the dyke of the Tête d'Or Park.

With its 2,000 years of history, Lyon has the advantage of having kept traces of its various phases of development. After occupying the Fourvière hill at the beginning of the Roman era, the city will retreat on both sides of the Saone, on the right bank and on the peninsula. It preserves the site of the Middle Ages to the XVIII th century, sheltered behind its walls running from one hill to another.

From the XVIII th century, the city participated in the conquest of the East . The marshy area of ​​the left bank of the Rhône (Brotteaux district) is drained to be divided. At the same time, the architect Perrache is starting work to extend the peninsula to the south, doubling its area.

Interrupted by the French Revolution, the expansion of the city work resumed at the beginning of the XIX th century. In 1852, the peripheral communes of Vaise (right bank of the Saone, north of Lyon), Croix-Rousse (at the top of the hill of the same name) and Guillotière (left bank of the Rhone) are attached to Lyon.

Finally, in the 1960s are launched the construction of the business district of Part-Dieu, which becomes the new attractive pole of the city and whose symbol is the tower of the pencil (tower Credit Lyonnais, now LCL) . At the same time, the Renaissance association of Vieux Lyon obtains the neighborhoods Saint-Jean, Saint-Paul and Saint-Georges are classified sector saved.

The 1980s and 1990s are a period of intense renovation of the habitat. Old Lyon buildings are the subject of a vast rehabilitation campaign, quickly followed by those on the slopes of Croix-Rousse. Today, these two neighborhoods, witnesses of the history of the city, offer the visitor an Italian-style atmosphere.


Travel Destinations in Lyon

Basilica Notre-Dame de Fourvière (Lyon)

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


Basilica of Saint-Martin d'Ainay (Lyon)

Church of Saint Paul (Église Saint-Paul) (Lyon)

Église Saint-Paul or Church of Saint Paul was initially constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries in a Romanesque style. It was later reconstructed in the 15th- 16th centuries that gave it more of a Gothic appearance.

Town Hall (Lyon)

7 Rue Puits Gaillot

Tel. +33 969 32 15 15

Town Hall is situated between Place de la Comédie and Place des Terreaux was designed by architects Robert de Cotte and Jules Hardouin- Mansart following a fire of 1674 that destroyed the original building. Relief of Luois XIV you see at the center of the facade was added in the of construction. During the French Revolution crowds tore it down, by during the Restoration of the Bourbon dynasty it was returned back by the order of French king Henry IV.

Roman Grand Theatre (Lyon)

Roman Odeon (Lyon)

Roman Odeon of Lyon is a small ancient Roman theatre at the top of Fourvière hill situated near a bigger theatre. The site was discovered in the 16th century. Initially it was assumed that it was an amphitheater where gladiators fought till death and many Christian martyrs were killed by blood thirsty crowds. However in reality it was a cultural building that was constructed in the 2nd century during extension of the adjacent Roman theater. It had a total diameter of 73 meters with capacity of 3000 residents.


Museum of Gallo- Roman Civilization (Musee de la Civilisation Gallo- Romain) (Lyon)

17 Rue Cleberg

Tel. 04- 72 38 81 90

Open: Tue- Sun

Closed: Public holidays

Musee de la Civilisation Gallo- Romaine is a museum devoted to the Ancient history of the Gallo- Roman period when Gaul tribes were ruled by the Rome.




Museum of Fine Arts (Musee des Beaux Arts) (Lyon)

Palais St- Pierre, 20 place des Terreaux

Open: 0472 101740

Open: Wed- Sun

Closed: public holidays


Museum of Contemporary Art (Musee d'Art Contemporain) (Lyon)


Textile History Museum (Musee Historique des Tissus) (Lyon)


34 rue de la Charite

Tel. 04 7837 1505

Open: Tue- Sun

Closed: public holidays


Museum of Printing (Musee de l'Imprimerie) (Lyon)

13 rue de la Poulaillerie

Tel. 04 7837 6598

Open: Wed- Sun

Closed: public holidays

Musee de l'Imprimerie is a museum devoted to printing. Lyon have been center of book printing since the 15th century. There is a collection of books, booklets, money and other items related to this important art.


Museum of Decorative Arts (Musee des Arts Decoratifs) (Lyon)

30 rue de la Charite

Tel. 04 7837 1505

Open: Tue- Sun

Closed: public holidays

Musee des Arts Decoratifs carries a collection of furniture, porcelain, tapestries and many others.


Maison des Canuts (Lyon)

10- 12 rue d'Ivry

Tel. 04 7828 6204

Open: Mon- Sat

Closed: public holidays

Maison des Canuts is a museum devoted to production of silk that was commonly practiced in the city.