The second largest city in France (although an old quarrel of figures has been opposing Marseille for centuries on this point), Lyon is a city full of unknown riches!
At the same time Latin and northern, the ancient capital of Gaul is a concentrate of France, even in its title of capital of gastronomy!
What makes the walk so pleasant for me in Lyon is its geographically structured aspect: 2 rivers, the Rhone and the Saone, 2 hills, Fourvière and Croix Rousse, mark the space and delimit districts with varied atmospheres and attractions : The peninsula and its shopping streets, the quays, the slopes (of the red cross), the great squares (Bellecour, the heart of the city and Terreaux where sit the town hall and the opera Jean Nouvel ).
The ascent of Fourviere to the basilica allows to embrace this unique urban geography from the panoramic platform on the city. Do not forget to come back to the basilica itself: the magnificent blue interior will surprise you with its oriental reminders ...
The discovery of Lyon invites you to a stroll between the centuries:
- - The Gallo-Roman period, with the vestiges of the amphitheater on the slopes of Fourvière (shows are frequent there in summer), and the Gallo-Roman museum. Do not forget that Lyon - Lugdunum - was at the beginning of our era the second largest city of the Roman Empire!
- - In the medieval period, the districts St Jean, St Paul and St George which form the present old Lyon are developing. While the clergy imposed its domination on the city, the first traboules appeared.
But it was especially at the Renaissance, at the beginning of the 15th century, that Lyon will find a central role in Europe.
- Lyon is indeed one of the most important commercial centers of the Renaissance. It is a major crossroads thanks to its fluvial axes, its fairs where all the merchants of the continent are found, and the development of the textile industry (silk).
- The first French stock exchange made its appearance there. Bankers and wealthy Italian families settled along the Saône, marking their imprint on the architecture of the residences of old Lyon.
- From the seventeenth century, the nerve center of the city is deployed towards the peninsula. The Hôtel Dieu, the town hall of the Place des Terreaux, the theater des célestins, the fountain of the Jacobins and the Place Bellecour
At that time, Lyon was the most prosperous city in France thanks to the Silk industry. The workshops concentrate particularly on the Croix Rousse and go down to the Saône.
Lyon was marked at the time of the industrial revolution by the revolts of Canuts at the beginning of the XIXth century. These silk workers underwent a sadly famous repression.
- During the Second World War, Lyon was the capital of the French Resistance. Most clandestine newspapers are produced there. Jean Moulin is arrested in Caluire, near the Lyons suburbs. Installed in the former premises of the Gestapo, the Resistance Museum invites you to rediscover the role of Lyon in the French Resistance.
Museums, neighborhoods, World Heritage sites invite you to discover the fascinating history of this city.
Lyon is also a city that evolves constantly: witnessed in the 90s the metamorphoses of the Place des Terreaux by Daniel Buren, and the opera by Jean Nouvel, as more recently the very successful redevelopment of the quays of the Rhone (skating rinks, Bike paths and barges), as the pilot role of the city in the use of the two wheels (the cyclov 'has advanced the vélib of several years!).