travel guide

Lyon France

Lyon is the third city of France and sits sedately astride its two rivers, the Rhone and Sadne. It is a reserved, bourgeois town, devoted to commerce. Silk is now less important industrially than machinery and chemicals, but the mercantile temper of the Lyonnais has not changed. The 12th-cent. Cathedral has notable choir-stalls; there are fine museums, one of them devoted to silks. The industrial suburb of Villeurbanne is the home of Roger Planchon’s famous repertory theatre.
The most interesting towns around Lyon are, Brou, whose wonderful church inspired Matthew Arnold; and Vienne, on the Rhone, rich in Roman remains. To the W. of Lyons, the vast mountain plateau of the Massif Central, with its gorges and volcanic rocks, is the most desolate region in all France, yet full of variety and interest. This is Auvergne, the land of hardy peasants whose traditional folk customs — dances such as the bourree, and the use of musical instruments such as the aielle – are dying out.

There are fine Romanesque churches in the hills all around Clermont Ferrand, the chief town of Auvergne. Le Puy, in a strange volcanic region of spiky hills, has a superb cathedral and the Church of Saint Michel d’Aiguilhe, which is dramatically situated on a pinnacle of rock. Le Mont-Dore and La Bourboule are attractive resorts in hilly countryside. Vichy, down on the northern plain, is famous as France’s leading spa town and as the wartime capital of unoccupied France; St Etienne is a big industrial town.
Further S. are the chalky uplands of the Causses, the beautiful Tarn Gorges, and the barren Cevennes Mountains, the Protestant stronghold where Robert Louis Stevenson travelled with his donkey. At Roquefort, you can see the famous cheeses maturing in chilly caves in a mountain-side. At Conques, the little village church contains some of the richest treasures in France. Lyon is the capital of the region of Rhone-Alpes and the third largest city in France after Paris and Marseille, the city one of the major metropolitan centers of Europe

The Story of Lyon starts in 43 BC, when the Roman officer Lucius Munatius Plancus, taking command by the Senate, sets up the city with the Roman name Lugdunum.In 27 BC becomes the capital of one of the three provinces of Gallia Lugdunensis and capital of the Roman Gaul.
The west side of the city is dominated by the hill of Fourvier known as the “hill of praying” derived from the church of Notr Dame de Fourvier and the hill of Croix Rousse (red cross) known as the “hill that works” thanks to the traditional fabrication of silk.
At the foot of those two hills lies the old medieval city of Lyon a must see attraction of the city. the old town consists of narrow passes the traboules which allow the passage from one street to another, through the courts of the houses, the old city is a historic heritage of UNESCO since1998.
The cuisine of Lyon has a reputation of diversity of traditional cooking with the rare combination of Alpine and Mediterranean origins. In fact, the  whole Lyons region is a high sanctum of French gastronomy and some of the greatest dishes are quenelles de brochet, saucisson chaud, and elaborate ways of preparing chicken, game, and crayfish.  North and south of the city are the Beaujolais wine-growing areas.
Every year the city holds an annual festival. The odd years a festival of contemporary art is organised, whilst during the even years a dance festival is held. These two festivals every year are based on specific topics and attract spectators and tourists from around the world.