Lyon in France Travel Guide and Infos
Lyon, the capital city in France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, sits at the junction of the Rhône and Saône rivers. Its center reflects 2,000 years of history from the Roman Amphithéâtre des Trois Gaules, medieval and Renaissance architecture in Vieux (Old) Lyon, to the modern Confluence district on Presqu’île peninsula. Traboules, covered passageways between buildings, connect Vieux Lyon and La Croix-Rousse hill.
It’s large historic centre, Le Vieux Lyon, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and is the largest ensemble of Renaissance buildings in Europe. In addition, Lyon also has a new museum which looks as if it may vie for celebrity with the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao. The new Confluences museum lies at the point where the Saône and Rhone rivers meet, and is a museum of science and anthropology, with plenty of interactive exhibits.
The confluence of these two great rivers is the hub of an urban area with over two million inhabitants. Lyon is also the main city on the road and rail routes between Paris and the south of France, Paris and the Alps and Italy, and northern Europe and Spain.
Lyon is one large World Heritage Site, with a big renaissance old town, Roman ruins, historic industrial districts and the regal 19th-century Presqu’île quarter. The city was founded 2,000 years ago at the confluence of the Rhône and Saône Rivers, and built its fortune on the silk trade. This industry furnished it with beautiful renaissance architecture in Vieux Lyon, where semi-hidden passageways called Traboules connect courtyards with the Saône.