Lyon the gastronomic delight
Nestled at the crossroads of Europe, the Rhone city renowned for its gastronomy is set to seduce the fans.
The capital of ancient Gaul owes her name to Roman times. In the first century BC Emperor Augustus imposed three Gaul territories - in the Rhone valley, Belgium and Aquitaine, of which Lugdunum was the centre. Its status gave it an economic, political, religious and military influence which endured three centuries before the Roman Empire sank. Restored by the Church, which installed the Archbishopry of the Gauls in the 6th Century, the city rose to its apogee in the 11th Century during the Renaissance, its geographical position between Italy and northern Europe making it a convenient crossroads for European trade. Its silk industry, developed by the city’s skilled workers, earned Lyon international prestige. A consequence of this rich past is that 500 hectares of the city are classed as a world heritage site by UNESCO..
Sited between the rivers Rhône and Saône, where European trade converges, Lyon is an economic locomotive for the Rhône-Alpes region, just behind the Ile-de-France region of Paris as the nation’s most prosperous with 10% of GNP. Its 100,000 students make the city France’s second biggest university hub and textiles, logistics, health, biotechnology spearhead the economy. The Institut Lumière marks another chapter in the city’s history: in 1895 Lyons brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the moving picture which created the film industry.
Also home to the pioneering pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the city is as well known for its food. Make no mistake, Lyon is France’s capital of gastronomy. This know-how was built up over the years by the city’s women folk, notably the Mères lyonnaises in the 19th Century. Food fans can just as easily find a cosy auberge and its ham, bacon and pate washed down with a Beaujolais from the nearby vineyards or the more hushed tones of a five-star restaurant run by one of France’s internationally-renowned chefs, such as Bocuse, Lacombe, Orsi or Troisgros (at Roanne). The Kiwi and Australian fans whose teams play matches here will find what to satisfy them in 2007.
France’ second biggest university city: 100,000 students, 4 universities
France’s second biggest exporters