17th-century covered market
|• Mayor (2008–2014)||Thierry Plouvier|
|• Land1||26.99 km2 (10.42 sq mi)|
|• Population2 density||28/km2 (72/sq mi)|
|INSEE/Postal code||27377 / 27480|
|Elevation||67–178 m (220–584 ft)
(avg. 163 m or 535 ft)
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Because of its architecture which has been maintained as it was at the beginning of the 17th century, it is also a well-known landmark within the very distinct geophysical and geocultural entity that is the end of Vexin normand and the forest of Lyons around the town is the border with Pays de Bray known for its traditional bocage landscape of woods, orchards and cattle economy.
Lyons was originally the name of the forest < Licontio-/Ligontio-, based probably on the Celtic root lic/lig, that is to find also in the name of the stream running here: la Lieure < Licoris /Ligoris. Same root as the River Loire < Liger and -ley in Beverley (Yorkshire) from Celtic *bibro- *licos > Old English beofor beaver, *licc stream.
An early mention of a ducal residence in Lyons can be found in 936, when William I, Duke of Normandy used to stay here.
The town and the castle were occupied by King Philip II Augustus of France in 1193 but the following year, Richard I of England, back from captivity, obtained the restitution of Lyons; the king of England and duke of Normandy resided frequently here until 1198. In 1202 Philip II Augustus conquered back the city, and after him several French kings sojourned here, attracted by the Lyons forest and the good hunting grounds.
From 1359 to 1398 the castellan domain of Lyons was part of Blanche de Navarre's dower after she became widow of king Philip VI of France. In 1403-1422 it was the dower of Isabeau de Bavière, wife of king Charles. In 1419, in the course of the Hundred Years War, the English took Lyons.
- Roman theatre (private property)
- Castle of Henry I of England (private property)
- Covered market place (18th century)
- Church Saint-Denis (12th and 18th centuries)
- Town hall (17th century)
- Houses built in typical Normandy style (17th and 18th centuries)
- The forest is 10,700 hectares, the largest state forest in Normandy and one of the largest Beech forests in Europe. It is renowned for the "cathedral-like" straightness and height of its trees' trunks. One of its characteristics is its having so many open spaces and clearings among which lie small villages and hamlets. This makes a transition between the Vexin plateau and the Andelle valley.
- Henry I of England died on 1 December 1135 of food poisoning from eating "a surfeit of lampreys" (of which he was excessively fond) at Lyons-la-Forêt (then Saint-Denis-en-Lyons).
- Lyons-la-Forêt was the birthplace of Enguerrand de Marigny (1260–1315), chamberlain and minister of Philip IV the Fair.
- It was also the birthplace of Isaac de Benserade, French poet (1612–1691), who was one of the first intellectuals in France to evoke female homosexuality in a theater play.
- Maurice Ravel wrote music in Le Fresne, one of the old mansions of Lyons-la-Forêt, where he came for many years.
- The city of Lyon, in France too, is sometimes written Lyons in English as well, but the writing and the pronunciation of /s/ is the result of a confusion with Lyons-la-Forêt. Lyon does not share the same etymology and is a former Lugdunu(m) that evolved step by step into Lyon.
- Site listing the communes of France.
- Lyons Tourism office.
- info site on the Pays de Bray.
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