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Lyon, also known as Liyon in Arpetan, is a city in east-central France in the region Rhône-Alpes. Its name is pronounced About this sound [ljɔ̃]  in French and Arpitan, and /lˈɒn/ (Lyon) or /ˈl.ənz/ (Lyons) in English. Lyon is the second-largest French urban area, the first being Paris and the third Marseille. It is a major center of business, situated between Paris and Marseille, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and having a significant role in the history of cinema with Auguste and Louis Lumière. The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais, has increased the profile of Lyon internationally through participation in European football championships. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais.

Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the second-largest metropolitan area in France after that of Paris, with a population estimated to be 1,748,271 in urban area. Its administrative urban region called Metropole of Lyon, represents 20% of the Rhône-Alpes région population with 1,2 million inhabitant. Lyon is also a major industrial center specializing in chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. There is also a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games.


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In the Gallic Empire, Lyon was Lugdunum and was the Capital of Gaul. For 300 years after its foundation Lugdunum was the most important city in north-western Europe. Two emperors, Claudius (Germanicus) and Caracalla, were born in Lugdunum. The original Roman city was situated west of the confluence of the Rhône and Saône, on the Fourvière heights. By the late centuries of the empire much of the population was located in the Saône River valley at the foot of Fourvière.


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the Lumière brothers
The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas (19 October 1862, Besançon, France – 10 April 1954, Lyon) and Louis Jean (5 October 1864, Besançon, France – 6 June 1948, Bandol), were among the earliest filmmakers. (Appropriately, "lumière" translates as "light" in English). They often assimilated as the inventors of cinema, they were the most of their life in Lyon and they died in Lyon.
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The Antique theatre of Fourvière
Credit: Vincent Bloch

The Roman theater at Forvière

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