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Second only to Paris among French cities in size and significance, Lyon earns its money mainly in pharmaceuticals and other light industries. The earned UNESCO world heritage status in 1998 and has since been pushing travel and tourism. The Romans founded the historic city of Lyon in 43 BC and named it Lugdunum, which means the city of light. Every evening more than hundred of monuments, churches and other tourist attractions throughout the city are lit up to show the beauty of Lyon’s fascinating architecture. The best way for tourists to discover Lyon’s historical heritage is by strolling through the streets and enjoy the architectural splendor of the city. Wander around the maze of narrow streets in the old town, and go back in time.
Lyon lies just two hours by TGV train from Paris. Likewise, it is less than two hours to Geneva in Switzerland and about four hours to Turin, Italy. This attractive city is nestled between two rivers: the turbulent Rhone and the quiet Saone. Lyon has a lot of beautiful monuments, impressive buildings and exceptional museums to offer, several of which are included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. Lyon has played an important role in political, cultural and economical development of Europe. Back at the end of the 15th century the city became an important and wealthy trade center. It is during this period that the authentic local features, the Traboules were created. These traboules are narrow covered alleyways or passages that run inside buildings from one street or square to another. During the Renaissance the covered alleyways were used to transport the precious silk without risking getting it wet in the rain. And later it was in Lyon where the first film was shot by the Lumiere Brothers in 1895. During the German occupation of France, the Gestapo placed its main headquarters in Lyon.
Today Lyon is famous for its delicious and fine French cuisine, established centuries ago. Nowadays this popular destination for haute cuisine lovers contains, after Paris, the greatest number of starred Chefs. Fine dining in Lyon includes 14 restaurants with stars in the 2007 Michelin Guide. Famous Chef Paul Bocuse has opened 4 restaurants: the Nord, the Sud, the Est and the Ouest. Splurge yourself in the capital of Gastronomy and enjoy a delicious experience in one of many prestigious restaurants.