Lyon and history

With a cultural heritage over 2,000 years old, the city of Lyon has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998. It offers visitors a number of sites and civic monuments, the oldest of which date from Antiquity.

Great architects like Buren, Tony Garnier and Jean Nouvel have worked to beautify the city.


Gallo-Roman period Although the first traces of occupation at the site of Lyon date from the early Iron Age, the history of the city began in the first century B.C. Known at the time as Lugdunum, the city grew to become the capital of the Gauls.
Renaissance The creation of large fairs and the development of banking attracted merchants from all over Europe. In the 16th century, François I encouraged silk weaving and Lyon became the leading production site for this precious fabric.
Classical period Starting in the 17th century, the city became a manufacturing power, with silk factories, merchant-producers and a population of weavers.
Modern period The silk industry created a true economic region in Lyon. While major projects were transforming the city, technical progress - symbolized by the invention of the Jacquard mechanical loom - led to strong social repercussions.
Today & tomorrow In the 20th century, urban development continued, influenced by the personality of the politicians who managed the city. Alongside historical landmarks, new districts arose to modernize Lyon.


lyon roses 2015