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Historic Site of Lyons
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1st Century BC
Date of Inscription: 1998
Location: Europe, France, Rhône-Alpes Région, Département of Rhône
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Description: Founded by the Romans as the capital of the Three Gauls in the 1st century B.C., Lyons has continued to play a major role in Europe's political, cultural and economic development; its urban fabric and the many fine historic buildings showcasing all periods vividly illustrate the site’s significance. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
  Lyon (Arpitan : Lyion), also known as Lyons (former names include Lugdunum), is a city in east central France. It is the third largest French city, the first being Paris and the second Marseilles. It is a major centre of business, situated between Paris and Marseilles, and has a reputation as the French capital of gastronomy and a significant role in the history of cinema. Lyon is the préfecture (capital) of the Rhône département, and also the capital of the Rhône-Alpes région. Lyon is known as the silk capital of the world and is known for its silk and textiles and is a centre for fashion. Lyon is also the international headquarters of Interpol and EuroNews. Lyon was founded as a Roman colony in 43 BCE by Munatius Plancus, a lieutenant of Caesar, on the site of a Gaulish hill-fort settlement called Lug[o]dunon—from the Celtic sun god Lugus ('Light', cognate with Old Irish Lugh, Modern Irish Lú) and dúnon (hill-fort). Lyon was first named Lughunum meaning the "hill of lights" or "the hill of crows". Lug was equated by the Romans to Mercury. The three parts of Gaul mentioned by Caesar met at Lyon. Agrippa recognized that Lugdunum's position on the natural highway from northern to south-eastern France made it a natural communications hub, and he made Lyon the starting point of the principal Roman roads throughout Gaul. It then became the capital of Gaul, partly thanks to its fortunate site at the convergence of two navigable rivers, and quickly became the main city of Gaul. Two emperors were born in this city: Claudius and Caracalla. Today the archbishop of Lyon is still referred to as "le primat des Gaules. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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