Lyon is the third largest city in France, after Paris and Marseille, and has a metropolitan area second only to Paris in size and economic importance.
Diversified manufactures include machinery, motor vehicles, electrical equipment, chemicals, and textiles; large petroleum refineries are in nearby Saint-Fons and Feyzin.
The University of Lyon (1808) now consists of three separate campuses: the University Claude-Bernard, or Lyon I (1970); University of Lyon II; and University Jean Moulin, or Lyon III (1973).
Paul Bocuse, one of the country's best-known chefs, operates an establishment in a nearby suburb.
Lyon was founded in 43 BC as the Roman colony of Lugdunum and was the major city of ancient Gaul by the 2nd century AD. Christianity was introduced into Gaul at Lyon, and for centuries the city was a leading religious center ruled by archbishops.
The French crown annexed Lyon in 1307, and later in the 14th century it became a center of trade and commerce famous for its silk industry.
The modern industrialization of the city began in the 19th century.
Many immigrants from France's former colonial holdings in North Africa have settled in Lyon. Population (1990) 422,444.
Major cities near Lyon :
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