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Sat, 11/10/2012 - 23:20
There’s an inherent advantage for travelers who pick France as their destination; it has everything that can make a vacation worth its price. All one really needs to do is to decide which spot should come on first on the itinerary. But in the case of Lyon, France’s third biggest city, all roads eventually lead to its doorsteps since all travels are governed mostly by sights and the taste buds.
Lyon’s importance to France can be seen in all fronts. Economically, its contributions are considered the second biggest next to Paris. Historically, it’s one of the oldest cities in the world and parts of it are now considered UNESCO World Heritage Site. In recent years, the city has also gained popularity as center for fine food as evidenced by its having the most number of restaurants with Michelin stars. Clearly, travelers here have all the reasons to come.
Originally, the city of Lyon was a Roman colony established on the Fourviere Hill which lasted for over 4 centuries. When it ended, the people of Lyon found themselves under fire from barbarians which forced them to edge down closer to the river banks. This new settlement also allowed the creation of traboules or passageways that has now become part of the attraction of modern day Lyon.
Appreciation for the city’s numerous attractions is best done on foot to cover more ground since there’s a lot to be seen here. The Vieux Lyon or Old Lyon is a great starting point which takes visitors into what was once the main trading center of silk in the city. While it’s widely known that silk originated from China, it was the French who actually made them famous and valuable in Europe and other parts of the world in medieval times thus it was called the silk capital of the world.
Other historically sites can be found in that section of the city like the Cathedrale St- Jean the oldest church in Lyon. Other Roman structures are still standing which give travelers a feeling of traveling back in time. Classical music enthusiasts should not miss the 300 year old Lyon National Opera House which has become a well known landmark for the city.
Be warned though that the city of Lyon only gets better as night falls. The Romans once called it “Lugdunum” which means the hill of light. When darkness comes, establishments all over the city are lit up colorfully living up to its moniker. Truly, there’s no better place to be during this time.