"Lyon is a prime example of a human settlement, an exceptional witness to enduring urban installation over more than two millennia, where cultural traditions from many parts of Europe have come together to create a coherent and vigorous continuing community", declared UNESCO'S World Heritage Committee.
The research sector is very active: 10,000 researchers and teaching-researchers work in 510 public and private laboratories.
Lyon has an Opera House and a national symphony orchestra, a national centre for contemporary art, a house of dance, the Lumière cinema institute in homage to the 1st film in the history of cinema (which was made in Lyon) and a wide variety of sites of artistic creation.
There is an exceptional range on offer in all fields: film, theatre, music, dance, museums, theme cafés, university public lectures and more. Many major events punctuate cultural life: for example, the biennial dance festival, the biennial contemporary art festival, the science festival, the Nuits de Fourvière (popular and classical concerts, plus theatre, from the Roman amphitheatre). And, every year, on 8 December, the city is illuminated for the Festival of Light.
The Rhone-Alps Region is the second economic region in France and is one of the most important economic regions in Europe. It is home to as many people as Denmark or Finland. In terms of size, the region can be compared to the largest German regions. It shares a border with Switzerland and Italy.
Rhone-Alps has a remarkable, and protected, natural heritage thanks to the diversity of its climatic influences and the natural sites it contains: the Massif Central to the west, the Rhone valley in the centre and the Alps to the east. Natural parks cover 10% of the region. Its vitality comes from a wide range of agricultural, industrial (health, biotechnology, chemistry, textiles, environment, IT, mechanics, food industry ...) and service activities. The importance of the high technology sector should be emphasised, strengthened by research and higher education, as should that of tourism, both in winter and in summer.
The Rhone-Alps Region has adopted a highly active international policy and, for this reason, has invested in many cooperation agreements with numerous regions in Europe and the rest of the world. It supports international investment in education establishments and the mobility of their students.
By train, Lyon is just 2 h from Paris and the Mediterranean Sea, 1 h 30 from the Alps, 2 h from Switzerland (Geneva) and 4 h from Italy (Turin).
Lyon 450,000 inhabitants
Greater Lyon 1,200,000 inhabitants
Rhone-Alps Region 5,700,000 inhabitants
Universities in Rhone-Alps:
Lyon University 92,000 students
Grenoble Universities 48,000 students
University of Savoy 12,000 students
University Jean Monnet in St Etienne 12,800 students
Last updated: June 29, 2011 - Published: April 16, 2008