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DEPARTMENT OF THE RHÔNE : 69

Blason_Rhone The Rhône department is part of Rhône Alpes. The Soâne and the Rhône run through the town.
Lyon is part of the UNESCO’s world heritage, world organisation set up to protect and help in the preservation of architecture. It is commonly known as the capital of the Gaul.

History/Geography
The Rhône department was created in 1793 during the French revolution. It has grown down the years to its present size.
Lyon was founded over 2000 years ago. It is on the road that ran from Italy to the Atlantic. It was home to 40000 people.
It has established itself, down the years, as one of the main European crossroads.
It was the capital of the second world war resistance area. Jean Moulin is much remembered in and around the town.
Economically, the town has always been prosperous. In the 19th century the development of trade, silk-weaving and other textile industries turned Lyon into a major commercial city.
The cinema was invented in Lyon at the end of the 19th century.
A visit of Lyon is a must whether you are just passing or decide to settle in the area.
Lyon is the French food capital and the cuisine is renowned throughout the world.

The majority of the departement is covered by mountains with :
-to the north the Monts du Beaujolais
-to the south the Monts du Lyonnais
-to the west la Loire department
-to the east the Isère department

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Jarnioux, village de pierres dorées du Beaujolais (Rhône) - © RAT/D. Brandelet
Climate
The department has a semi continental climate.
It is under the influence of Mediterranean, continental and oceanic climates.
The winters can be harsh with icy periods and snow. A skier’s delight, in fact.
The summers are hot and sunny. A sun worshipper’s delight.
The wind in the Rhône valley can sometimes be very strong and the Mistral blows up occasionally from the Languedoc Rousillon.

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Oingt, village de pierres dorées du Beaujolais (Rhône) - © RAT/JB. Laissard
What to do and see
puce Nature:
The parc de la Tête d’Or is in the centre of Lyon. There is a 16 hectare lake and a large rose garden with over 350 varieties of roses. There is also a large animal park that has recently been revitalised. There are over 800 animals from around the world living there.
The Monts du Lyonnais cover a large area and it is well worth spending a little time here. The verdure is lush and particularly colourful in spring.
The parc animalier de Courzieu contains varieties of birds of prey and wolves.

puce Activities:
The parc archéologique de Fourvière which is one of the most important sites in France.
The musée de la civilisation Gallo-Romaine displaying objects, dug up locally, and dating back to the 1st century AD.
Guignol is a famous French puppet that was brought to life in Lyon.
St-Jean-des-Vignes has a museum with a splendid botanic garden and geological trail.

puce Sightseeing:
Old Lyon is limited by the Saône and goes up to Fourvière. It is one of the biggest sites of renaissance architecture in Europe.
The traboules are unique and very famous. These are passage ways that run from one street to anther under the houses. You can have guided visits to be sure not to miss any of these “galleries”. What you will discover is something you would never have imagined if you had not pushed open the doors of the different traboules. A unique experience.

Fourvière is the most prominent point of the Town and a reminder of its Roman past. From there you can see over the whole town, the Mont Blanc and the mountains in the far distance.

The presqu’île is the piece of land set between the 2 rivers. It was the heart of the political and economic life in the 17th century.

La Croix Rousse is today one of the best places to live though very expensive.

The silk industry was once very prosperous here. Lyon is still known as the silk capital.

Les Monts du beaujolais is the land of wine. There are many chateaux worth a visit and the villages are here all turned to the production of wine. There are a great variety of wines in this area and it is most rewarding to take time out to go on a wine tasting tour.
La vallée d’Azergues is known as “the land of the golden stone”s and is a beautiful contrast with the green grapevines that surround it.
There are many lavoirs ( open air wash basin’s )that have been restored and you will be pleasantly surprised when visiting.
A visit to this area imbues one with a sense of the history contained within its masonry of beautiful natural stone.

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