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Lyon (Municipality, Rhône, France)

Last modified: 2002-07-20 by ivan sache
Keywords: rhone | lyon | lion (white) | fleur-de-lys: 3 (yellow) |
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[Municipal flag of Lyon]by Arnaud Leroy

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Description of the flag

Lyon and its very extended suburbs now have more than 1,000,000 of inhabitants, making of Lyon the second largest French city.

Lyon was the capital of Lyonnaise, one of the divisions of the Roman Gaul, and then called Lugdunum. Lug was a Celtic god, and the suffix dun refers to an elevated place or a fortress (it is commmon in place names in France: Châteaudun, Issoudun, Verdun, Verdun-sur-le-Doubs, Dun-les-Places, Dun-sur-Auron etc.).
Lyon is located at the confluency of the Rhône and Saône rivers. There was probably a sanctuary dedicated to the god Lug on the hill of Fourvière, now the place of a XIXth century basilica.
Lyon was christianized in the IInd century and its archbishop is still known as primat des Gaules.

Lyon was one of the capitals of the Burgund kingdom in the Vth century, became a free city in 1193 and was definitively rattached to France in 1307.
The development of silk industry in the XVIth century transformed Lyon in one of the richest city of France. The silk workers (canuts) lived and worked in infamous conditions and two revolts in 1831 and 1834 were severely repressed.
During the Revolution, Lyon remained strongly royalist and the population was severely punished by the Convention, which slaughtered a lot of people and changed the city name in 1793 to Ville-sans-nom (City-without-name).

The district known as Vieux-Lyon (Old Lyon), a group of ancient houses crowded around the St.Jean primatial church and linked together by a dense networks of narrow passages(locally known as traboules) was recently awarded by UNESCO the title of 'World Heritage Site'.

Lyon is the birth place of Guignol (XVIIth century), a famous puppet character, who symbolizes with his fellow Gnafron popular opposition to the authority.
Lyon is also legitimally famous for its traditional restaurants, called bouchons, where you can enjoy the tasty local specialities, such as tablier du sapeur, cervelle du canut or rosette de Lyon.

Lyon uses the same flag as the traditional province of Lyonnais. The flag, hoisted on the bridges that cross the Rhône river, can be seen from the highway when driving through the city.

Ivan Sache, 19 January 2001

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