Because of its position on two rivers, Lyon has been strategic for over 2000 years. The ancient city, called Lugdunum, was the capital of Gaul during the Roman Empire. The population during the reign of Augustus Caesar was 50,000.
During the Middle Ages until the Renaissance, Lyon was the banking capital of Europe. The stock market was invented here in 1506, as were bank checks and letters of credit.
Today Lyon is an international city of banking, commerce and research. It is acclaimed for its biotechnology, high-level engineering, digital technology and high fashion. Lyon has a number of universities with 180,000 students (23,000 of whom are international students).
The metropolis is a crossroads of Europe. The TGV, the fast train traveling over 200 mph, links Lyon and Paris in 2 hours and extends to other cities in France and surrounding countries. Lyon hosts the world headquarters of Interpol (the international police force), as well as the headquarters of Euronews (the European version of CNN).
In France (the size of Texas), Lyon is the second largest city and a major crossroads for France and Europe. All this provides opportunities for world-wide impact as people come from around the world to live, work and study.
Watch out, you’re going to fall in love with Lyon!