Lyon

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Lyon
—  City  —
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Lyon's Financial District at twilight.
Country
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Valcluse
Region Durance
Prefecture Lyon
Municipality Lyon
Founded May 15 1712
Founder Christophe Charpentier
Legislature Greater Lyon Metropolitan Council
Government
 - Mayor Éric Picard
Area
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 - Urban Template:HidFormatting error: invalid input when rounding km2 (Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{". acres)
 - Metro Template:HidFormatting error: invalid input when rounding km2 (Expression error: Unrecognized punctuation character "{". acres)
Population (2012)
 - City 3,407,903
 - Density
 Urban 1,125,607
 - Urban density
 Metro 2,282,296
 - Metro density
Demonym Lyonnais
Time zone UTC +3
 - Summer (DST) UTC +4 (UTC)
Postal Code Span 1010-1015
Area code(s) 505, 506
Website www.lyon.gov.va

Lyon is the most populous city in Valcluse and in the Durance region. It is located in north-central Valcluse on the banks of the Durance river within the lower Durance flood plain. It was founded in July 1709 by Prekovi and Van Luxemburger traders who were using the Durance as a way to move goods and people from Valence to the Gulf of Charpentier. An important trade post, the city grew to become Valcluse's financial and commercial capital.

According to 2012 population estimates, Lyon has an urban population of 1,120,607 inhabitants making it one of the smaller of the large cities in Wilassia. Lyon's metropolitan is also estimated to have 3.4 million inhabitants which makes Lyon the largest city in Valcluse by population. The city is one of Valcluse's major points of entry and boasts a large number of immigrants estimated at 32% of the city's population. Lyon lies at the northeastern end of the heavily populated Durance Corridor between the city and Valence to the southwest.

Lyon is Valcluse's commercial capital and is home to the Lyon Stock Exchange as well as all of Valcluse's major banks and other non-government financial institutions. It contributes nearly 40% of Valcluse's GDP which is mainly derived from the finance, banking, manufacturing and information technology sectors. Lyon is also a national leader in media, engineering and education. Many of Valcluse's most prominent education institutions and universities are located in Lyon.

Regarded as one of the "Big Four" cities in Valcluse, Lyon ranks as one of the safest and most liveable cities in the country. The city also tops national rankings with regards to education and wages. However, in 2013, a study conducted found that the city was one of the most expensive in Maredoratica to live in as well as one of the most stressful, owing to transportation issues surrounding the city's strong and quick growth throughout the 19th and 20th centuries.

History

Geography

Lyon sits on an inland floodplain on the banks of the Durance river. The majority of the city is located on the eastern and southeastern side of the river as the Durance makes a turn to the north as it flows towards the Gulf of Charpentier. The river has played an important part within the city's development as a trading post. It also has a significant role in dividing the city along social and economic lines, with much of the city's new developments located on the western side of the river and the "old city" on the eastern side.

The land either side of the river is mostly flat with low, rolling hills. The city sits at an altitude of 56 meters above sea level. The city's highest point is the Col de la Sainte Marie, which is man made and sits 30 meters above the surrounding city streets. The Cathedral of Saint Marie is located atop this small hill which was once the site of the city's main barracks and armory. Much of the city itself lies between three and four meters above the Durance at different parts and yearly floods were a major problem for the city. The use of flood defenses such as barriers and flood walls, as well as hydroelectric power stations built in the mountains to the northwest of the city to control and make use of yearly influx of melted snow has largely prevented major flooding events in the city in recent years.

A lack of geographical restrictions has meant that Lyon is more suburban and spread out than other cities in Valcluse. Lyon is today well known for its wide, tree lined boulevards and suburbs. The alluvial soil found under much of the city has also created problems with regards to subsidence, particularly in older buildings in the old city and within the financial district. Subsidence also directly threatens much of Lyon's above and below ground infrastructure.

Climate

Lyon experiences a dry humid continental climate climate highly influenced by the surrounding geography. Although located some distance away from the Massif d'Argent, Lyon is affected by the foehn winds that blow from the southwest and west which give the city milder than average winters compared with other cities. These winds blow down the Durance river valley and, although not as powerful as they are in Valence, do on occasion cause damage in Lyon. They create a rain shadow which gives Lyon its predominantly dry climate. The city is influenced by weather systems predominantly originating from the east and from the Gulf of Charpentier, the latter primarily responsible for the systems that produce Lyon's year round rain and snowfall. Weather systems from the east do not affect the city as much, although southern suburbs of the city are affected by some large systems.

Winters in Lyon are comparatively mild thanks to the foehn winds, although they are still below freezing. These temperatures last for five months of the year between November and March, although lows below freezing occur much earlier and last longer. Daily temperatures average from just below freezing during the day to -13°C at night. Daily temperatures regularly fall below -20°C and can even fall below -44°C on occasion. Snow usually falls between between October and May although is known to fall even during summer.

Summers usually last between three and four months and can occur earlier or last longer than average. The vast majority of the rainfall occurs in summer months and the city is often affected by thunderstorms. Lyon sits just below the northern edge of the area where supercell thunderstorms form during summer months and is sometimes affected by these storms and tornadoes. The most powerful on record was a storm in July 2008 which spawned an F4 tornado over Lyon's southern suburbs, killing 21 people and injuring hundreds. Daily temperatures average between 21-25°C although they regularly exceed 30°C. Lows are between 7-9°C. Combined with low relative humidity, Lyon's summer months are considered to be very comfortable compared with other cities.

Lyon's highest recorded temperature is 34.9°C which was observed on June 26, 2002. The lowest temperature recorded is -48.3°C during a blizzard on December 28, 1938.

Climate data for Lyon, Valcluse
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −1
(30)
2
(36)
5
(41)
13
(55)
17
(63)
21
(70)
25
(77)
24
(75)
20
(68)
13
(55)
5
(41)
1
(34)
12.0
(53.6)
Daily mean °C (°F) −7
(19)
−5
(23)
−1
(30)
4
(39)
9
(48)
13
(55)
16
(61)
15
(59)
11
(52)
5
(41)
−2
(28)
−6
(21)
4.3
(39.7)
Average low °C (°F) −14
(7)
−12
(10)
−9
(16)
−2
(28)
2
(36)
7
(45)
10
(50)
8
(46)
4
(39)
−2
(28)
−8
(18)
−12
(10)
−2.3
(27.9)
Precipitation mm (inches) 11.4
(0.449)
10.5
(0.413)
17.1
(0.673)
28.9
(1.138)
60.6
(2.386)
113.3
(4.461)
59.3
(2.335)
58.6
(2.307)
35.9
(1.413)
17.0
(0.669)
15.8
(0.622)
11.2
(0.441)
439.6
(17.307)
Snowfall cm (inches) 15.3
(6.02)
14.5
(5.71)
22.7
(8.94)
18.8
(7.4)
11.9
(4.69)
0.1
(0.04)
0
(0)
0
(0)
3.9
(1.54)
10.0
(3.94)
16.6
(6.54)
15.0
(5.91)
128.8
(50.71)
Avg. precipitation days 10 8 11 14 18 20 17 16 13 10 10 8 155
Avg. snowy days 7 7 9 6 1 0 0 0 1 4 7 7 49
Source: Météo Valcluse

Government

Despite being the largest city within the Durance region, Lyon is not the regional capital. It was formerly the capital of the region but powers were transferred to the city of Angoulême in January 1905 during another period of mass decentralization by the government. The city itself sits as the capital of the prefecture of Lyon which is composed of the city's urban area. The Greater Lyon Metropolitan Council governs both the city and the designated metropolitan are of Lyon. It is composed of 24 elected board members and the Mayor of Lyon. The incumbent Mayor is Éric Picard, who was first elected in 2008. Term limits for the Mayor are three years per term with no restrictions on the number of terms a mayor can be elected. Each of the 24 members represents one of the municipalities located within the metropolitan area and have the same term limits as the Mayor.

Council members and the mayor serve on a number of councils and committees which oversee administration of various council services such as transport, finance and utilities. In addition, council members and the Mayor discuss and deliberate issues that affect wider communities within the metro area as a whole, as well as issues brought forwards by individual council members.

Economy

Lyon is a major economic hub for both Valcluse and Wilassia in general. With a GDP of ₣949.6 billion ($242.8 billion), Lyon is responsible for 40% of Valcluse's GDP. It also has the highest GDP per capita at ₣278,661 ($71,269). As an economic hub, Lyon is the headquarters of a number of international companies as well as a center for manufacturing, banking, finance, internet technology and media.

Banking, finance and trade is one of the largest sectors of Lyon's economy, contributing 30% to the city's GDP as well as accounting for 14% of the city's workforce. Lyon is home to the "Big Three" banks of Valcluse; Banque Lyonnais, Crédit National and BNCI which combined control 80% of all finances in Valcluse as well as 90% of all ATM transactions. Lyon is also home to Valcluse's largest insurance company, Sécurité National. The Lyon Stock Exchange (Bourse du Lyon) is the largest in Valcluse by market capitalization ($473 billion as of 2014)

Transport

Public

Public transport in Lyon is administered by the Lyonnais Transport Authority which provides public transport services through RATL, or the Régie Autonome des Transports Lyonnais. RATL provides bus and light rail services within the city. The company and the council has been criticized in recent years for transportation costs that are among the highest in the country.

Light rail in Lyon is composed of the Connex commuter rail system, the Lyon Metro and several tram lines within central Lyon. The Connex system operates Lyon's commuter rail and links the central city with Lyon's outer suburbs as well as the airport. The system comprises of 9 lines and has over 70 stations. The central hub of Connex operations is Gare de Lyon which is the central station in the city. Over 200,000 people use Connex trains daily.

The Lyon Metro is the largest subway system within Valcluse. The system has 12 lines with another two under construction. The Metro serves the central city and inner suburbs as well as the city's only airport. With nearly quarter of a million people using the Metro daily, it is the most used public transport system in Lyon.

RATL also operate the city's bus system. There are 366 buses in operation in Lyon operating nearly 60 routes and carrying over 50,000 passengers a day. The majority of the buses are single deck diesel units although a small number of historical trolleybuses are maintained for tourists and regular services.

Trams are also part of RATL's transport services. There are seven lines within the central city. A number of historical units are used primarily for tourism purposes.

Road

Lyon is served by three motorways which lead to the north, west and south of the city. There are also several dual and triple carriageways within the city which handle traffic between the central city and the outer suburbs. The Périphérique serves as a city landmark and surrounds the entire city center. It is also the busiest road in Valcluse, seeing upwards of 200,000 vehicles a day.

The A32 serves the city from the south and is the main link between the city and the airport. Because of this important link with one of the country's largest airports and the primary residential areas to the south of the city, the A32 sees substantial traffic during peak hours. This has given rise to the motorway having the nickname "Le stationnement" (The Parking Lot) due to regular traffic jams.

Lyon is linked with the Valence through the A5 which largely follows the course of the river Argonne westwards. Known for being one of the more scenic routes in Valcluse, the A5 is known as the "Capital Connection" and spends much of its route alongside CFNV's high speed rail connections to Valence.

Durance's regional capital, Angoulême is linked to Lyon through the A31 motorway which follows the Argonne north into the city. It is the least busy of the three major motorways leading in and out of the city.

Much of Lyon's city streets, especially in newer areas of the city, are laid out in a grid pattern. The lack of geographical restrictions within the city plus a substantial lack of older, narrower roads and streets meant that the city is one of the few in Valcluse which has been planned with a grid. The exceptions to this is the old city located on the right bank of the river and many of the residential suburbs to the south. The old city is well known for its narrow cobbled streets, many of which are often only wide enough for one vehicle to pass. In recent years, the residents of many streets have petitioned the government to have their streets designated as pedestrian walkways which have improved some areas and generated new businesses. The city's many residential suburbs are also known for their flowing, tree lined streets.

Rail

Lyon has three rail stations. The Gare de Lyon is by far the largest in the city and handles most of the inter city and commuter rail services as well as being a central hub for the Lyon Metro. Inter city services are limited to high speed trains to Valence and regular trains to Angoulême. Commuter rail services terminate in the south at Saint Georges. There are no railway lines that lead south of the city.

The second largest station is the Gare de Sainte Marie. Located just to the east of the Old City behind the Cathedral of Saint Marie, the Gare de Sainte Marie was the former central station in Lyon. Built in 1836, the railway lines were torn up following the completion of the Gare de Lyon in 1962, save for three lines which lead to eastern areas of the city. The station also serves as the northern terminus for the D line of the Metro.

Lyon's smallest station is the Gare d'Argonne, which is located on the west side of the river. It was built in 2005 and is handles both western circular lines of commuter rail and metro services on the west bank. The station is adjacent to the National Railway Museum, which is itself a former railway station.

Air

Lyon Saint Nicolas International Airport is one of two airports located in Lyon. With 8.4 million passengers a year, Lyon Saint-Nicolas is the largest and busiest airport in Valcluse. It is one of the primary gateways into the country. The airport serves dozens of domestic and international destinations and dozens of airlines. Hundreds of flights occur every day around the clock. The airport is connected to the city through road and rail lines.

Vatry Aerodrome is Lyon's second airport. It is used by private and general aviation aircraft as well as limited charter flights. Vatry is located to the west of the city. It is also home to the National Aviation and Aerospace Museum which maintains several airworthy vintage aircraft. Vatry is home to the biennial Lyon Aviation Exposition in which aerospace and aviation companies from across Maredoratica show off and sell their products.

Demographics

As of 2013, Lyon's urban population was 1,125,607 inhabitants. Lyon's metropolitan population was 3,407,903 inhabitants. The overall population increase between 2010 and 2013 was 5.2% (177,210), up 0.4% over 2012. This makes Lyon one of Valcluse's fastest growing cities. It is also one of the oldest, with the median age in Lyon at 39.3 years.

Lyon is also the most ethnically diverse city in Valcluse, with 32.3% of its residents belonging to a visible minority group. Of these, 27% were born outside of Valcluse. The ethnic composition is as follows:

Ethnic Composition of Lyon
Ethnicity
Percentage
Van Luxemburger French
  
40%
Valclusian French
  
30%
Van Luxemburger Dutch
  
10%
Prekovi
  
8%
Magyar
  
3%
Sinitalian
  
3%
Arab
  
2%
Other
  
3%

Lyon's ethnic diversity is not as evident as other cities due to a lack of ethnic enclaves. The city's substantial growth in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century did not allow for such communities to form. It's not unusual in Lyon to have neighborhoods and residential areas with significant ethnic minorities mixed with one another.

Religion wise, Lyon is less diverse with those belonging or identifying with Christianity composing 88% of the population. Of these, 40% belonged to Catholicism, 30% Protestant or Lutheran, 5% Calvinist, 3% Eastern Orthodox and 3% belonged to another Christian denomination. 6% of Lyon's population are atheist or irreligious, 3% follow Judaism and the remaining 3% follow other religions, mostly Islam at 2.5%. Despite this, the city council has reserved places of worship and has enacted legislation to protect Lyon's minority religions. In 2012, the Lyon Metropolitan Council spent ₣12.7 million ($3.3 million) on event funding for religious holidays. The city also has laws stating that members of a minority religion are allowed days of paid leave for religious holidays.

Around 64% of Lyon's inhabitants speak French of various dialects. The largest linguistic minority is Van Luxemburger Dutch at 10%. Magyar is spoken by around 7% of the population and Slavic languages are spoken by another 3.5%, mostly Prekovi Czech although Russian, Serbian and Bosnian are also spoken. 15.5% of the population speak other languages. These include Sinitalian, Arabic, Sondsteadish, German, Occitan and Italian.

Health

Healthcare in Lyon is mostly public, although there are a number of private hospitals and specialist clinics in the city. The city's health system is administered through the Lyon Public Health Service, which runs Lyon's public hospitals and emergency medical services. There are 14 hospitals across the city, seven of which are public and seven private. Public hospitals include Lyon General Hospital and Sainte Marie Hospital, which is a joint venture between the city's health service and the Valclusian Red Cross.

Emergency medical services are also provided by Lyon's public health service through hospitals and the city's fire service. The service has just over 1,300 personnel and nearly 200 vehicles. It responds to over 280,000 call-outs annually.

Lyon is home to many of Valcluse's major health charities and agencies. Some of these include the National Cancer Society and the National Institute for Medical Research, which is located on the grounds of Lyon University.

Education

A number of educational institutions are located within Lyon, the most famous being University of Lyon (Université Lyonnais) which is the largest and one of the most prestigious universities in Valcluse. Other universities include Brouillard University, which is primarily devoted to engineering and architecture and the National Polytechnic Institute. Additionally, there is also the Saint Nicolas Military Academy, the National Institute of Arts and Music and the National Academy of Business and Finance. Many of these institutions are regarded as "grands écoles" and are generally some of the most expensive tertiary establishments to attend.

As primary and secondary education is largely regulated by the Ministry of Education and regional governments, Lyon's public primary and secondary schools fall under the responsibility of the Department of Education of the Regional Council of Durance. Funding of these schools comes directly from the Ministry of Education, as well as basic regulations and administration such as curriculum and enforcement of national laws regarding education. The Department of Education oversees the daily administration of all public schools. Independent of these are private schools, most of which are religious in nature. These are overseen by another education department run directly by the Archdiocese of Lyon. There are 567 primary schools in Lyon and another 119 secondary schools.

Culture

Main Sights

Cuisine

Lyon is well known throughout Valcluse and Maredoratica in general for its high quality restaurants. It also has a unique cuisine within Valcluse as it is heavily influenced by Prekovi cuisine. Common Prekovi dishes can be found all over Lyon and many have been adapted for Valclusian tastes. Most restaurants will offer křížaly (dried apple or banana chips) as a snack or side dish. Hermelín (spelled hermélin in French) is widely available at restaurants as part of the cheese menu. The cheese is sold in cheese shops all over the city and some neighboring towns and villages. Main course dishes from Prekovi immigrants include svíčková (bœuf lyonnais in French) which is marinated beef sirloin served in a cream source. Unlike in Prekonate, bœuf lyonnaise is regularly served with sauerkraut or roasted vegetables. Bread dumplings (knedlíky) are usually served as a side dish or omitted altogether, replaced by sliced baguettes with a cheese sauce or the cream sauce that is served with the beef. Knedlíky (pain aigre) or dumplings are also served not as a side dish, but as an entrée, usually with a sauce or paté. Pain aigre, meaning "sour bread" is always a sour dough mixture, unlike the Prekovi version, which is made from potato.

Other versions of dumplings have also made it into the city's mainstream cuisine. Adopted from Magyar and Van Luxemburger immigrants, dumplings in Valcluse and Lyonnaise cuisine are different. Called ballettes, they come in a number of varieties, although are able to be told apart. Developed in Lyon at the turn of the 19th century, ballettes come in sweet or savor forms. Savory ballettes are made out of a thick pastry and always contain some form of meat. Sometimes, molten cheese is added. Sweet variants are made out of a thick soft sweet dough and are filled with jams of some kind or chocolate. Lyon is famous for ballettes à la crème which are filled with condensed milk or confiture de lait.

Morivaine culture has influenced a large part of Valcluse's cuisine and this is no different with regards to Lyon. Coq au vin is a regional specialty. However, as is the way with other dishes, coq au vin is served differently in Lyon. Lardons are omitted in favor of potatoes, pumpkin and carrots. Truffade and tartiflette are also popular dishes within Lyon itself. Tartiflette in Lyon is served usually with roasted pork or marinated beef.

Snack foods popular in Lyon include gougères and baguettes salés, along with the typical Morivaine pastries such as croissants and pain au chocolat. Gougères are a particular favorite in Lyon and come usually in plain cheese or ham and cheese variants. Baguettes salés are smaller than average baguettes sliced in half and filled with butter, cheese and ham, although other meats are available. Sold ready made at bakeries or at Metro outlets as "make your own", these are very popular snack foods in Lyon and are often thought of as one of the city's main symbols.

Desserts in Lyonnaise cuisine are mostly dominated by Morivaine cuisine although one particular standout is the prevalence of strudel in Lyonnaise restaurants. Known as rétés in French after the Arnautian word, most strudel variants in Lyon are fruit or milk cream. Other popular desserts include bichon au citron and mille-feuille.

Festivals

Lyon has a number of festivals held each year across the city. One of the most famous is the Opéra du l'Été, a summer opera music festival held each July in Lyon. The festival is well known for a bonfire known as the Feu des Maladies where people write a list of their fears and concerns and these are thrown on the bonfire to symbolize the cleansing of the body and to bring good luck. Although the tradition predates the opera festival, it was merged when the festival began in 1975 to bring extra patrons. Performances are given by the Lyon Symphony Orchestra as well as the Lyon National Opera, who perform famous operas written by famous authors from all over Maredoratica.

The Fête des Lumières is a cultural icon of the city and is held every year in June. This is celebrated in the name of the city's patron saint. According to legend, Saint Marie appeared on the hill named in her honor and shone as a beacon of light against a band of marauding barbarians from the north. The barbarians were blinded by the light and the fledgling city's defenders won a great victory. Since then, the tradition has been to put candles on balconies and light up the city in celebration and to give thanks for the victory. The festival is held over five days and attracts nearly two million visitors every year. During this festival, the Marche des Étoiles is occurs. Held at midnight a procession by candlelight marches up the Col de la Sainte Marie for a midnight mass. Known as a kermesse, this is the only midnight kermesse of its kind in Valcluse. A public holiday is held the following day.

Another important festival is the Fête des Gigues which is a festival held each September to celebrate Valcluse's national dance, the Gigue. The festival is one of the oldest festivals of its type in Valcluse, having been held every September since 1840. The festival has its origins as a competition between two competing dance schools (both of which are still in existence and present two separate performances and the combined finale) to see who was best at performing the gigue. The competition soon became an annual event. It was turned into a wider festival without the competition in 1906 and has been credited with maintaining the popularity of the dance style within Valcluse.

Sport