A Brief History of Lyon

Lyon is one stage of Stephanie’s Metrohm «Tour de France». But who knows Lyon, outside our French borders? This article is here to help you understand why we have chosen this city for Stephanie’s world tour and why it was elected «Best European weekend destination» in the World Travel Awards 2016.

Once Upon a Time…

Lyon was built in 43 BC! At this time, it was known as «Lugdunum». The city was well-placed in Europe and a lot of Roman veteran legionnaires had chosen to move in this city for their retirement. Lugdunum developed quickly and became Gaul’s capital in 27 BC! Gaul was the original name of what is France now.

Mediocre Mood During the Middle Ages :-S

During the middle ages, Lyon didn’t evolve that much. After the golden age of the Roman Empire, it declined slowly. All we can notice is that Lyon was changing from an economic capital to a religious capital for Christianism.

But the Phoenix Rose From Its Ashes!

The Renaissance period was important for Lyon. The city developed into an important economic center thanks to its four fairs per year, which attracted many Florentine families (as the Guadagni’s family, led by Tommaso Guadagni the first). It enabled Lyon to become one of the best cities to make business in Europe.

It was during that same period that printing was developed in Lyon. Within a very short time, it became the second center of literary reproduction in France, after Paris. Then, during the sixteenth century, the city became the first silk producer in France …

… Winter Chemistry is Coming …     

Because of silk manufacturing, chemistry came to Lyon. Debossing, filling, priming, softening, bleaching, dyeing, and printing are all steps that require the intervention of sulfuric-acid-based chemistry and its derivatives.

In parallel, a pharmaceutical industry was born in Lyon thanks to Marcel Merieux, who was a disciple of Pasteur … By the way, it was at the end of the 19th century (1895) that the Lumière brothers invented the modern cinema in Lyon.


After a little «lazy period», Lyon has become an attractive city again with a rich history, industry, and economic stability. Since 1981, it’s been connected to Paris by the TGV high-velocity train. Today, it takes only 2 hours to cover the 460 km distance between the two cities. Stephanie and I took it on Wednesday. Lyon is as endearing as ever. This is why it has been elected the «Best European weekend destination» by the World Travel Awards 2016 and selected by us to be a step in Stephanie’s «Tour de France».

Thanks for reading!




  • Markus

    I hope that your “Tour de France” was not all by bicycle.

    April 3, 2018 - 7:15 am Reply
    • Stephanie Kappes

      It wasn’t. After traveling for so long and hardly having any time to exercise, it would have probably been good for me though … 😀

      April 3, 2018 - 8:46 am Reply
  • Lyon: Eating our way through France’s gastronomic capital  – Microtripping

    […] Lyon‘s rich and varied history would alone be enough to make it worth a trip, rightfully earning it a designation as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Originally known as “Lugdunum” (Hill of Light), Lyon was built in 43 BC and soon became the Gaul’s capital, sitting at an important crossroads of the Rhone and Saône rivers. Since then, it’s been known for many trades, including as one of Europe’s foremost publishing centres in the 1400’s, and the silk-weaving capital of Europe in the 1700s. But for the past 80 years or so, Lyon has gained fame as the French and World gastronomic capital, thanks primarily to its location at the heart of some of France’s richest agricultural regions. To the north are the famous Bresse chickens (“the Rolls Royce of chickens”, in the words of Anthony Bourdain), Charolais beef, and frog’s legs from the marshy Dombes. To the south, the famous Saint-Félicien and Saint-Marcellin cheeses are produced by the Dauphiné cheesemakers. To the west, farms in the Monts du Lyonnais provide charcuterie such as the prestigious “rosette” and “jésu de Lyon”. And to top it all off, Lyon lies within an hour’s drive of the world-class Beaujolais, Burgundy, and Côtes du Rhône wine regions. […]

    February 26, 2019 - 2:25 pm Reply

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