Lyon or lion?
Two years ago, the only things I knew about Lyon, which I thought was pronounced ‘lion’, were
- It’s a city in France; and,
- The Festival of Lights is held there in December each year.
The former was general knowledge, and the latter I learnt from a Christmas comprehension activity I’d done with the Grade 3s!
Cue meeting a fabulous Frenchman from said city and moving here, nowadays I’m more knowledgable! For example,
- Lyon is much smaller than Melbourne, with a population of around 1.8 million, but one of the largest cities in France (there seems to be some disagreement as to whether Lyon or Marseille is the second -largest city)!
- Two major rivers of France, The Saône and The Rhône, join in Lyon, and continue as The Rhône.
- Cinéma was invented in Lyon, by brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière.
- There’s an explorable maze of ancient ‘secret’ passageways, called traboules, in the oldest areas of the city. They were built for the silk workers to transport their wares to and fro, used as escape routes from wartime attacks and are now a symbol of Lyon.
- Much of Lyon is a World Heritage Site. Much of Lyon is also ridiculously old – there’s a Gallo-Roman theatre here, and it’s thought that the area was first settled about 45 years before baby Jeebus arrived.
- The cheese and wine really is everything it’s talked up to be! Lyon is renowned for its food, and has many specialties – including using every available part of a pig!
And, there is indeed a Festival of Lights in December each year, a thank-you to the Virgin Mary for saving the city from a plague in the Middle Ages, but more about that in December!