Lyon has a population of 506,615 (2014) and is France’s third largest city after Paris and Marseille. Lyon is the capital of the Metropolis of Lyon and its region. The metropolitan area of Lyon has a population of 2,237,676 (2013), the second most populous after Paris.
Located in eastern France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Lyon is about 470 km (292 mi) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille and 55 km (34 mi) from Saint-Étienne. Inhabitants of the city are called Lyonnais.
The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy and historical and architectural landmarks. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Historically, Lyon was known for the production and weaving of silk.
It played a significant role in the history of cinema: Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival, Fête des Lumières, which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title, Capital of Lights.
Economically, Lyon is a major center for banking and the chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on video games, and in recent years, has fostered a growing local start-up sector. Lyon hosts the international headquarters of Interpol, Euronews, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Lyon was ranked 19th globally and second in France for innovation in 2014. It ranked second in France and 39th globally in Mercer’s 2015 Quality of Living rankings.
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