The city’s history dates back over two thousand years. In 43 BC, the Roman Senate commissioned the creation of a settlement for Roman refugees of the war with the Allobroges. According to the historian Dio Cassius, the refugees fled Vienne and formed the “Colonia Copia Felix Munatia,” which eventually became known as “Lugdunum,” (meaning “Desired Mountain”). Because of its strategic location at the junction of two rivers, the Romans made the settlement a communications hub. Emperors Claudius and Caracalla were born here.
Lyon finally came under France’s sphere of influence during the 14th century. In the following century, the city established itself as the economic counting house of France. During the Renaissance, the city was further developed into an important industrial town because of its Silk Trade. When World War II occurred, Lyon was the center of Nazi forces, as well as a stronghold of the French Resistance.
Today, as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Lyon is an important tourist destination.