Lyon, traditionally spelt Lyons in English, is a city in east-central France in the Rhône-Alpes region, situated between Paris and Marseille. Lyon is located approximately 470 km (292 mi) from Paris, 320 km (199 mi) from Marseille, 420 km (261 mi) from Strasbourg, 160 km (99 mi) from Geneva, 280 km (174 mi) from Turin. The residents of the city are called Lyonnais.
The city of Lyon has 483,181 inhabitants. Together with its suburbs and satellite towns, Lyon forms the largest conurbation in France outside Paris with a population estimated to be 1,422,331; its overall metropolitan area was estimated to have a population of 2,118,132. Its urban region represents half of the Rhône-Alpes region population with 2.9 million inhabitants. Lyon is the capital of this region, as well as the capital of the smaller Rhône département.
The city is known for its historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lyon was historically known as an important area for the production and weaving of silk and in modern times has developed a reputation as the capital of gastronomy in France. It has a significant role in the history of cinema due to Auguste and Louis Lumière who invented the cinematographe in Lyon. The city is also known for its famous light festival 'Fete des Lumieres' which occurs every 8 December and lasts for four days, that earned Lyon the title of Capital of Lights. The legend says that the Virgin Mary saved the city from the plague, and to thank her a statue was built and on the day it was erected the whole city was lit by candles that its citizens put at their windows. The local professional football team, Olympique Lyonnais, has increased Lyon's profile internationally through participation in European football championships.
Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking as well as for chemical, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries. The city contains a significant software industry with a particular focus on