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In 1793 the city was assaulted by the Revolutionary armies and under siege for over two months before eventually surrendering.Several buildings were destroyed, especially around the Place Bellecour.

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Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa recognised that Lugdunum's position on the natural highway from northern to south-eastern France made it a natural communications hub, and he made Lyon the starting point of the principal Roman roads throughout Gaul.Burgundian refugees fleeing the destruction of Worms by the Huns in 437 were re-settled by the military commander of the west, Aëtius, at Lugdunum.This became the capital of the new Burgundian kingdom in 461.Lyon played a significant role in the history of cinema: it is where Auguste and Louis Lumière invented the cinematographe.It is also known for its light festival, the Fête des Lumières, which begins every 8 December and lasts for four days, earning Lyon the title of Capital of Lights.The city is known for its cuisine and gastronomy and historical and architectural landmarks and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lyon was historically an important area for the production and weaving of silk.

Economically, Lyon is a major centre for banking, as well as for 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.

In the late 15th century, the fairs introduced by Italian merchants made Lyon the economic countinghouse of France.

(Even the Bourse (treasury), built in 1749, resembled a public bazaar where accounts were settled in the open air.) When international banking moved to Genoa, then Amsterdam, Lyon remained the banking centre of France.

In 18, the canuts (silk workers) of Lyon staged two major uprisings for better working conditions and pay.