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Carte Rhône-Alpes
Flag region Rhône-Alpes

Administration & Statistics

Region Rhône-Alpes
Departement Rhône
Postal code 69100

Elevation 165-189 m
land area 15 km2
Population 138,151 (2007)
Density 9,515 /km2
Villeurbanne is the second largest city in the Rhône-Alpes region in east central France. It is located on the Rhone River.

Villeurbanne is believed to have been inhabited from about 6000 BC. During the Gallo-Roman era it was a farming area known as Villa Urban, It was established at the same time as Lyon.

Until the 19th century, the city was made up of separate villages surrounded by fields and open countryside. Some of these villages have survived and are now the neighborhoods of Charpennes, the homes and workplaces of weavers and dyers, Cusset, the oldest district in the city, Poulettes, with its charming italian style houses, Croix-Luizet, and Maisons-Neuves.

Villeurbanne’s economy expanded rapidly with the coming of the the industrial era, first the textile industry, followed by mechanical and chemical industries. The growth in factories attracted immigrant workers, many from Italy. Villeurbanne was very quickly transformed from a rural community to a prosperous industrial town.

The architecture in Villeurbanne's centre is very much of the 1930s. The Town Hall is part of a complex which includes the Théâtre Populaire National. France’s first skyscrapers were built here in the 1930s, including the famous Cité des Gratte-Ciel.

Built in 1927, the Eglise de la Sainte Famille, includes a rectory, a garden, and several other buildings connected with religious life. The architectural style is art-deco and the church features many interesting stained-glass windows. Three large windows constructed in 1935 depict the Holy Family.

The Transbordeur was once a working factory filled with steam-powered machinery, today, it has been recreated as a music venue which hosts a variety of concerts each year.

There are numerous good restaurants and bars in Villeurbanne, as well as clubs and discotheques for those seeking late night entertainment, while bargain hunters will enjoy a visit to la Cite des Antiqaires or Les Marche aux Puces.

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