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Tête d'Or

Lyon's neighbourhood : Tête d'Or

The Tête d'Or district is known above all for the Parc de la Tête d'Or, located in the northern part of the left bank of the Rhône, in the 6th District of the city (69006). This 105-hectare park is one of the France's most beautiful and largest urban parks. One of the city's most popular areas for a leisurely stroll, it attracts many walkers and cyclists, particularly on Sundays. There are a number of entrances around the park, the most remarkable being the so-called Enfants du Rhone (‘Children of the Rhône'), the main gate located in the southern end of the park, near the Rhône, which opens directly onto a 16-hectare lake.

Opened in 1857 the park is the result of a project that has emerged since 1812 with at that time, several possible locations as Presqu'île or Fourviere hill. The current site, then owned by the Hospices Civils de Lyon, was finally chosen and the project was led by architect Christophe Bonnet as part of its beautification project of Guillotière. The first plants were then dedicated to the Botanical Garden which was a result of the Jardin des Plantes previously installed on the slopes of the Croix-Rousse. These facilities are complemented by quickly and the Orangerie greenhouses.

The presentation of animals was another way of opening up the nature park with a sheep, a pen of chickens, a cow pasture and then gradually with the arrival of exotic animals and most recently the African plain, which opened in October 2006. In 1894 the Parc de la Tête d'Or has hosted the World Expo, international and colonial. It is also the time when the city of Lyon has the annexed part of the park which was attached to the town of Villeurbanne. Shortly after the closure of the park was decided that this gave rise to monumental gates that mark the current entries.

The area between the Rhône and the park beyond the main gate, has long been the place reserved for buildings and grounds of the International Fair of Lyon. In 1984, the Fair of Lyon travels to Eurexpo Chassieu, current location of all major exhibitions taking place in Lyon. This movement gives birth to a new project, the International City, including the completion point is marked by the inauguration of the Grand Auditorium on June 1, 2006.

The International City is a fine example of contemporary architecture for a fully integrated into the landscape and that includes the convention center, hotels, a contemporary art museum, a cinema complex, residences, some shops and offices. Among them are the world headquarters of INTERPOL, International Criminal Police Organization, moved to Saint-Cloud near Paris in 1990. This together with its buildings arranged in an arc following the curve of the Rhone and a line referring to the roofs of greenhouses nearby park is a place very close to the city center and perfectly connected with the railway and airport infrastructure, benefits from the immediate vicinity of nature with the Parc de la Tête d'Or and the Rhône.

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