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Posts Tagged ‘UNESCO’

Financial Times “Business in France” special features Lyon, others

January 27th, 2011 1 comment

Perusing the Financial Times, I came across a business special on France that features articles on Lyon as a growing business center, Lille and other subjects of interest (project for Paris Silicon Valley, technology sector, etc).

You can download the PDF here. I’ve also made it available here, in case FT takes it down or there is a technical website problem.

Some excerpts below are taken from the article about the city I hold dear, Lyon.

Thriving business region that is answer to Rhineland: Good transport and skills are a draw, says Ross Tieman

A great location in the Rhône valley, where it acts as a gateway between France and central and southern Europe, has underpinned Lyon’s prosperity ever since the Romans marched in 2,000 years ago.

But in recent centuries, technology took over the relay, with hydroelectric power contributing to a regional heritage of chemicals, pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. The city preserved its charms, however. Now classified as a Unesco world heritage site, it sustains a vibrant culture that extends from a renowned opera company to contemporary music and the kitchen of chef Paul Bocuse.

Lyon’s high-speed train connections to Paris and Marseille, and location on France’s main north-south motorway make it an attractive location for both business and pleasureseekers.

Back-office operations for financial services and logistics are important contributors to France’s second-largest regional economy. Yet to think of Lyon as a city is to miss the point. With a population of 1.7m it is the heart of a business region that is France’s answer to the Rhineland, and which, with 10,000 researchers, spends as much on innovation as Finland or Denmark….

Lyon’s Fête des Lumières starts tonight thru Dec. 11th

December 8th, 2010 No comments

Lyon is a wonderful city with a rich culture and history as well as modern innovative industries, world class food, museums, parks and architecture, not to mention the host to many events and the site of Interpol. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as I posted before.

Its most famous event is the annual Fête des Lumières (“Festival of Lights”) which each year attracts an estimated 3 million visitors over a span of 4 days for a magnificent light show. Consider that the population of the Lyon metro area is about 1.7 million, and you realize how big that number is. I’ve been the past couple years and it’s definitely worth it. The only thing annoying is the crowds, but that’s expected. You can see some pictures from last year’s event at BBC. It has its origins when the people of Lyon lit candles to thank the Virgin Mary for saving the city from the black plague. Now it’s since 1999 a modern light show with the main sites of the city the objects of dramatic and sophisticated light animations with colorful lasers, layered digital graphics and world-renown technology. It’s really quite remarkable (the picture above is of this square, Place des Terreaux). You can see a video of the scene here.

You can find more information on the festival’s background here, and the official festival site (available in English) as well. This page has a simple list of main sites to see as well as hours of the shows (notes below). December 8th, 10th, 11th will go from 6pm to 1am, and December 9th from 6pm to midnight.

The Lyon culture site has information on the festival as well (in French).

I know I’ll be going. Have a good time!

Bien d’autres illuminations et animations visuelles se dérouleront au coeur de la ville, comme à Ainay (dans le 2ème), Gerland (7ème), Confluence (2ème), Duchère et Vaise (9ème), Plateau (5ème), Plateau de la Croix-rousse (4ème), Foch (6ème), Guillotière (3ème et 7ème) et enfin l’Ile Barbe.

Les animations seront visibles de 18H à 1H les 8, 10 et 11 décembre et de 18H à minuit le 9 décembre.

Bonjour Paris this week: UNESCO France sites, etc.

November 28th, 2010 4 comments

In this week’s Bonjour Paris, I wrote a column about the UNESCO World Heritage sites in France (all 35 of them). Make sure to check out Bonjour Paris for other interesting pieces and travel tips.

35 French sites classified by UNESCO as “World Heritage”

November 24th, 2010 5 comments

France24 lists the 35 sites around France that appear in UNESCO’s World Heritage site list. They include Mont St. Michel, the historic centers of Lyon & Avignon, Pont du Gard, the banks of the Seine in Paris, Fontainebleau, Versailles and Chartres, among other famous sites. The map below is from the original article on France24. All the more reason to visit this beautiful country!

French food added to UNESCO cultural heritage list

November 17th, 2010 No comments

According to the Washington Post, French food has been included by UNESCO on a list of cultural heritages around the world. While there are certainly rich culinary traditions in many countries (Italy, China, Japan, Mexico, to name a few…), it is true that French gastronomy is world-renown for its gastronomy that contributes to the country’s cultural reputation around the world. But it is true that the traditional French meal is facing changes due to globalization and the work world. Your thoughts on French food?

Excerpts below from the article (click link above to read entire piece). cheers, and bon appétit.

UNESCO adds French food to cultural heritage list
Edward Cody, Washington Post Foreign Service
November 16, 2010

“…The decision by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to include French food among new additions to a list celebrating the world’s “intangible cultural heritage” came as no surprise in Paris. For centuries, people here have been convinced that nothing is so fine, so culturally satisfying, so spiritually uplifting as sitting down for a good French meal with friends and family. (Or maybe a lover, but that is another heritage.)…

…UNESCO honored traditional Mexican cuisine as well, although that fact tended to be lost in the din of self-congratulation in France over the world body’s acknowledgment of the country’s flair for orchestrating the perfect cascade of mealtime pleasures: from aperitif to appetizer, on to the main course, salad, cheese, dessert and perhaps fruit, with the appropriate wine bringing out the best in each dish…It was that ageless choreography – epitomized by Sunday lunch at Grandma’s rather than three-star preciosity – that UNESCO singled out as worth preserving for the good of the human race.

“The meal is a profound part of French people’s identity,” said Jean-Robert Pitte, the president of the University of Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV), who led the effort to win UNESCO’s blessing and explained the reasoning online. “This exists in a lot of other countries. But we have a certain form of gastronomy, with the marriage of food and wine, the succession of dishes, the way of setting the table, of talking about it, that are specifically French.”…

In fact, the traditional French meal has been meeting with growing indifference on its home ground as the demands of a modern economy encourage quick, alcohol-free lunches, particularly among the young. Sandwich consumption is rising by 10 percent a year, and experts estimate that only half of France’s 64 million people still sit down to eat regular family meals of the kind honored by UNESCO.

Nevertheless, a multicourse lunch with wine at an expense-account restaurant remains the most popular way to celebrate a contract, seal a friendship or pass along a tip. Lunch at Grandma’s is still imperative for many families, particularly in the provinces. Television programs devoted to cooking and dinner parties have also proliferated in recent years, generating a mini-renaissance of home cooking…”

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