Marco Polo, his name is synonymous with the Silk Road.  His travels inspired many European explorers and wealth seekers to venture into the Far East. 

Updated: September 20, 2018

The city of Lyon in France was once the capital of the European silk trade. Find out how the weaving loom invented for silk manufacturing became the foundation for modern computers.

Lyon is located in east-central France in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes région. It is the second largest city after Paris .

The city lived and breathed silk as early as the 16th century. By 1620, over 10,000 looms were manufacturing silk. It was a world renowned center of silk manufacturing and trade for 500 years. Read more.

Related: Lyon: Heart of the European Silk Industry

Lyon’s rich cultural life and silk history can be seen in its museums including the Silk Museum. The tradition of silk weaving in the city continues to this day. More on the silk industry in Lyon.

Low-Tech Loom to High-Tech Computers

Did you know that the French invented Jacquard loom transformed patterning technology using punch cards and propelled the French silk industry to its peak?

The punch cards storing pattern information in a binary code also became the foundation for modern computers.

Lyon is high on the world’s best gastronomy list when it comes to food.  The region is reputed as the gourmet capital of France and as a UNESCO World Heritage site.