Along with its characteristic Old World lanes, Lyon has grand quarters with 19th-century architecture that feels much like Paris. Virginie: In the first century, the Roman city of Lyon had a population of 50,000 people — which is four times as big as Roman Paris. This church, the Basilica of Notre-Dame, was ready for worship just in time for the outbreak of the next war, World War I. The streets of Old Lyon are lined with well-preserved Renaissance buildings. Virginie: There are more than a hundred of those passageways in the Old Lyon.