Located in the middle of a deep forest and around 95 meters in size, lake Pavin is of volcanic origin. Legend has always said that the lake is one of the gates of hell, and if you throw a stone in it, you could trigger the wrath of Satan. Notwithstanding this rather odd story, Lake Pavin is a very nice place to walk around. It takes roughly an hour and the setting is very nice. In short, a place where you can actually take a break during the holidays.
Constructed with volcanic stone, the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand is an impressive dark colour housing the town clock. It may seem a little sad at first, but its Gothic architecture is spectacular. Personally, I've always been impressed with the idea that people have built, without today's tools, prestigious buildings. The cathedral was built between 1248 and 1355.
Montferrand neighborhood is a little far away from the center of the city if you don´t have a car. But, you can get there in 15 minutes by tram (1.40 / ticket). Going from the plaza with the fountain to the bell tower, you´ll see medieval houses with their interesting doors and windows and cool sculptures. Unfortunately no one can visit (or at least it was closed the day that I was there), but I really felt like I was traveling back in time when I was walking down certain streets. I sincerely recommend this walk. It´ll take an hour more or less depending on the the time you spend enjoying this historical urban landscape!
A peaceful place located a few blocks from the Place Jaude in downtown Clermont. There are malls, some games for kids, trees, and at the time I was there, a photographic exhibit. It´s a good place for a summer picnic or a nap. In autumn and spring, it closes at 7.30pm, in winter at 6pm and in summer until 9pm.
This incredible chapel is located on top of a prehistoric extinct volcano. You can see it from anywhere in the village and rivals even Mont Saint Michel in terms of pure beauty. After climbing a narrow staircase up a rather steep incline, you arrive at the Chapel of St. Michel built in honor of the archangel Michael in the year 960AD. The chapel is a starting point along the Camino de Santiago which ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. You can also find incredible views of the village of Puy en Velay as well as an unforgettable visit to this most unique of chapels.
A small village located in the mountains of Cantal, Salers is a lava grey town with 15th century walls that maintain the Renaissance architecture. A village worth spending a few hours in checking out its cobblestone streets, mansions with turrets, walls ... It is rightly associated with the "les plus beaux villages de la France" (most beautiful villages in France) Association. If we get caught out at a mealtime, there's no problem, there are various local places to have a bite to eat. I recommend the "Creperie Le Drac" in Tyssandier Place where you can taste the typical Auvergne dish with meats and cheeses and tartines (a kind of pancake).
The Jaude Place is the central square (even if it's a little west) in Clermont. It is rectangular, and surrounded by buildings of all ages, so it's accessible by many bus and train lines. A large shopping centre nearby allows you to purchase food, and located in front is the statue of Vercingetorix, the Gallic opponent of Julius Caesar. There is a bit of everything surrounding it, like a McDonalds and other fast food places, bars and terraces, benches to wait for friends so that you can grab a drink in the old town or in the lively new streets.
During the holidays, we climbed to the top of the Puy de Dome. When we got to the top, it was a pleasure to discover the strange landscape where one side of the area was raining and the other was very sunny. This picture shows how lovely it was. Greetings to all.
After the tall black towers of the cathedral, Notre Dame du Port seems like it's being hidden under an old shell, with lighter stones and more solid, simple architecture. Unfortunately, I was unable to enter. Please, if you have visited here, let me know what it was like inside!
Murol Castle is a historical monument which dates back to 1958. It was built in the twelfth century, but later it was modified and improved. It was not knocked down during the French Revolution, but it was used as a prison. The castle offers a beautiful view of the small town of Murol and volcanoes of Auvergne. You can take a guided tour of the castle or a guided tour by a group of actors.
On your trip to Clermont Ferrand or Paris, this town is well worth a stop overnight or at least a day visit. If you go in an RV you can stay in the large city park. The Saint-Flour (Occitan Sant Flower) is a French community with a population of 6,625 (1999), situated in the Cantal department (which is sub-prefecture) and the Auvergne region. This historical capital of Upper Normandy is at the end of a lava flow on the Planèze, Cantal large plateau, on the Ander River and Lander Valley. The city is divided into two sections, "uptown" and "downtown".
This interesting cathedral was built originally as a Roman Basilica. It was built quite some time ago in the year of 1396. It was a future Gothic cathedral was completed at the end of s. XV, under the command of the Duke of Berry. The five ships are notable for the simplicity of their lines. Under the organ there is a mural (s. XV) that represents purgatory and hell. At the entrance of the sanctuary you can admire a large wooden Christ (XIII or XV) called the "black Good God", a piety of s. XV in the chapel of the Holy Sacrament in the chapel of the Tomb, the gilded bronze casket containing the relics of St. Floro.
Since I come from a mining region, the interest to visit the old mine of Messeix seemed logical. The mine was one of the last to close in Auvergne, back in July 1989. Now converted into a museum, here you will discover the hard life the miners had back then. It is very interesting and exciting.
One of the most rewarding things about the visit of Saint Flour is to find a lookout spot that is very high where you can gaze out at views of the lower town and around the city. You realize that this city was a stronghold impregnable medieval and hard nut to crack for the English in the Hundred Years War.
The Chapel of Our Lady of Estours or Notre-Dame des Tours, dates from the XII century and is still a popular place of pilgrimage today. Most impressive is the site where the chapel was built on a rocky outcrop overlooking some of the gorges of the Seuge, which offers a magnificent view. The chapel is not accessible by car so visitors need to follow a dirt road to get there but the advantage is that this allows for many different views of the chapel and the statue of the Virgin that dominates the rock. A truly magnificant place.