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Running in Clermont-Ferrand: capital of the Auvergne

At the foot of the Puy de Dôme and a stone's throw from the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park, Clermont-Ferrand is strategically located in the heart of France. Although the city is mainly associated with volcanoes and the Michelin company, it is also rich in historical and cultural heritage. From the medieval streets to the summits of the Puys chain, discover the city of Clermont-Ferrand thanks to the audio-guided tours offered by the city!

View of Clermont-Ferrand

Born in the 17th century from the union of two rival cities, Clermont and Montferrand, the capital of Auvergne has had an eventful history. Several times plundered, besieged, shaken by an earthquake, marked by numerous revolts, Clermont-Ferrand was able to rebuild itself and found a new lease of life, notably thanks to industry. Today, it is one of the ten most attractive cities in France and has become a major university center in France, with nearly forty thousand students per year.

A land of history

Built in part from Volvic stone, an andesite stone ranging from light gray to black, the city of Clermont-Ferrand offers a surprising architecture. The most telling example of the use of this volcanic rock is the Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption cathedral, built in the 13th century. Perched on top of the hill in the historic center, the building is a masterpiece of Gothic art and a must-see in the Auvergne city. A few steps away from the cathedral is the no less remarkable Notre-Dame-du-Port basilica, the starting point of one of the roads to Santiago de Compostela. It is, moreover, registered with the world inheritance of Unesco.

Notre-Dame-du-Port basilica

During your stroll to discover the squares, your steps will lead you to the Place de Jaude, the most important and best known square in Clermont-Ferrand. A place of passage and trade in Roman times, then a vast swamp in the Middle Ages, the Place de Jaude is today the epicenter of the city and the privileged gathering place of its inhabitants. Surrounded by monuments such as the opera-theater or the Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes church, it is dominated by the emblematic statue of Vercingetorix which faces that of General Desaix.

Your walk will also take you away from the city center to the medieval district of Montferrand, one of the oldest in France. Its narrow streets are lined with splendid private mansions, such as the Fontfreyde hotel, which bear witness to the city's rich historical and architectural heritage. For the record, it was in this medieval city that the famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal was born in 1623.

A land of volcanoes

The volcanoes of the Puys chain are located only a few kilometers from Clermont-Ferrand and overlook the city. The most famous of them being of course the Puy de Dôme, which rises to 1465 meters of altitude. To reach the summit, the most courageous will take the "Chemin des Muletiers" for a 6 kilometer hike. For the others, a small electric rack train makes the trip in 15 minutes. Whatever option you choose, at the arrival a breathtaking 360° panoramic view awaits you!

Listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in the same way as the Puys chain, the Limagne fault marks the separation between the Dômes plateau and the Limagne plain. High tectonic place, the chain of Puys - fault of Limagne is a geological site of exception, for its volcanoes of course, but also for its great biological wealth.

The Puy de Dôme

For a more in-depth and playful discovery of volcanism, Vulcania offers experiences that are as fun as they are spectacular. Vulcania is a unique park in Europe on the theme of volcanoes. It opened in 2002 and was created on the initiative of the former President of the Republic, Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.

A land of passions

In addition to the volcanoes, the city of Clermont-Ferrand also enjoys a great reputation thanks to its rugby club. Founded in 1911, ASM Clermont Auvergne, formerly Association Sportive Montferrandaise, currently plays in the Top 14. The club is based at the Marcel-Michelin sports park, named after its founder and manager of the Michelin tire group, who died in deportation during the Second World War. For fans of the oval ball, the stadium houses the ASM Experience, an interactive museum dedicated to rugby and the life of the club.

The Bibendum, emblem of the Michelin company

Just across the street from the stadium is the Michelin Adventure, a 2,000-square-meter scenographic tour tracing the history of the tire giant that has greatly contributed to the city's development. Founded in 1889 by brothers André and Edouard Michelin, the company has been at the origin of many innovations and has built a worldwide network. Represented by its famous Michelin Man, Michelin has been able to diversify and also offers tourist, gastronomic and hotel guides (Green Guide, Michelin Guide...) as well as road maps and atlases.

Find all the routes in the city of Clermont-Ferrand on the JOOKS application.

Run, walk or cycle with JOOKS, from the Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption cathedral to the Place de Jaude!

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