City summary: Clermont-Ferrand

Press release


Looking down on Clermont-Ferrand, one could imagine the city had long ago suffered a calamity. After all, it is positioned near an astonishing geographical area cluttered with extinct volcanoes. But really, any misplaced sense of catastrophe is likely because of the rock – the black volcanic rock – used to construct many buildings, the most spectacular being the Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption. Of course, it could also be the rock music, owing to the city’s hundreds of music bands and other artistic groups, many finding voice in the popular annual festivals. Another rock of the community: the Michelin tire company, which was founded here.

Fun Facts

  • One of the city's nicknames is "France's Liverpool" due its more than 800 artistic groups and the many music, theater and film festivals.

  • Just west of Clermont-Ferrand, the Puy-de-Dôme is the highest volcano in the the Chaine des Puys, a chain of 80 volcanoes located in an area more than 28 miles long and three miles wide.

Significant Site

Place de Jaude: the city's most famous public square, with a large statue of Vercingetorix by Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor of the Statue of Liberty

Extraordinary Exhibit

Musée d'Art Roger-Quilliot (MARQ): the city's foremost cultural venue with six levels of art from the Middle Ages to contemporary times

Delectable Delights

  • petit salé aux lentilles vertes du Puy: salted pork meat served with green lentils from Le Puy

  • Côtes d’Auvergne wine: vintages such as Boudes, Châteaugay, Corent, Chanturgue, Madargue and Saint-Pourçain

Legendary Local

Audrey Tautou: actress best known for her lead role in the 2001 film Amélie

Daring Developments

  • Celebrations: 60th anniversary of the Circuit de Charade, a championship motorsport race track wrapped around the base of an extinct volcano

  • Celebrations: The Festival du Court Métrage, an internationally renowned short film festival preparing to celebrate its 40th birthday

Also in the Area

  • Le Mont-Dore: a resort town with thermal springs in summer and a ski station in winter

  • Gergovie Plateau: a natural panoramic viewpoint where Vercingetorix defeated Caesar in 52 BC

Access from Paris

  • by road: about 4 hours (263 miles) via the A10 and A71 autoroutes

  • by train: about 3 h 45 min by direct intercity train from the Gare de Bercy

  • by plane: 1 hour to Clermont-Ferrand Auvergne airport

For more about what to see and do in and around Clermont-Ferrand, including on the “Passion for gastronomy & creation” itinerary, visit