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Musique in Haut Allier - Auvergne - France

Monuments and heritage

Music Valley - La haute vallée de l'Allier, Auvergne, France
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Music Valley - La haute vallée de l'Allier, Auvergne, FranceMusic in Auvergne :

       the high valley of the Allier

 
from Brioude to Langeac – peace and quiet, history and an unspoilt natural environment

Monuments,
Heritage, Tourism


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St. Cirgues - Dieu, GodThe north of the Haute Loire department, from Auzon to Chanteuges via Brioude and Langeac, offers a wealth of opportunities in terms of heritage tourism, ecotourism and visits. Whether in the "Pays d'art et d'histoire" (rural heritage areas of outstanding artistic and historical value) or  in the immediate vicinity, this is a region that abounds in historic monuments, castles, old abbeys and churches, remarkable landscapes, and other unusual tourist attractions such as underground visits in a Gallo-Roman tin and antimony mine, the French Resistance museum at Mont Mouchet, or a distillery producing organic essential oils, at Saint Hilaire. 

Picture right: God - detail from 14th century murals in the church of Saint Cirgues.

On this page Museums, castles
churches and abbeys
In the valley of the Allier :

Museums, castles,  monuments, visits

  • Brioude
    Aquarium, Maison du saumon et de la rivière 
    Maison de la Dentelle - lace museum
    Old streets - Weekly market Saturday morning
  • Vieille Brioude 
    Musée de la vigne
    Fine 19th century single-span stone bridge over the allier
    Site
    of the village.
  • Paulhac (near Brioude)
    Château de Paulhac. mediaeval castle overlooking the Brioude plain
  • Chateau Saint IlpizeSaint Ilpize.
    Mediaeval fortress, standing atop a volcanic rock, three hundred feet above the river Allier below. Free access.
    * Old suspension bridge, high above the river Allier. Built in 1879 by Arnodin, this was the first modern suspension bridge in France.
    * Vine conservatory - collection of historic varieties in a restored vineyard.
  • Lavoûte Chilhac
    * Magnificent late medieval triple-arch stone bridge across the river Allier
    * Maison des Oiseaux - museum and diorama of the exceptionally rich bird life in the Haut Allier.
  • Chilhac:
    Small town perched dramatically on top of an old volcanic lava-flow, beside the river Allier. 
    * Amazing basaltic "organ rocks", and 19th century suspension bridge over the Allier.
    * Christian Guth Paleontological museum, small, but top quality museum with the fossilized remains of mastodons, rhinoceros and other creatures that inhabited this area 2 million years ago.
  • Langeac:
    Vieille ville.  
    Market on Thursday mornings.
    Tourist train up the allier Gorge.  Website.

In the Pays d'Art et d'Histoire area and its immediate vicinity.

  • Ally:
    Historic windmills
    Gallo-romaine antimony mines, with guided underground visits .
    Modern windfarm.

  • Blèsle
    Ancient city - listed as one of the "plus beaux villages de France".  Old houses, church

  • Chaviniac Lafayette
    Castle : the historic seat of the Marquis de Lafayette - of specific interest to American visitors

  • Domeyrat
    Fine mediaeval fortress, with living history activities in summer.
  • Léotoing
    Hilltop village overlooking the valley of the Allagnon. Impressive ruins of medieval castle, renovated terraces, magnificent views.
Within 50 km
Le Mont Mouchet,
Museum of the French Resistance
Well presented museum commemorating the activities of the French Resistance in this area in the Second World War.





Death in mediaeval fresco at Lavaudieu, Haute Loire
Medieaval fresco depicting Death, in the abbey of Lavaudieu. Dated 1355

In the valley of the l'Allier  .....

Historic churches

Within 50 km
Le Puy en Velay
Remarkable romanesque cathedral and cloisters, with unusual use of coloured stonework. One of the main departure points on the great pilrimage route to Compostella.
Chapelle St Michel de l'Aiguilhe, le Puy
Tenth century hermitage chapel perched on top of a spire of volcanic rock.
Abbey of La Chaise-Dieu
Ancient Benedictine Abbey, founded in 1043. Famous for its remarkable mediaeval fresco of the Dance of Death, and for its classical music festival in August.