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Haut-Allier ~ France's hidden secret

A heritage area in all senses of the term

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Haut-Allier - south Auvergne 

Hidden France at its best

The high valley of the Allier
Encompassing the rural districts around Brioude and Langeac, in the department of the Haute Loire, Haut-Allier is not just a wonderful natural environment, but also an area with a rich cultural heritage. It is one of the original 41 rural areas in France officially classed as an art and history heritage area (Pays d'Art et d'Histoire)
A heritage area in every sense - music, history, art and environment

For rural France at its best, welcome to the High Allier valley, from Brioude to Langeac, in the department of Haute Loire, France. The valley lies at an average altitude of 500 metres (1600 ft), with surrounding hills rising to 1300 metres. Summers are usually warm and dry. Once a busy wine-growing area  (a local industry that is now redeveloping as new vineyards are planted) , the Haut Allier is reputedly the warmest and sunniest area of the Massif Central.

pays d'art et d'histoireThe high Allier valley is one of the original 41 officially recognised "Pays d'art et d'histoire" (rural areas of outstanding artistic and heritage interest) in France. It is an area with so much to offer, including, in the summer months and for music-lovers, a season of concerts held in some of the valley's beautiful medieval churches. .
    But the concert programme is just one of the many attractions that this valley has to offer those in search of a relaxing but interesting holiday in the calm and beauty of rural France; ancient churches with fine mediaeval murals, castles, a paleontological museum, rambling and hiking trails, excellent bird-watching, fishing, canoeing and plenty more, the Haut Allier has it all....

Music - 
Discover great music in a relaxed and generally informal atmosphere in the historic churches and châteaux of the Haut Allier. Music Valley means music for all... at very affordable prices. Indeed, plenty of events are actually free. As for the musicians, they go from top international performers, to talented amateurs for whom music is just a pleasurable pastime.

Art -  Haut-Allier is not just about music. Far from it. The area is has recently developed as one of the major centres for art in rural France. Every two years, the Brioude Biennal, France's premier watercolour event, hosts artists from around the world, and every year the Decades de la Peinture (decade means ten days in French, not ten years) showcase the work of budding and established amateur artists from all over France.
  And the icing on the cake: since 2018, Brioude's historic 13th century Deanery building has found new life as a Modern Art centre, and each summer hosts a major exhibition. In 2018 it was Chagall, in 2019 Miro, in 2021 De Staël, and for summer 2022 Picasso, an exhibition of works from the artist's later years.
   In addition, summertime sees small exhibitions and art workshops in a number of locations including historic monuments around the Music Valley area, while the small town of Brioude is home to ever more art and craft boutiques and galleries.
   For historic art, the churches and abbeys of Haut Allier are home to a remarkable collection of medieval frescoes murals and polychrome sculptures, possibly the greatest surviving concentration of such medieval art in France.

Musique en Haute Loire - La Haute vallée de l' Allier, d'Auzon à Pébrac, ce sont les communes d'Auzon, Bournoncle St. Pierre, Brioude, Vieille Brioude, Saint Ilpize, Villeneuve d'Allier, Blassac, Lavoûte Chilhac, Chilhac, Aubazat, Langeac, Chanteuges, Saint Arcons, Prades, plus les autres communes du "Pays d'Art et d'Histoire du Haut Allier".  Ce sont les vallées de l'Allier et de ses affluents – Allagnon, Senouire, Doulon.

L'Off musical du Haut Allier,  c'est le fruit de l'enthousiasme d'un tissu local d'organisateurs essentiellement bénévoles, de mairies, de musiciens, de particuliers, de festivals locaux  et d'associations culturelles qui collectivement assurent une animation musicale probablement sans équivalent en zone rurale par sa durée et par le nombre et la qualité des concerts.

Musicians: click here for information on performing in Music Valley
Partners :   About-France.com  -  Gitelink France  -  Rural Camping France  -  Les Amis de la Basilique

Association Musique en la Vallée  - Cultural association -  Mairie de Saint Ilpize - 43380  -
Get in touch - admin at music-valley.org
Music in the Auvergne -
"Music-valley" is the high valley of the river Allier, covering the rural district areas of Brioude and Langeac, in the department of Haute Loire, Auvergne,  southern France.  
The music season in the valley is a relaxed affair, and unique in rural France by its extent and its duration. The venues are mostly small, the performers good - often top quality, but the prices reasonable. Some concerts are "give what you want", some are free, most are less than 20 Euros. Only the full concerts in the basilica at Brioude and those organised by the La Chaise Dieu music festival are a bit more. Unlike any other summer music programme in rural France (and there are plenty of them), this is a fringe without a festival, two months of music for pleasure, organised by musicians themselves, volunteers, villages and cultural associations.

This website is brought to you by Musique en la Vallée, an independent voluntary association for the promotion of music in Haut Allier.

Musique en la Vallée invites you to discover our sponsors

Patisserie chocolaterie Jacques Legrand,
Master chocolate maker
rue du 4 septembre Brioude
04 71 0 23 16

La Mirandelle -
Salon de thé
Tearoom & café
Beside the Basilica

04 71 74 90 01

Couleurs Dentelle
Lace-making studio,  gallery and shop
1 rue Notre Dame Brioude.


Ets. Oléon
Cycles, motos, bricolage.
Cycles & D-I-Y store
Rue Croix st Isidore Brioude.

Artisans créateurs - oeuveres d'art, accessoires, habillement
Local arts and crafts
19 r Sébastopol
On  Facebook 

Ets. PIC 
Household goods and TV
Hifi - satellite -TV
kitchen equipment

Briva-Bio Bio-coop. Alimentation bio -
organic produce
Place du Postel

Ets Cornaire
6 rue des Ecoles, chappes,43390 Auzon
 Central heating systems, plumbing experts, solar panels, heat pumps -  systems renovations.

Librairie Vercingetorix Livres, beaux arts, fournitures de bureau.
Bookshop, fine arts, postcards
14 Bd Vercingetorix
On Facebook 

Le Saint Julien
Restaurant - Pizzeria.
A côté de la Basilique, Brioude.

La Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône-alpes
Cooperative bank
Branches in Brioude and Langeac