A city of history
The city of Clermont-Ferrand is located at the northern end of the mountainous Massif Central; it is the capital of the Auvergne region of France.
The city's history dates back to the Roman era and was also an important city in ancient Gaul. The towns of Clermont and Montferrand were united by Louis XIII into one larger city in 1630.
You don’t usually think of volcanoes when you think of France, but indeed they ring the city of Clermont-Ferrand, capital of the Auvergne. As with much of this part of France, this was first Greek, and then a very large Roman city, before being renamed Clermont in the 9th century, well into the rise of Christianity. Indeed, the First Crusade was proclaimed and launched from Clermont. So why the hyphen with Ferrand?
Local nobles, fed up with religious rule, started the neighboring town of Ferrand in 1551, which came under Royal protection in 1610. It was nevertheless joined with Clermont by edict, and in 1731 Louis XV formalized the partnership of the two cities with a Second Edict of Union.
To this day, there are two downtowns, each with an old town area near their respective basilicas. Most famously, the city is the world headquarters for Michelin tires. As for local culture, there is a world famous Short Film Festival held there every February and a jazz festival each October.
Local specialty foods lean toward meat and potatoes; most notable is the Truffade, a large grated potato pancake stuffed with cheese.
Interactive Clermont-Ferrand Map:
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