History continues to tell its story
In Mond’Arverne, make the most of your stay by taking a journey back in time and retracing the footsteps of some major figures from the past. On your own, with a guide or welcomed by one of our greeters, open up your eyes and keep your ears open for spotting the marks they’ve left behind…
The first stage of your journey through history takes you to Gergovie, in 52 BC. Picture the turmoil of war, spears cutting through the air and swords clashing against one another. And it’s here, beneath the famous plateau, that Julius Caesar and his 30,000 legionaries suffered their only defeat in Gaul against the troops of the young Arverni chief Vercingétorix. On this site that has stayed in peoples’ memories, you can choose your viewpoint: the one the Gauls had from the high ground over the plateau, looking out over the surrounding area for miles around; or that of the Romans readying themselves to conduct an assault on the slopes of Gergovie from the plain. From September 2019, the Maison de Gergovie will tell you all about this remarkable episode of French history.
And if you find the Gauls captivating, there’s another archaeological site for you to see, less than 10 kilometres from Gergovie: Corent, the mysterious Arverni oppidum uncovered year by year by archaeologists.
A big leap in time and here you are immersed in a thoroughly mediaeval atmosphere: as you wend your way around the narrow streets and alleyways, learn about the Romanesque churches of Saint-Saturnin, Manglieu and Pignols, and their treasures of sculpted stone and wall paintings. Sheltered by the thick walls of Château de Busséol and Château de Saint-Saturnin, or in the company of the seigneur of Château de La Batisse, you’ll find out about the lives of his forebears during the Middle Ages. And how about having a go at getting through the labyrinthine defences of the village fort of La Sauvetat, built during the Hundred Years War.
Perhaps the Renaissance is a source of inspiration for you? Follow in the footsteps of Catherine de Medici and her daughter, Queen Margot, between Saint-Saturnin and Vic-le-Comte. Here, dare yourself to push open the doors of La Sainte-Chapelle and find yourself immersed in the gentle light of the stained-glass windows of the choir, and then attempt to decipher the scenes they recount.
In Mond’Arverne, make the most of your stay by taking a journey back in time and retracing the footsteps of some major figures from the past.
Built on a basalt mound, Saint-Saturnin, formerly the residence of the barons of la Tour d'Auvergne, is listed as one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France, and owes its appeal to the use of arkose and volcanic stone in its buildings. Down its steep and narrow...
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