Herisson, Allier: tourism & sightseeing

Photo of Herisson in Massif Central (Auvergne region)

Visit Herisson (Auvergne, France)

Herisson is a village on a bend in the River Aumance towards the west of the Allier department (Auvergne region) of central France and north of Montlucon.

Almost 2000 years ago nearby Chateloy was the site of an important Roman city, that was subsequently destroyed during the goth invasions. The survivors moved here and established a new settlement. It was in medieval times that the town as we now see it came into being, developing around the imposing castle.

Exploring Herisson

Village centre and church

Although it is the castle that dominates the village be sure to take the time to visit the other highlights, in particular the churches of herisson and the riverfront.

Herisson castle

Built around the 14th century by the Dukes of Bourbon, the castle was largely destroyed in 1652 but the ruins still dominate the village and provide a very dramatic backdrop. It is possible to visit the castle to see the substantial towers and keep and part of the original living accommodation, based around two inner courtyards.

The village

Strolling around Herisson itself, and along the river banks, you will see lots of attractive houses and buildings, some dating back as far as when the village first developed around the castle about 600 years ago.

There are several churches and religious monuments in Herisson, of which the most important is the 12th century Church of Saint-Peter (also called the Chateloy Church). An elegant roman style church, admire the 16th century wooden entrance door then enter the church to see some notable 13th century frescoes and also ornately carved capital stones.

Others include the neo-gothic church of Notre-Dame built in the 19th century; the Church of Saint-Sauveur (17th century, with a 13th century belltower), the Chapel of Saint-Etienne (15th century) and the Calvary Chapel with its interesting facade (17th century).

Take a look at the remaining parts of the original ramparts, and the stone archways such as the 'porte de varenne' which still allow access to the village, and the view along the river from the bridge.

When you have finished exploring be sure to cross the bridge in Herisson for a nice view across the river across the village to the rooftops and the castle. You can also take a stroll through the extensive Parc Louis Bignon.

Herisson Museum: this small museum contains numerous artefacts both from the current town and also from archaological excavations at the site of Cordes (the original Roman settlement).

Note: photo of Herisson, Allier above is copyright

You can find more local travel ideas in the Allier guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also:

Map of Herisson and places nearby

Visit near Herisson with France This Way reviews

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Allier

Address: Hérisson, Montluçon, Auvergne, 3190, France || GPS: latitude 46.509444, longitude 2.712222

Plan your visit to Herisson, Allier

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Foret de Troncais: site of natural beauty (15 km)
  • Montlucon: town of art and history (21 km)
  • Neris-les-Bains: recommended detour (25 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Martin (Ygrande): religious monument (26 km)
  • Eglise de Saint Georges (Bourbon-l'Archambault): religious monument (28 km)
  • Montmarault: village d'etape (28 km)
  • Saint-Amand-Montrond: ville fleurie 4* (29 km)
  • Les jardins artistiques de Drulon: remarkable garden (30 km)
  • Jardins du château d'Ainay-le-Vieil: remarkable garden (32 km)
  • Abbaye Notre Dame de Noirlac et Saint Etienne Prieuré (Bruere-Allichamps): religious monument (33 km)
  • Abbaye de La Celle (La Celle): religious monument (35 km)

The French version of this page is at Herisson (Francais)