Orcival, Puy-de-Dome: tourism & sightseeing
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The village itself is pleasant and worth an explore - the church in the centre of the village is by far the most important monument in Orcival and the reason visitors are attracted here.
The 12th century Basilica of Notre-Dame is renowned as being one of the five important roman style churches in the Auvergne (the others are at Clermont-Ferrand, Issoire, Saint-Nectaire and Saint-Saturnin).
The exterior of the church has received almost no alterations over the centuries. It is perfectly proportioned, with decorative highlights including the belltower and the ironwork on the Porte Saint-Jean. Inside the church you can see numerous columns, arches and arcades and some decorative carved capital stones.
There is also an early wooden and painted carving of the Virgin, held in very high esteem and said to have been carved by Saint Luke.
It was the presence of this statue that made the church became a popular pilgrimage destination, the pilgrims including ex-prisoners in particular, and various old handcuffs and balls and chains can be seen at the church. Each Ascension Day Orcival is still an important pilgrimage destination.
Back outside the church and strolling around the village there are some grand houses with towers built in the walls and other features that will catch your attention, and a few small shops, bars and cafes.
Close to Orcival
The nearby Lake of Guéry is pleasant to visit in the summer, and in the winter I am told it is the only place in France where ice-fishing is possible. The Sioulet Valley and the Lake de Servieres are other local attractions.
Another highlight close to Orcival is the Chateau de Cordès, dating from the 12th - 17th centuries and also featuring impressive French-style gardens designed by the renowned La Nôtre in 1695 (limited opening, May-September certain days and times only).
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Map of Orcival and places to visit
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Address: Orcival, Rochefort-Montagne, Clermont-Ferrand, Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne, 63210, France || GPS: latitude 45.6842, longitude 2.8425
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardins de Cordès: remarkable garden
- Eglise de Notre Dame (Orcival): religious monument (2 km)
- Lac du Guery: site of natural beauty (8 km)
- Banne d'Ordanche: site of natural beauty (10 km)
- Eglise de Notre Dame (Saint-Nectaire): religious monument (14 km)
- Puy de Dome: grand site of france (14 km)
- Puy de Sancy: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Eglise de Saint Léger (Royat): religious monument (18 km)
- Eglise Notre Dame (Saint-Saturnin): religious monument (19 km)
- Saint-Saturnin: most beautiful village (20 km)
- Jardins du château de la Batisse: remarkable garden (20 km)
- Jardins du château d'Opme: remarkable garden (21 km)
The French version of this page is at Orcival (Francais)