Riom, Auvergne: tourism & sightseeing
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Riom is a quiet provincial town in the Puy-de-Dome department, in the Auvergne region of central France a short distance north of Clermont-Ferrand.
A town with a long history, Riom was capital of the Auvergne through the Middle Ages and as a result there is a significant architectural heritage to visit, particularly of interesting Renaissance period buildings.
The historical centre is clearly designated - although the original ramparts for the town have long since disappeared, they have been replaced by a ring of broad boulevards that now encircle the region of interest to visitors. Start your tour of Riom old town along the streets called Rue de l'Horloge, Rue de l'Hotel de Ville and rue du Commerce.
The first monument you will notice is the clocktower. This is an imposing stone monument built in the renaissance period and the most easily recognisable monument in the town, with the tower topped by a dome supported on eight columns. Ascend the tower (bring your climbing legs) for great views across the city rooftops from the viewing platform at the top.
Next stop, we suggest you visit the important religious monuments in the town:
- the Saint-Amable Basilica, a gothic style church built in the 12th-13th century
- the Church of Notre-Dame du Marthuret, originally built in the 14th century but much modified in the 19th century, in which the main highlights are the 16th century stained glass windows and the statue of the Virgin in the entrance
- you can also see Sainte Chapelle, the only remaining building of what was once a Grand Duke's palace on the edge of a well maintained park and also notable for its 15th century stained glass windows
The Town Hall in Riom, once a fine townhouse for a member of the local nobility, holds an artistic secret: enter the interior courtyard to see two busts of local dignitaries by Auguste Rodin. Other notable townhouses include the Hotel Arnoux de Maison Rouge and the Hotel Soubrany, each with ornate carvings around the door and windows.
The Consuls House is the only remaining half-timbered house in Riom, and dates from the 15th century. Elsewhere in the town you will see various other items of interest, such as fountains, statues and ornamental doorways: the town map from the tourist office contains details of these and many other small highlights.
Note: in the cemetery at Riom there is an unusual war memorial, paying tribute to those who were shot as pacifists, or in order to set an example to the other troops. This kind of memorial is very rare in France (and elsewhere).
There are two notable museums in Riom - the 'Regional Museum of the Auvergne', and the Francisque Mandet Museum of Fine Arts (which also has an attractive courtyard)
The weekly market in Riom takes place on a Saturday, in the Place de la Federation - while here tear yourself away from the market stalls for a moment to admire the obelisk and the old wheat hall in the square.
Photos of Riom
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Map of Riom and places to visit
Visit near Riom with France This Way reviews
... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Puy-de-Dome
Riom has received the following tourist classifications: listed town of Art and History ; historical protected town centre' (secteur sauvegardé)
Address: Riom, Puy-de-Dome, Auvergne, 63200, France || GPS: latitude 45.894, longitude 3.1133
Plan your visit to Riom, Auvergne
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Abbatial church de Saint Pierre de Mozac (Mozac): religious monument
- Mozac: town of art and history (3km)
- Marsat: town of art and history (3km)
- Parc du château de Blanzat: remarkable garden (8km)
- Collégiale Saint-Victor et Sainte-Couronne d'Ennezat (Ennezat): religious monument (10km)
- Cathédrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Clermont-ferrand): religious monument (11km)
- Clermont-Ferrand église Notre-Dame-du-Port (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (13km)
- Clermont-Ferrand: secteur sauvegarde (13km)
- Eglise de Saint Léger (Royat): religious monument (15km)
- Puy de Dome: grand site of france (18km)
- Jardins du château d'Opme: remarkable garden (18km)
- Jardins du château de la Batisse: remarkable garden (22km)
Market days in Riom, France
Regular market(s) are held in Riom each Wednesday & Saturday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Riom (Francais)