Saint-Flour, Auvergne: tourism & sightseeing
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Saint-Flour is found in the Cantal department, to the south of the Auvergne region, next to the Ander River. The town is divided into two distinct parts - an upper town, situated on a rocky cliff above the river, and a lower town.
The view of the town from below is quite remarkable, with the cliffs acting as natural defences for the original medieval village.
It is the historical upper town that is interesting to visitors and where your visit will be centred. The Place des Armes is the main square in Saint Flour and has an unusual, rather sombre look because the buildings are built using the volcanic rock of the region.
The rather austere Cathedral of Saint-Pierre is in this upper town on this square, and features an unusual carved statue of Christ in black wood as well as stained glass windows, frescoes and the treaury.
Behind the cathedral and on the edge of the square there is an impressive view across the lower part of the town. To the right of the cathedral the episcopal palace now plays host to the Museum of the Haute Auvergne, while an impressive renaissance period building, the Maison Consulaire, houses the Museum of Art and History (the Douet Museum).
Radiating off the Place des Armes and the cathedral are the interesting historical streets of Saint-Flour. These streets feature some attractive buildings in the narrow streets of the old town - and also some less remarkable buildings.
Close to the Place des Armes is the Eglise Saint Vincent which is a Gothic church built in the 15th century.
Another square in the upper town is the Place de la Halle. The main building of note on the square is the Halle aux Blé which is a 14th century Gothic religious building which was converted in the 19th century into a trading point for grain. It was later again used as a covered market, a role it had until 1980.
Saturday mornings are the best day to visit Saint Flour when the streets fill with market stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables. Be sure to try the local speciality, the delicious Cantal cheeses.
Places to visit near Saint-Flour
The Gabarit Viaduct close to the town is interesting and attractive, and was constructed by Gustave Eiffel to allow trains to pass over the Truyere Gorges. Also in the Truyere gorges you can visit the 13th century Château d'Alleuze.
It is, as so often with Auvergne towns, the surrounding countryside that will attract you the most in the region, with attractive rolling hills giving way to the more dramatic landscapes of the region. The countryside heading east towards Le Puy-en-Velay through the Allier Gorges is especially noteworthy.
Photos of Saint-Flour
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Map of Saint-Flour and places to visit
Visit near Saint-Flour with France This Way reviews
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Saint-Flour is classified as a recommended detour town (plus beau detour)
Address: Saint-Flour, Cantal, Auvergne, 15100, France || GPS: latitude 45.034, longitude 3.0936
Plan your visit to Saint-Flour, Auvergne
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Mont Mouchet: site of natural beauty (23km)
- Massiac: village d'etape (25km)
- Plomb du Cantal: site of natural beauty (26km)
- Abbaye Saint-Andre (Lavaudieu): religious monument (34km)
- Basilique de Saint Julien (Brioude): religious monument (37km)
- Lavaudieu: most beautiful village (38km)
The French version of this page is at Saint-Flour (Francais)