Billom, Puy-de-Dome tourism & sightseeing
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Billom is a pleasant small town in the Puy-de-Dome department and Auvergne region of southern France. The town is on the western edge of the Livadois-Forez Regional Park and is close to Ambert and Thiers.
In the centre of Billom are some attractive half-timber buildings built in the 15th and 16th centuries. Originally these would have been open at the bottom forming arcades where the shops would have displayed their wares. Each upper floor tends to overhang slightly the floor below helping to protect the wood from the rain.
From its beginnings Billom was an important market town in the area, indeed its Celtic name is Biliomagus with the "mag" meaning market. The market still takes place every Monday morning and is a particularly good time to visit.
The 'foire à l'ail rose' or garlic market which takes place during the second weekend of August is a time when the town is particularly animated.
Of particular interest as you explore Billom are the medieval gateways which once provided openings through the defensive enclosure. The remaining two are on the rue de l'Eveche and the rue des Boucheries. The Rue des Boucheries is one of the main streets of medieval Billom and the maison du Boucher (no. 5), the maison du 'Doyen' (no. 20) and the Maison du 'Bailli' (no. 19) are particularly worth looking at.
In the church of Saint Cerneuf take a look at the grills surrounding the choir as these date to the 12th century and are among the most important in the centre of France. They have 13 different patterns.
Also in the historic heart of Billom you can see the hexaganol bell-tower with its campanile and the maison de 'l'Echevin' on rue Pertuybout. This house once belonged to one of the notables of the town and is built around an inner courtyard.
Outside of the medieval centre in the quartier known as 'Billom Savante' you will find the Porte de l'Eveche and the Maison du Chapitre with its lovely arched doorways and small central windows providing evidence of the stairway on the inside.
On Rue du College are the buildings of the 'College des Jesuits' . Enter through the cour de Valmy following the 'tresorerie' sign to get close to the College.
Places to Visit Nearby
Billom is one of twelve villages in the park which have been selected for extensive research by historians, writers and artists and detailed guides are available for all of these. These are: Billom, Chateldon, Thiers, Courpiere, Olliergues, Ambert, Viverols, La Chaise-Dieu, Allegre, Auzon and Sauxillanges.
By following a circular route to see all the villages you get to see the many different aspects of the park from the gentle countryside in the West around Billom to the beginnings of the volcanic area to the south-east.
Map of Billom and places nearby
Visit near Billom with France This Way reviews
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Address: Billom, Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, 63160, France || GPS: latitude 45.7197, longitude 3.3382
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Aulteribe Chateau: national monument (14 km)
- Montpeyroux: most beautiful village (15 km)
- Jardins du château d'Opme: remarkable garden (18 km)
- Jardins du château de la Batisse: remarkable garden (19 km)
- Cathédrale Notre Dame de l'Assomption (Clermont-ferrand): religious monument (19 km)
- Saint-Saturnin: most beautiful village (20 km)
- Clermont-Ferrand église Notre-Dame-du-Port (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (20 km)
- Jardins du château d'Hauterive: remarkable garden (21 km)
- Issoire: recommended detour (21 km)
- Eglise de Saint Austremoine d'Issoire (Issoire): religious monument (21 km)
- Clermont-Ferrand: secteur sauvegarde (21 km)
- Eglise Notre Dame (Saint-Saturnin): religious monument (21 km)
Market days in Billom, France
Regular market(s) are held in Billom each Monday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Billom (Francais)