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Billom travel guide

Photo of Billom in Massif Central (Auvergne region)
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Visit Billom (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France)

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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.

Explore Billom

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.

Colombage houses in Billom

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.

Billom town centre

Places to Visit Nearby

Thiers with its medieval centre and 'valley of the factories' is nearby. The Livradois-Forez Naturel Parc is a beautiful area of unspoilt French countryside well worth exploring.

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.

You can find more travel ideas in the Puy-de-Dome guide and the Auvergne guide.

See also: 

Photos of Billom

Click any picture to start the gallery

  • belltower
  • colombage-facades
  • fountain
  • town-centre-1
  • town-centre-2
  • town-centre-3
  • town-centre-4
  • townhall

Map of Billom and places nearby

Visit near Billom with France This Way reviews

Montpeyroux

Montpeyroux

Montpeyroux is a small village now listed among the 'most beautiful in France' and very pleasant to explore

Montpeyroux guide
Courpiere

Courpiere

Once home to Coco Chanel, Courpiere is a village in the Livradois-Forez natural park

Courpiere guide
Sauxillanges

Sauxillanges

The principal monuments in Sauxillanges, the monastery and the castle, are not open to the public but the village is still pleasant for a look when you are in the region

Sauxillanges guide
Saint-Saturnin

Saint-Saturnin

With ancient narrow streets, an imposing church and its position on the side of a steep valley Saint-Saturnin is among our favourite Auvergne villages

Saint-Saturnin guide
Clermont-Ferrand basilica

Clermont-Ferrand basilica

The basilica of Notre-Dame-du-Port in Clermont-Ferrand is one of the most important romanesque churches in the Auvergne

Clermont-Ferrand basilica guide
Issoire

Issoire

Best known for its romanesque church, Issoire is a very pleasant and unspoiled town to explore

Issoire guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Puy-de-Dome

Address: Billom, Clermont-Ferrand, Auvergne, 63160, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.7197, longitude 3.3382

Plan your visit to Billom, Puy-de-Dome

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)

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