Travel in France, Bourges to Clermont Ferrand

We need to get on the road! Day 3 of Travel in France was the journey from Bourges to Clermont Ferrand, via Apremont-sur-Allier – an incredible day!

Avaricum was an Oppidum with a population of c.40,000 people who, during the Gallic Wars of 52BC, assured the warrior, Vercingétorix , who was leading the rebellion against the Romans, that they could defend the city against Caesar. This was not the case and the population was slaughtered. They gave their name, Bituriges, to the town which eventually was rebuilt, Bourges. I could explore these ideas for a long time!

The day started with a walk in the Pres Fichaux adjacent to the Hotel de Bourbon, previously the Abbey of Saint Croix.

Pres Fichaux, Bourges

Pres Fichaux, Bourges

A drive through quiet countryside led to Apremont-sur-Allier, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France. In Mediaeval times this was a village sustained by quarrying. The stones were transported on barges and mainly used for religious buildings, so the stone must have been of very high quality. The village was restored by Eugène Schneider.

The Allier at Apremont-sur-Allier

The Allier at Apremont-sur-Allier

Several wonderful hours in the Parc Floral followed.

Parc Floral, Apremont-sur-Allier

Parc Floral, Apremont-sur-Allier

The road led onwards, through rolling hills alongside the Allier River, past lots of very fierce-looking charolais, and a bird, with a final view of the river before heading to the motorway and Clermont Ferrand.

The Allier River

The Allier River

Clermont Ferrand was the destination in order to see the black cathedral, but by the time we had booked into the hotel the cathedral was closed and I only saw the outside – clearly I had to return the following morning!

Notre Dame de l'Assomption

Notre Dame de l’Assomption

Notre Dame de l'Assomption

Notre Dame de l’Assomption

Notre Dame de l'Assomption

Notre Dame de l’Assomption

I had heard about the Church of Notre Dame du Port and luckily it was still open. What a wonderful gift at the end of the day – the most beautiful building I have ever seen – here is just a hint.

Notre Dame du Port

Notre Dame du Port

And the sights after dinner.

IMG_8675

Vercingetorix

Vercingetorix

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