Clermont-Ferrand is one of the major cities in Auvergne, France. It is located within the district of Puy-de-Dôme. Clermont-Ferrand covers 43 sq km (16 sq mi) and has a population of 141,000 people (2012 estimate), with a surrounding metropolitan population of 410,000 people.
Clermont-Ferrand is situated in the Chaîne des Puys region, which contains a string of volcanoes. Perhaps the most popular and tallest of these is Puy-de-Dôme, a dormant volcano. The city is also noted for being the corporate headquarters of the tyre company Michelin which was founded here over a hundred years ago.
Human habitation in the Clermont-Ferrand area has been traced back to prehistory. It is believed to be among the oldest cities in France. It was first mentioned as Nemessos by Greek geographer Strabo. The Arverni chieftain Vercingetorix was born in the area around 72 BC. He would grow up to stage a resistance against Roman invasion of Gaul. After the Romans succeeded in conquering the area, the city was given the name Augustonemetum, which combines the name of Emperor Augustus with the name Nemessos.
The name Clermont, or rather Clairmont, first appeared in AD 848, when the city took on the name of the castle Clarus Mons. Much later, in 1731, the episcopal town of Montferrand was merged with Clermont, creating the town of Clermont-Ferrand under a decree by the French king Louis XIII and confirmed by Louis XV.
How to go to Clermont-Ferrand
You can reach Clermont-Ferrand by train from Paris, Lyon and other major cities of France. If going there by car, take the A10 (E5) expressway out of Paris heading southwest then south (E5). At the city of Orleans, continue south on the A71 (E9) until you reach Clermont-Ferrand.
Places of Interest in Clermont-Ferrand
- Église Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes
- Musée Bargoin
- Musée d’art Roger-Quilliot
- Opéra municipal de Clermont-Ferrand
- Place de Jaude
- Statue of General Desaix
- Statue of Vercingetorix