Auvergne is a region of France located in the Massif Central. It is known for its unique natural and cultural heritage, as well as for its renowned culinary specialties. Here is an overview of what this region has to offer.
The history of Auvergne dates back to Roman times, when the region was known as Arvernie. It was then governed by the counts of Auvergne, before being integrated into the kingdom of France in 1531. Today, Auvergne is divided into four departments: Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Puy de Dome.
The natural heritage of Auvergne is impressive, with its mountains, volcanoes and lakes. The Regional Natural Park of the Volcanoes of Auvergne, created in 1977, is one of the largest natural parks in France and offers a variety of landscapes to discover. Auvergne's volcanoes, including Puy de Dôme, Puy de Sancy and Cantal, offer spectacular hikes and breathtaking views. Lac Pavin, located in the Puy-de-Dôme, is another natural site not to be missed. Surrounded by forests and hills, it is considered one of the most beautiful crater lakes in Europe.
Auvergne is also rich in cultural heritage, with its Romanesque churches, castles and medieval villages. The city of Clermont-Ferrand, located in Puy-de-Dôme, is the cultural center of the region and is home to the famous Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption cathedral. The Château de Murol, located in the Volcans d'Auvergne Regional Natural Park, is another must-see site. Built in the 13th century, it offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Finally, Auvergne cuisine is renowned for its richness and variety. Traditional dishes, such as pounti (a kind of terrine with herbs and prunes), aligot (mashed potatoes with garlic and cheese), truffade (fried potatoes and cheese) and Auvergne hotpot (a meat and vegetable dish), are unmissable. Cheeses, such as Bleu d'Auvergne and Saint-Nectaire, are also very popular.
In conclusion, Auvergne is a region to discover for its spectacular natural landscapes, its rich cultural heritage and its tasty cuisine. Whether you love hiking, history or gastronomy, Auvergne will charm you.