Clermont-Ferrand

Though its present vision is quite contemporary looking, the town has vast background going back to ancient times. Clermond was first mentioned in the writings of Greek geographers and later on was the site of battles against the Roman invaders for the independence of Gallia. The famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal made one of his most important experiments here - he tested the hypothesis of Torricelli by running all the distance from the town to Puy-to-Dome.

The city today is a fascinating modern center, which has charmingly incorporated its long historical past in the unique perspective of the surrounding landscapes. Industrial suburbs and modern entertainment, business and sports facilities assure it the reputation of a prosperous urban center. There is a university attracting French and international students in the heart of Auvergne. The city center keeps the memories of glorious times, especially on the Place de Jaude with the huge statue of Vincingetorix, the great leader of Gallia's resistance. The statue was created by Bartholdi, the author of the world-famous Statue of Liberty. There is an impressive gothic cathedral, Notre Dame de l'Assomption and a beautiful old church called Notre Dame du Port. Clermont-Ferrand hosts various artistic events the most popular of which is  the annual short film festival that has had its 25th edition recently. With lots of students in it, the city has young heart and fresh spirit, best sensed in the small pubs and charming restaurants, the bars and the nightclubs. And besides its industrial look it is hospitable, in the French way, with a warm welcome from the depth of the volcano heart of Auvergne.