The birthplace of Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, the famous French gastronome and author of the famous Physiology of Taste, the town of Belley, the historic capital of Bugey and bishop's palace from the 5th century onwards, has a rich religious past. Its neo-gothic style Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, largely rebuilt in the 19th century, has retained the northern door of the old 12th-century cathedral. Boasting a tall bell tower with a porch reaching a height of forty metres, the building contains beautiful 19th-century murals, a 15th-century chancel, an 18th-century marble statue of the Virgin and a reliquary containing the relics of St. Anthelme, Bishop of Belley in the 12th century.
Near to the cathedral stands the old Episcopal palace, an elegant building in the classical style dating from the 18th century, which nowadays contains the municipal library. This pretty park is ideal for a leisurely stroll and offers a beautiful view of the chevet of the cathedral and the roofs of the old town.
Then head to Place des Terreaux, with its 19th-century fountain, and Grande Rue, with its old houses, including the birthplace of Brillat-Savarin and the Hotel du Bailliage, the headquarters of Belley Lower Bugey Tourist Office.
Lovers of regional produce should not miss Belley market, which takes place every Saturday morning on Grande Rue and Place des Terreaux!