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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Puy-de-Dôme

Riom - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Puy-de-Dôme

Riom is an elegant Town of Art and History and the former capital of the Duchy of Auvergne. Its historic centre has preserved much architectural evidence of its prestigious past, including the 16th-century town hall (Hôtel de Ville) with an attractive inner courtyard, the Flamboyant Gothic Sainte-Chapelle (holy chapel) with 15th-century stained-glass windows, the Hôtel Guymoneau mansion and its staircase with finely-detailed carvings, the clock tower (Tour de l'Horloge), which offers a beautiful panoramic view over the town roofs and the surrounding area, and Notre-Dame-du-Marthuret church, which contains a notable statue of The Virgin with a Bird.

Also not to be missed are the Mandet museum for its collections of paintings, sculptures, decorative objets d'art, gold- and silverware and ceramics, and the Auvergne regional museum, which focuses on 19th-century Auvergne folk arts and traditions.

Additional information

Town of Puy-de-Dôme, Auvergne, Riom is part of the urban area of ​​Clermont-Ferrand. Third city of the department, it is ideally situated between the Puys and the famous plain of Limagne.

Historic capital of Auvergne from the thirteenth century, was ranked Riom conservation area and designated center of the country of art and history Riom the mid-2000s its exceptional heritage which many elements are classified historic monument or historic monument, the city abounds site to discover that recall the important hours of the Auvergne city.

Elegant, the city does not know less festive and colorful events throughout the year, and attractive history lovers as lovers of warm and friendly festival.

Its location, near waterfalls gorges of Enval, also earned him an excellent reputation for its landscapes and hikes through the green and unspoilt nature. Difficult to resist the appeal of volcanoes and royal history Riom!

A few kilometers north of Clermont-Ferrand, its larger neighbor to the edge of the volcanos along the plain of Limagne, the area of ​​hills where Riom developed early plays an attractive role for men as evidenced by the discovery of prehistoric material. The menhir of la Varenne, testified as any megalith of human influence on nature and probably marked the limit of territory along the former marshes and was also perhaps a religious function.

In Gallo-Roman times, the town of Arverne Ricomagnum, economic center with important business functions becomes the Vicus Ricomagensis enjoying an advantageous location on the road linking Claudia Augusto-Nemetum (Clermont-Ferrand) for Avaricum (Bourges). Riom is then used for agricultural purposes without agglomeration fortifications which became known in the late fourth century the seat of a vast primitive parish. No vestige of that era is visible in the old city but the Gallo-Roman settlement is attested by the presence of villae in the nearby countryside.

The early medieval town protected by a count's castle, focuses around an ecclesial group, founded in the fifth century by Saint-Amable. Then there is a pilgrimage to the relics of the saint enhances its reputation and raises its development.

In the thirteenth century, these economic and religious functions is added prestige of an administrative and judicial center when Riom is chosen as the capital of the Royal Lands of Auvergne. Then open both good times those of appanages Alphonse de Poitiers (1241 - 1271) and Jean de Berry (1365-1416). The first alters its topography and gives it its current frame that can unite the primitive urban core to the new castle further east. The second, Jean de Berry, had built the Ducal Palace and the Sainte-Chapelle.

After the prerogative of the Bourbons (1416 - 1527), Riom returns to the crown. It is the seat of the royal courts.

In these times of urban change, the power of the bourgeois states through franchising Charter (1270). They are building in the heart of the city, the belfry (1391) to house the bell and consular jacquemart offered by Jean de Berry. The buildings have a fairly complete panorama of art since the Middle Ages coexist Romanesque architecture of the chapel Saint-Don, the late Romanesque and Gothic infancy in northern Saint-Amable and Gothic abbey the Sainte Chapelle also known for its windows. The Notre-Dame-du-Marthuret is the most northernmost example of Languedoc Gothic and retains the statue of the Virgin to the bird. Regarding civil architecture, rare remains of berries or arcades allow to imagine some beautiful stone houses. As for the wooden house, it is the only evidence of this type of medieval settlement disappeared during the fire in the late fifteenth century.

Renaissance is marked by a renewal of buildings after earthquakes and fires fifteenth. The houses, built in Volvic stone on a plot thong, still medieval, offer the noblesse de robe and the bourgeoisie a pleasant living environment with gardens. The care given to the decor of course, and sometimes façades, reflects the urban development. Thus the case of Guymoneau hotel with its Ascension and cardinal virtues of the house called "consuls" with medallions and, later, the Maison Rouge Hotel Arnoux with its leather oculi. The privileged status of its sponsors is affirmed in the scale of proportions as the hotel Cériers (now Hotel de Ville). While the Saint John area reveals a more modest habitat linked to the tannery with the house called Antoine Pandu and the house of the craftsman.

After the great plague of 1630, the streets come alive and emmaillent fountains: Fountain of Adam and Eve. The enriched bourgeoisie accesses the noblesse de robe thanks to the system of the sale of offices and built hotels all imbued with classical sobriety. The canons of Saint-Amable equip their church remarkable wood paneling (1687).

In the eighteenth century, the initiative of individuals is decisive in the evolution of the urban landscape. According to their fortune, they are building homes between courtyard and garden on the Parisian model as Dufraisse Hotel du Cheix (current Mandet museum) or simply redo the building on the street like Arnoux Hotel Maison Rouge. However, in most cases, false gutter walls are plated on the sprockets. They thus mask the structures and deployed along the streets as a stage set.

During the Revolution, the city loses its title of capital. Supplanted by Clermont, Riom, now sub-prefecture, lives withdrawn into itself. But during the nineteenth century, as if to show the roots of justice in the city, we choose Riom (1804) for the construction of the Court of Appeal on the symbolic location of the Ducal Palace, seat of power and courts since Francis. For this building (1824 - 1848), architect Degeorge, student of Percier, is inspired by Roman palaces of the Second Renaissance including the Farnese Palace. All that integrates the Sainte-Chapelle, is the only major site of the old center where the houses of the nineteenth century are rare. They rise in the shade of trees on the crown of boulevards. In the eastern districts, the tobacco factory (1883) presents a fine example of industrial architecture. The second half of the century also saw the founding of the Museum (1859) by Francisque Mandet which together with the Friends of the museum an interesting collection of amateurs.

The early twentieth century bears the imprint of Etienne Clémentel (1904 - 1935) with the restoration of the City Hall, the construction of the station (1913) and social housing such as Clémentel city (1933).

The city today is facing its extension and parallel to this urbanization, the protected area combines protection and enhancement. Thus, the intervention in the Northern districts with sports and leisure facilities in conjunction with the creation of the high school Marie Laurencin (1990) doubles the maintenance of school life in old center with the rehabilitation of Michel College of Hospital (1992) in the former college of the Oratory.

Museums of Auvergne (1969) and Mandet, renovated and expanded in 1983, enabling it to play a role in regional cultural landscape. It also welcomes recent creations whether in cultural structures, binders funds and contemporary decorative arts in the city, Porte de Rougemont (1997).

Things to see and do

Classified protected area, the downtown Riom full of buildings to discover and admire.

Once surrounded by ramparts demolished shortly before the French Revolution, the ancient center of Riom continues to reveal its wonders to visitors. Eighteenth century mansions alongside magnificent buildings like the House of the Consuls. The latter, built in the sixteenth century is named after the terracotta medallions that adorn its facade on arcades. One can discover the most beautiful residences at the crossroads of Taules, where the main streets of lead Riom. Octagonal tower of Riom Clock is also an absolute must in the city. It hosts an exhibition on the heritage of the city, accompanied by a tactile model. From its terrace we reached after about 130 steps, it offers an exceptional view of Riom and surroundings. Do not miss also, the fountain of Adam and Eve with beautiful caryatids, the most famous of Riom.

Religious buildings abound in Riom, and they are beautiful. The Notre-Dame-du-Marthuret can admire beautiful stained glass windows, and a Virgin with Bird of the fourteenth century. Only remains of the castle of Duke Jean de Berry, the Sainte-Chapelle Riom is attached to the city courthouse and has some beautiful stained glass windows of the fifteenth century.

The Saint-Amable basilica, whose eponymous saint is celebrated every year, harmoniously blends Romanesque and Gothic styles, for a lovely set.

The Auvergne Regional Museum is one of the main cultural attractions of Riom. Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions, it allows to discover fine collections of instruments, rural tools, furniture, costumes or sets.

Housed in the Dufraisse hotel, built in the early eighteenth century, the Mandet museum presents to the public collections of paintings of Flemish schools, Dutch and French seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Richard donation is also available in the museum, including the silverware, ceramic or weapons.

Places of interest

Information points
Leisure centres
Performance halls

Events and festivities

With a royal past of the capital of Auvergne, Riom is a city that knows how to animate regularly offering fairs, markets or other events to ignite the streets of the old center.

Throughout the year, a market takes place on Saturday morning, not far from City Hall and under the market regarding food.

Every summer the town holds its summer season Shards Day. On this occasion, street performances, concerts, circus performances are held from early July to late August. Exhibitions of all kinds and film screenings are also offered during the season.

Up to the carnival of Saint Amable in Winter Pre-Madame mid to late October. Roundabouts, restorations stalls and other events are scheduled. In June, the summer Saint Amable is also organized on the same model. On these occasions, fairs and stalls with many other traders are also available.

In December, place Riom Country Fest. Illuminations are installed around the city, while costumed parades and nightly performances of acrobatics, etc. are presented in the streets of the city Auvergne.


View Riom from the Clock Tower
View Riom from the Clock Tower
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