Built 1050 m above sea level on a lava flow, this busy market town in the charming, convivial and festive which combine daily, is part of an extraordinary natural setting.
A little history ...
The origin of Besse is yet to be elucidated: there are perhaps 1,000 years, Besse dependent on another more important place: Chandesse (the present hamlet of Chandèze). In medieval times, Besse says its location to stage relay, market, fair (skins, mountain cheeses are exchanged against the grain, fruit, wine valleys and Palines).
In 1270, the burghers of Besse bought the lord of La Tour d'Auvergne their communal charter. The town was modernized at the option of new styles: Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance. The 18th century saw the famine and the Revolution. It allowed our ancestors to dispose of part of the city walls or cross to the other side.
The dishes of the country inns and restaurants of the Sancy offer a wide selection of dishes: Auvergne stew, truffles, stuffed cabbage, pounti (sort of savory flan with prunes), sausages with lentils, or steak of Salers in Bleu d'Auvergne, pie Saint-Nectaire or 3 Cheese. Not to mention the wild mushrooms (porcini, chanterelles, sheepsfoot ...) Arctic char, trout river, blue, or simply grilled with bacon. And for dessert, after the Auvergne cheeses: blueberry pie, apple pumps or simply fresh wild berries (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, blackberries).
The Holy nectary: local cheese par excellence, produced in the heart of Sancy and into the Cantal. Made from raw milk, this cheese is an uncooked pressed and rind. Its special flavor, a nutty flavor, comes from the quality and variety of grass which the cows feed on the summer pastures. The Holy nectary is round and flat, and measures 21 cm in diameter. It is a place throughout the meal: soup, soufflés, salads, truffles. It is produced either dairy (milk Saint-Nectaire), either on the farm (Saint-Nectaire farmer).
Other cheeses may surprise you, as Lavaur the Gaperon, Fourme de Rochefort, or Cabecou ...
The cured: Firm, pink, dry, Auvergne ham is salted with dry salt and dried extensively at altitude, where the air is purer. Pure pork dry sausage and dried sausage have a long period of drying and refining.
Regional Products: The volume of fresh brioche sweet or savory - pies Auvergne cheeses - Tripoux (made from veal and mutton, tripe are accompanied by a delicious broth made of jelly and herbs ) - Jams - Liqueurs - Honey - Sweets - Traditional dishes ...
Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise: Village of Art and History. Medieval and Renaissance Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise reflects a rich architectural and historical past. Narrow, cobbled streets, shops, mansions of the 12th and 16th centuries, belfry listed building are the main witnesses. Linked to the history of France and the monarchy (Queen Margot has left its mark), the city bessarde has long been one of the strongholds of the Medicis.
Church of Saint Andrew:
Built on a lava flow, it dominates the surrounding room.
This is a building stone lava somewhat hybrid, partly Romanesque, from the late 12th century nave with narrow aisles and transept with a dome over the crossing. The choir dating from 1555 was restored in the 19th century (1822) with the establishment of an apse. The side chapels are 17th and 18th century.
The interior is quite dark, with narrow aisles. The capitals of quality, are decorated with foliage or historiated (meals and Poor Rich's death, crucifixion of St. Andrew, curious scene of sacrifice, monkey trainers ...). 16th century stalls in the choir (beautiful mercies) and behind the high altar, the venerated statue of the Virgin of Our Lady of Vassivière throne in the church during the snowy season.
Lost in the mountains, it was home to the Black Madonna Vassivière.
The Chapel Vassivière since the 16th century is a place of pilgrimage to pray the Our Lady was Vassivière. This site brings us back to the history of Auvergne and France of the 16th century: at that time troubled by religious wars, the land was owned by Catherine de Medici. According to legend, the source below the chapel was blessed in 1656: its waters could be employed for any secular use. The Celts had built there a temple to the goddess of rivers and fountains: Vassivière name comes from "going iver": the Water Temple.
Walk "to discover Besse": Roundtrip from the church (about 1h).
The church: the building of the 12th century remain the nave with narrow aisles and transept with a dome over the crossing. The side chapels are 17th and 18th centuries. The choir's 16th ends with an apse (added in 1822) to receive the winter transhumant the statue of Our Lady of Vassivière, a small black Madonna.
Follow the walkway to the left.
Note the Bailiff's Castle, former residence of the judge who represented the Justice Lords of La Tour d'Auvergne.
Turn left into the Saint John.
Reach the Pipet up Dr. lined with houses built in medieval times: main windows overlooking the square, not door to the arms of coats of arms of noble families as believed the revolutionaries, but of bourgeois or brotherhoods.
Cross the square and take the lane in front of the house called Butcher.
Up the narrow street paved and admire the house of Queen Margot: Does this house sheltered space of one night the daughter of Catherine de Medici when she fled her husband Henri IV, between Beam and his castle 'Usson?
Going up to the peerage, noted at the bottom of the plot a house dated 1619.
Go to the Belfry (mid 15th century, restored several times).
Join the church.
In the village of Besse, in one of the most beautiful vaulted rooms of the Maison de la Reine Margot, just follow the guided tour by the creator of the museum.
On the Origin of skiing, 2500 BC, on his accession to Besse in the early 20th century, an interesting collection of wooden skis, collected throughout Europe, after 15 years of passionate research, you will be presented and that a variety of materials and suitable for sports (sledding, ice skating, bobsleigh, luge, shoes ...). Posters and photos.
The Farm Boinchoux:
Go back in time ... And enter in the privacy of this farm Auvergne early 19th century. You'll find the charm with gruff tenderness of our great grandparents and their taste for good things.
For an hour, the farm will come alive for you to relive the daily life in design of Martha and Gaston. The attic of the barn, through the common room, discover the ancient traditions, stories sung in dialect and the manufacture of the holy nectary! This is the unforgettable past that has transcended time and relive Farm Boinchoux.
Located Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise - Path Olpilière.
Beautiful fountains "renaissance" in the squares.
Winter sports resort 7 km (Super-Besse): downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, tubbing ...
The natural heritage:
Crater Lake Pavin and Montchal: The geological history of the region ends by volcanic activity group Pavin. The eruption of Pavin 6,000 years ago is the latest known in France. This is a phreatomagmatic eruption. The water and magma gave an explosive nature of this activity, so a crater 92 meters deep and 1000 m in diameter was formed, accompanied by a dense cloud composed of particles of lava having covered 95 km ². The explosion crater called Maar is currently occupied by Lake Pavin.
Depth of Concern: Pit houses an underground lake (Puy de chimney side Montchal).
Louis Perrier at Besse Park.
Visits to farms with production of Saint-Nectaire.
House of the Bee: Learn all about the world of bees. A Besse, the Villetour, the Maison de l'Abeille you to discover the work of extraction and honey bee behavior in contact with the beekeeper, the glass hives, making gingerbread, of Tomme honey bun, with soap or candy, a video film.
Visit a pottery studio (working at the plate, pigeon, glazed lava, counter enamel, raku, plates).
Leisure activities for children. Besse is labeled Family Plus Mountain.
Horse farm (lessons for children, baby pony, indoor arena, riding and hiking).