Artonne is a town of Puy-de-Dôme, in region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, 16 kilometers northeast of Riom.
Ranging from 334 to 532 meters, the territory of 17 square kilometers belongs to the natural region of Limagne, vast plain of Auvergne center extending from either side of the valley of the Allier.
On the same Artonne, the landscape is divided into several parts: old marshes dried up and now grown up one hand a space facing the course of the Morge and dominate the other previously covered hillside vineyards, dotted with sometimes wooded bluffs or rocky.
As of medieval fortified village then develops, first part of the county of Auvergne and the Principality of Montpensier before 1531 to the Revolution, the land of Artonne are administered by the Duchy of Bourbon.
With to date nearly 900 inhabitants, the area is now labeled Small City of Character because of its varied heritage (Collegiate, fountains), its flowered streets and quaint lined with old houses and even stone walls. An undeniable charm that complement a protected environment and promoted as well as magnificent views of the volcanos: a step is needed!
On the Heritage Plan, the town has several buildings protected as historical monuments that punctuate pleasantly discovery ride.
Listed in 1886, the Saint Martin church is Romanesque and dates from the eleventh and twelfth centuries for its oldest parts. Long of 50 m, it is composed of three aisles, a bedside ambulatory - typical pilgrim churches - and chapels. We particularly note the choir level the amazing bench-chest which is integral with the wall upon which the columns. Those that form the chamber are decorated with massive capitals.
Note that the radial arch of the nave has not novels arches. Right, external buttresses were raised in the fifteenth century, and the left aisle, however, retained Carolingian elements.
On the right side, an opening overlooking the old chapter house, the only vestige of the monastery which adjoined the church, which then had the collegiate ranks.
As for the tower formerly located at the crossing, destroyed during the Revolution, it was moved. The current date of 1960, with an arrow neo-Romanesque.
Remains of the ancient medieval walls and gates (some still visible in part, as the western gate of the Grande Rue and the Ussels Boulevard on the north side) still mark a walk in the town.
In some streets of the town and in the surrounding countryside, the wine had also left evidence: small isolated huts in the vineyards but also specific houses of winemakers, with external staircase for access to the house because the ground floor housed cellar and winery.
Interest heritage elements even with the many fountains and wash houses, which were located on the town (there are 14 sources). It remains 16 fountains (two of them, the twelfth century, are listed, instead Montjoly and High Street) and four laundries.
Also mention many cross roads, sheltered statues in niches, dovecotes and finally the Castle Orchard, high noble residence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries recently listed on the Inventory.
Several marked trails are available to walkers and hikers to explore the town. And include the urban route and its ten points of interest to fully appreciate the small town character, the circuit dedicated to the fountains, the one following the course of the long Morge 7km where several mills were once located and which is this tree-lined, and finally the 10 km loop which includes hills still staked orchards, and which connects the peaks of the county. Maps and information +33 4 73 33 30 52 or +33 4 73 38 59 45.
Note also that more than 70 km of trails specifically designed for mountain bikers are also available to visitors.
For rides larger or devoted to natural resources, the local heritage or protected areas for biodiversity are also noted the discovery of Puy Saint John (three hectares classified Natura 2000 where for example we see a former oppidum a marl extraction site feeding a lime kiln), the Puy de Bedeuil, culmination of Artonne planted black pine since 2011 and that of the top of the cross Palm. Information +33 4 73 33 30 52 or +33 4 73 38 59 45.