Above the Maronne Valley, in the Auvergne Volcanoes Regional Nature Park, lies Salers, once a magnificent medieval town and now listed among the most beautiful villages of France.
In the Middle Ages, the locality was protected by a rampart, as evidenced by the Belfry Gate and the Martille Gate, the only remaining parts of it. The 15th-century belfry, which was one of the four entrances to the city and is also known as the Clocktower, now overlooks a shopping street. At the end of the 15th century, Salers acquired the status of administrative centre of the Hautes-Montagnes d'Auvergne bailiwick. Bourgeois families settled there and had some beautiful buildings with turrets erected: the Bargues House, with its finely carved lava stone balcony; the Commander of Mossier's Renaissance house, known as the Templars' House, with its Gothic gallery and symbolic sculptures, which houses the Museum of Salers History and Popular Traditions; the La Ronade House, whose foundations date back to the 13th century; the Flogeac House and its turret with cut-off corners; the so-called Bailiwick House and its two corbelled towers; the Blaud-Lacombe House, the Bertrandy House or the so-called Templars' House… The civil architecture is characterised by black volcanic stone buildings, with flagstone roofs. Place Tyssandier-d'Escous looks like a real picture postcard, lined with Renaissance homes in the Haute-Auvergne style!
Salers also has a rich religious heritage: the Church of St. Matthew, a listed Historic Monument, contains some beautiful Aubusson tapestries from the 17th century, as well as a polychrome statue of the Burial of Jesus dating from 1495.
Not far from there, from the Barrouze esplanade, visitors will appreciate the magnificent views of the Mounts of Cantal, as well as the Maronne, Rat and Aspre valleys!
In the surrounding area, towards the Pas de Peyrol, be sure to stop by the Chapel of Our Lady of Loreto. A place of pilgrimage, the Neo-Byzantine building dates back to the 19th century.
Salers has a breed of cow named after it, the emblem of the region. It is also home to the famous Salers cheese: both are celebrated on Cow and Cheese Day in August. There is also a visitor attraction dedicated to the famous cheese: Les Burons du Salers, 3 kilometres from the village, on the Puy Mary road, where you can not only taste Salers cheese but also sample the Salers aperitif, made from gentian roots.