Auvergne, at the very centre of France, still bears visible marks of having been shaped by volcanic activity. The region has breathtaking landscapes of green mountains and wild gorges as well as a rich heritage of Romanesque churches and magnificent castles. Clermont-Ferrand is one of France’s oldest cities and is thought to be the birthplace of Vercingetorix. The departments in Auvergne are: Allier, Cantal, Haute-Loire and Puy-de-dôme.
On the summit of a volcanic mountain, the Puy de Dôme, the Romans built a temple and dedicated it to their god Mercury. Besides the elevated Roman archaeology, the summit offers expansive views of the Chaîne des Puys - a 40 km chain of volcanic cinder cones, lava domes and maars. A Roman road is still used today to ascend the volcano by foot. There is no need to worry about the volcano, as its last eruption is thought to have been in about 5,760 BC ... read more.
The Musée Bargoin was founded following a legacy to the city of Clermont-Ferrand by Jean-Baptiste Bargoin. Originally intended to be a fine arts museum, it opened in 1903 with a considerable collection of artefacts collected from a number of archaeological sites from around the region. Permanent displays in the museum deal with prehistory of the area, from the Stone Age to the Gallo-Roman Period. The museum has a new, extensive permanent exhibition on votive offerings of the Roman period. [Website]
The following guidebooks for Auvergne are available on Amazon.com (see the same set of books on Amazon.co.uk):
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