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A vacation in the Auvergne is also a chance to discover many historical monuments and buildings. The town of Le Puy is of particular note, boasting a statue of "Notre Dame de France" and the cathedral and cloister of "Notre Dame de Puy". The unique 10th century chapel of Saint Michel d'Aiguilhe sits atop a volcanic chimney overlooking the town. In the town of Espaly-Saint-Marcel, admire the sanctuary dedicated to Saint Joseph, which contains a small chapel made of volcanic rock. The church of Saint Géraud in the town of Saint Géraud de Corps and the church of "Notre Dame aux Neiges" in Sélestat are also worth a visit if you are interested in architecture.
The Auvergne region is scattered with castles, some of which serve as accommodation for tourists. These beautiful castles date from the Middle Ages, and range from grand fortresses and sprawling country mansions to crumbling ruins. For an historical perspective explore the ancient castles of the Haute-Loire department, which are for the most part in ruins. However, for architecture lovers a visit to the Puy-de-Dôme and Allier departments is a must, as they house the most impressive castles. Following the "historic road of the Auvergne châteax" is an excellent way of exploring the region, ensuring that you include as many castles as possible in your trip.
Stay in a holiday home in the town of Vichy for a chance to experience its famous thermal springs. It has long been known for its thermal baths, and was named "Queen of the Water Towns". These baths have been used since the Roman times, by merit of their supposed healing properties.
Simple, country style meals are the staple food of the Auvergne region. The main ingredients of much of this rural cuisine are vegetables; in fact the town of Le Puy is famous for its green lentils. The Auvergne region also produces cheese, notably Fourme and Bleu d'Auvergne.
Festivals and Events in the Auvergne
Clermont-Ferrand - Jazz en tête: International Jazz Festival (October)
Clermont-Ferrand - Festival Nicéphore: Festival of photography (October)
Clermont-Ferrand - Europavox: Festival of European music
Craponne-sur-Arzon - Potato Festival (October)
Le Puy - Latin Music Festival (July)
Le Puy - Festival of Folklore (July)
Massiac - Traditional Fruit Fait (November)
Montferrand - Dauphin d'Auvergne: Medieval Festival (November)
Saint-Germain-des-Fosses - Craftsmen and Farmers Market (December)
Yssingeaux - Festival of Laughter (September)