EXCEPTIONALLY LOCATED, SAINT-FLOUR IS PERCHED ON TOP OF A SPUR OF VOLCANIC ROCK FORMING NATURAL RAMPARTS. IT IS A STUNNING TOWN TO VISIT AND OVERLOOKS THE RIVER ANDER.
Located on top of a spur of volcanic rock, Saint-Flour is the only town in Cantal to be awarded the “Pays d’art et d’histoire” label thanks to its many exceptional monuments and historical buildings. Your visit will open the way to discover the town’s rich and eventful past.
The area is at the crossroads of the Margeride, the Monts du Cantal mountain range and the Gorges of the River Truyère. The surrounding mountains and countryside so enjoyed by outdoor sports lovers, make for truly breath-taking scenery. Saint-Flour also marks a popular stopover point on the way down to the south of France. It is the perfect destination for a break and a lively town.
A medieval town that came under siege but was never conquered
Saint-Flour owes its origin in the 4th century to Florus, a bishop who came to evangelize the region. The city flourished in the 14th century, its importance growing to such an extent that it became the capital of the diocese of the Haute-Auvergne. Civil and religious authorities competed for control, reflected in the many prestigious buildings in the heart of the historic city centre.
Firmly implanted on a rocky spur, protected by ramparts and several fortified gateways, Saint-Flour often came under siege in the Middle Ages but was never conquered.
Plan your visit
- The “historic centre” walking circuit (on the town map) introduces you to all the main places and buildings of interest in the city : the cathedral, the “Halle aux Bleds” (a former wheat market), private houses of special interest and the “Main de Saint-Flour”, a narrow passage between two blocks of granite formed, according to legend, after a prayer by the bishop, Florus.
- The “rampart” walking circuit places special focus on the city’s natural ramparts and introduces you to cultural and natural heritage. Ideally suited for all the family.
- The Haute Auvergne Museum, the former episcopal palace dating back to the 17thcentury, has many superb collections that showcase Auvergne’s traditions, arts, crafts and heritage.
- The Alfred Doüet Museum, a former private and furnished house from the French renaissance period which exhibits a large collection of art and decorative pieces.
- A wide range of guided tours on different themes are organized throughout the summer season: the city, ramparts, legends, the cathedral, unusual places, etc. (please note that the guided tours are only in French).
Not to be missed while visiting Saint-Flour
- Saint-Flour market in the town centre every Saturday morning.
- The “Chemin des Chèvres”, a path with 330 steps that runs between low-town and high-town.
- A stroll along the River Ander in low-town where you will enjoy a wonderful view of the medieval city.
- An evening drink sat out on the terrace in one of the local bars on the “Place de la Liberté” in low-town. The perfect spot to admire the high-town lit up at night.
- A meal out in a local restaurant and the chance to enjoy our local specialities: truffade, pounti, Saint-Flour golden lentils, traditional charcuterie, PDO Auvergne cheese, Saint-Flour sweet pie. There are lots of excellent restaurants to choose from and many are listed in travel guides (Routard, Michelin, Gault & Millau, etc.).
Festivities and events
- The “Festival des Hautes Terres”, a vibrant music and performing arts festival shows held throughout Saint-Flour during the last weekend in June.
- The “Etape Sanfloraine”, a cycling race sponsored by former champion Bernard Hinault at the beginning of August.
- The “Festival Chemin d’Art”, a festival of contemporary art organized every two years from July to September.
- Saint-Flour regularly welcomes the “Tour de France” and the “Tour de l’Avenir”, a cycling race for world-class cyclists under the age of 23.
Tourist Office of Saint-Flour
17 bis, place d’Armes – 15100 SAint-Flour
Tel : +33 (0)4 71 60 22 50