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Salers, a Renaissance gem formed by lava

By catherine levesque

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A bit of advice if you want to blend in, don't pronounce the "s" in Salers, a word which can refer to the village, a cow breed or a cheese!

 

What links together these three gems in Cantal?

There was a man, Tyssandier d'Escous, local restaurateur from the 19th Century, whose bronze statue overlooks the Grand-Place. The decor is striking in its harmony: dwellings fitted with towers, ribbed doors and ornate flagstone rooves which remind the visitors (400 000 / year!) of the city's past riches, a barony from the Middle Ages.

 

The unavoidable "bailiwick's house" would represent the sole commercial town (therefore invested) until the 16th Century, when the king would establish there the bailliwick seat of the Hautes-Montagnes of Auvergne.

 

 

Historical classified sites
at every turn

Across the way, the 'maison de la Ronade' - the oldest (15th C.) - features a very narrow tower staircase which climbs 5 stories. The site, said to be of the Templars, houses the Musée de Salers. Mounted upon a bell tower, sits the clock tower, with the Martille door, are among the vestiges of the city ramparts dating from the 15th C., and are surround by elegant basaltic dwellings. The Saint-Matthieu church also deserves a dedicated visit, thanks to its five tapestries by Aubusson (17th C.) and a breathtaking Entombment sculpture from the 15th C. fashioned in stone polychrome. A detour by the esplanade of Barrouze allows one to take in the panoramic view of Mt Violent and the surrounding verdant valleys.
Such attractive features and others have all contributed to Salers being the only village in Auvergne to have been selected by France 2 for its "Favorite French Villages" competition.

historical classified sites at every turn