|Intercommunality||Clermont Auvergne Métropole|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Olivier Bianchi|
|42.67 km2 (16.47 sq mi)|
| • Urban|
|300 km2 (100 sq mi)|
| • Metro|
|1,331 km2 (514 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,400/km2 (8,900/sq mi)|
| • Urban |
|• Urban density||1,600/km2 (4,000/sq mi)|
| • Metro |
|• Metro density||350/km2 (910/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||321–602 m (1,053–1,975 ft) |
(avg. 358 m or 1,175 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
Clermont-Ferrand (French pronunciation: [klɛʁmɔ̃ fɛʁɑ̃] , Auvergnat Clharmou, Latin : Augustonemetum) is a city and commune of France, in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, with a population of 141,569 (2012). Its metropolitan area had 467,178 inhabitants at the 2011 census. It is the prefecture (capital) of the Puy-de-Dôme department. Olivier Bianchi is its current mayor.
The commune is a level of administrative division in the French Republic. French communes are analogous to civil townships and incorporated municipalities in the United States and Canada, Gemeinden in Germany, comuni in Italy or ayuntamiento in Spain. The United Kingdom has no exact equivalent, as communes resemble districts in urban areas, but are closer to parishes in rural areas where districts are much larger. Communes are based on historical geographic communities or villages and are vested with significant powers to manage the populations and land of the geographic area covered. The communes are the fourth-level administrative divisions of France.
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes or ARA is a region in southeast-central France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014; it resulted from the merger of Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes. The new region came into effect on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015.
France is divided into 18 administrative regions, which are traditionally divided between 13 metropolitan regions, located on the European continent, and 5 overseas regions, located outside the European continent. The 13 metropolitan regions are each further subdivided into 2 to 13 departments, while the overseas regions consist of only one department each and hence are also referred to as "overseas departments". The current legal concept of region was adopted in 1982, and in 2016 what had been 27 regions was reduced to 18. The overseas regions should not be confused with the overseas collectivities, which have a semi-autonomous status.
Clermont-Ferrand sits on the plain of Limagne in the Massif Central and is surrounded by a major industrial area. The city known for the chain of volcanoes, the Chaîne des Puys surrounding it, including the dormant volcano Puy de Dôme (10 kilometres (6 miles), one of the highest, topped by communications towers, and visible from the city.
The Limagne is large plain in the Auvergne region of France in the valley of the Allier river, on the edge of the Massif Central. It lies entirely within the département of Puy de Dôme. The term is sometimes used to include this, and three other less extensive plains, that lie along the valley of the Allier, in which case the first is known as Grande Limagne to distinguish it from the others. The name is derived from the Latin Lacus Magnus, or large lake.
The Massif Central is a highland region in the middle of Southern France, consisting of mountains and plateaus. It covers about 15% of mainland France.
A volcano is a rupture in the crust of a planetary-mass object, such as Earth, that allows hot lava, volcanic ash, and gases to escape from a magma chamber below the surface.
Clermont-Ferrand hosts the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival (Festival du Court-Métrage de Clermont-Ferrand), one of the world's leading international festivals for short films. It is also home to the corporate headquarters of Michelin, the global tyre company founded there more than 100 years ago.
The Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival is the biggest international film festival dedicated to short films. It is held annually in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and is the second largest film festival in France after Cannes, in terms of audience and professional attendance, boasting over 160,000 attendees and 3,500 professionals annually.
Michelin is a French tyre manufacturer based in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne région of France. It is the second largest tyre manufacturer in the world after Bridgestone and larger than both Goodyear and Continental. In addition to the Michelin brand, it also owns the BFGoodrich, Kleber, Tigar, Riken, Kormoran and Uniroyal tyre brands. Michelin is also notable for its Red and Green travel guides, its roadmaps, the Michelin stars that the Red Guide awards to restaurants for their cooking, and for its company mascot Bibendum, colloquially known as the Michelin Man.
Clermont-Ferrand's most famous public square is Place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix sitting imperiously on a horse and holding a sword. The inscription reads: J'ai pris les armes pour la liberté de tous (I took up arms for the liberty of all). This statue was sculpted by Frédéric Bartholdi, who also created the Statue of Liberty.
A town square is an open public space commonly found in the heart of a traditional town used for community gatherings. Other names for town square are civic center, city square, urban square, market square, public square, piazza, plaza, and town green.
Jaude Square is a major city square and meeting place in the centre of Clermont-Ferrand, France. It is bordered by Rue Blatin on the North and Avenue Julien on the south. The square is home to many monuments, such as the Opera Theatre, the Jaude Shopping Mall and Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes Church.
Vercingetorix was a king and chieftain of the Arverni tribe; he united the Gauls in a revolt against Roman forces during the last phase of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars.
Clermont-Ferrand's first name was Augusta Nemetum. It was born on the central knoll where the cathedral is situated today, known then as Nemossos. It overlooked the capital of Gaulish Avernie. The fortified castle of Clarus Mons gave its name to the whole town in 848, to which the small episcopal town of Montferrand was attached in 1731, together taking the name of Clermont-Ferrand. The old part of Clermont is delimited by the route of the ramparts, as they existed at the end of the Middle Ages. The town of Clermont-Ferrand came about with the joining together of two separate towns, Clermont and Montferrand, which was decreed by Louis XIII and confirmed by Louis XV.
Montferrand is a district of the modern town of Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne. Those born or living there are known as Montferrandais. Its origin is in the former town of Montferrand, the rival of Clermont for many centuries until their union, decreed on 15 April 1630 by the edict of Troyes and confirmed and effected in 1731 by Louis XV's second edict of union. Wishing to regain independence, Montferrand asked for it in 1789, 1848 and 1863.
Clermont ranks among the oldest cities of France. The first known mention was by the Greek geographer Strabo, who called it the "metropolis of the Arverni" (meaning their oppidum, civitas or tribal capital). The city was at that time called Nemessos – a Gaulish word for a sacred forest, and was situated on the mound where the cathedral of Clermont-Ferrand stands today. Somewhere in the area around Nemossos the Arverni chieftain Vercingetorix (later to head a unified Gallic resistance to the Roman invasion led by Julius Caesar) was born around 72 BC. Also, Nemossos was situated not far from the plateau of Gergovia, where Vercingetorix repulsed the Roman assault at the Battle of Gergovia in 52 BC. After the Roman conquest, the city became known as Augustonemetum sometime in the 1st century[ BC or AD? ], a name which combined its original Gallic name with that of the Emperor Augustus. Its population was estimated at 15,000–30,000 in the 2nd century, making it one of the largest cities of Roman Gaul. It then became Arvernis in the 3rd century, taking its name, like other Gallic cities in this era, from the people who lived within its walls.
Strabo was a Greek geographer, philosopher, and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
The Arverni were a Celtic tribe. The tribe was located in what is today the French Auvergne region, which derives its name from the Arverni. One of the most powerful tribes in ancient Gaul, the Arverni opposed the Romans on several occasions. One of their most important strongholds was Gergovia, near the present-day commune of Clermont-Ferrand.
An oppidum is a large fortified Iron Age settlement. Oppida are associated with the Celtic late La Tène culture, emerging during the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, spread across Europe, stretching from Britain and Iberia in the west to the edge of the Hungarian plain in the east. They continued to be used until the Romans conquered Southern and Western Europe. In regions north of the rivers Danube and Rhine, such as most of Germania, where the populations remained independent from Rome, oppida continued to be used into the 1st century AD.
The city became the seat of a bishop in the 5th century, at the time of the bishop Namatius or Saint Namace, who built a cathedral here described by Gregory of Tours. Clermont went through a dark period after the disappearance of the Roman Empire and during the whole High Middle Ages, marked by pillaging by the peoples who invaded Gaul. Between 471 and 475, Auvergne was often the target of Visigothic expansion, and the city was frequently besieged, including once by Euric. Although defended by Sidonius Apollinaris, at the head of the diocese from 468 to 486, and the patrician Ecdicius, the city was ceded to the Visigoths by emperor Julius Nepos in 475 and became part of the Visigothic kingdom until 507. A generation later, it became part of the Kingdom of the Franks. On 8 November 535 the first Council of Clermont opened at Arvernis (Clermont), with fifteen bishops participating, including Caesarius of Arles, Nizier of Lyons, Bishop of Trier, and Saint Hilarius, Bishop of Mende. The Council issued 16 decrees. The second canon reiterythe principal that the granting of episcopal dignity must be according to the merits and not as a result of intrigues.
In 570, Bishop Avitus ordered the Jews of the city, who numbered over 500, to accept Christian baptism or be expelled.
In 848, the city was renamed Clairmont, after the castle Clarus Mons. During this era, it was an episcopal city ruled by its bishop. Clermont was not spared by the Vikings at the time of the weakening of the Carolingian Empire: it was ravaged by the Normans under Hastein or Hastingen in 862 and 864 and, while its bishop Sigon carried out reconstruction work, again in 898 (or 910, according to some sources). Bishop Étienne II built a new Romanesque cathedral which was consecrated in 946. It was almost entirely replaced by the current Gothic cathedral, though the crypt survives and the towers were only replaced in the 19th century.
Clermont was the starting point of the First Crusade, in which Christendom sought to free Jerusalem from Muslim domination. Pope Urban II preached the crusade in 1095, at the Second Council of Clermont. In 1120, following repeated crises between the counts of Auvergne and the bishops of Clermont and in order to counteract the clergy’s power, the counts founded the rival city of Montferrand on a mound next to the fortifications of Clermont, on the model of the new cities of the Midi that appeared in the 12th and 13th centuries. Until the early modern period, the two remained separate cities: Clermont, an episcopal city; Montferrand, a comital one.
Clermont became a royal city in 1551, and in 1610, the inseparable property of the French Crown. On 15 April 1630 the Edict of Troyes (the First Edict of Union) joined the two cities of Clermont and Montferrand. This union was confirmed in 1731 by Louis XV with the Second Edict of Union. At this time, Montferrand was no more than a satellite city of Clermont, and it remained so until the beginning of the 20th century. Wishing to retain its independence, Montferrand made three demands for independence, in 1789, 1848, and 1863.
In the 20th century, construction of the Michelin factories and of city gardens, which shaped modern Clermont-Ferrand, united the two cities, although two distinct downtowns survive and Montferrand retains a strong identity.
The city is in the rain shadow of the Chaîne des Puys, giving it one of the driest climates in metropolitan France, except for a few places around the Mediterranean Sea. The mountains also block most of the oceanic influence of the Atlantic, which creates a climate much more continental than nearby cities west or north of the mountains, like Limoges and Montluçon. Thus the city has comparatively cold winters and hot summers. From November to March, frost is very frequent, and the city, being at the bottom of a valley, is frequently subject to temperature inversion, in which the mountains are sunny and warm, and the plain is freezing cold and cloudy. Snow is quite common, although usually short-lived and light. Summer temperatures often exceed 35 °C (95 °F), with sometimes violent thunderstorms.
|Climate data for Clermont Ferrand (1981–2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||22.1|
|Average high °C (°F)||7.6|
|Average low °C (°F)||−0.1|
|Record low °C (°F)||−23.1|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||26.7|
|Average precipitation days||6.3||5.3||6.4||8.8||10.6||8.7||6.4||7.5||6.8||7.4||7.1||6.1||87.4|
|Average snowy days||5.3||4.7||3.3||1.6||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||2.5||4.2||21.6|
|Average relative humidity (%)||79||75||69||69||72||71||68||70||73||78||78||80||73.5|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||88.9||108.4||161.4||173.5||197.9||225.2||249.2||234.8||185.4||135.1||84.0||69.2||1,913|
|Source #1: Météo France|
|Source #2: Infoclimat.fr (humidity and snowy days, 1961–1990)|
Clermont-Ferrand has two famous churches. One is Notre-Dame du Port, a Romanesque church which was built during the 11th and 12th centuries (the bell tower and was rebuilt during the 19th century). It was nominated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1998. The other is Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame-de-l'Assomption de Clermont-Ferrand), built in Gothic style between the 13th and the 19th centuries.
Food production and processing as well as engineering are major employers in the area, as are the many research facilities of major computer software and pharmaceutical companies.
The city's industry was for a long time linked to the French tyre manufacturer Michelin, which created the radial tyre and grew up from Clermont-Ferrand to become a worldwide leader in its industry. For most of the 20th century, it had extensive factories throughout the city, employing up to 30,000 workers. While the company has maintained its headquarters in the city, most of the manufacturing is now done in foreign countries. This downsizing took place gradually, allowing the city to court new investment in other industries, avoiding the fate of many post-industrial cities and keeping it a very wealthy and prosperous area home of many high-income executives.
The main railway station has connections to Paris and several regional destinations: Lyon, Moulins via Vichy, Le Puy-en-Velay, Aurillac, Nîmes, Issoire, Montluçon and Thiers.
The motorway A71 connects Clermont-Ferrand with Orléans and Bourges, the A75 with Montpellier and the A89 with Bordeaux, Lyon and Saint-Étienne (A72). The airport offers mainly flights within France. There is a flight between Southampton and Clermont-Ferrand, operated by Flybe from May to October. Recently, Clermont-Ferrand was France's first city to get a new Translohr transit system, the Clermont-Ferrand Tramway, thereby linking the city's north and south neighbourhoods.
The TGV will arrive in Auvergne after 2030. It will be one of the last regions to not have a TGV stop.
Clermont-Ferrand was the home of mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal who tested Evangelista Torricelli's hypothesis concerning the influence of gas pressure on liquid equilibrium. This is the experiment where a vacuum is created in a mercury tube: Pascal's experiment had his brother-in-law carry a barometer to the top of the Puy-de-Dôme. The Université Blaise-Pascal (or Clermont-Ferrand II) is located primarily in the city and is named after him.
Clermont-Ferrand also hosts the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, the world's first international short film festival which originated in 1979. This festival, which brings thousands of people every year (137,000 in 2008) to the city, is the second French film Festival after Cannes in term of visitors, but the first one regarding the number of spectators (in Cannes visitors are not allowed in theatres, only professionals). This festival has revealed many young talented directors now well known in France and internationally such as Mathieu Kassovitz, Cédric Klapisch and Éric Zonka.
Beside the short film festival, Clermont-Ferrand hosts more than twenty music, film, dance, theatre and video and digital art festivals every year. With more than 800 artistic groups from dance to music, Clermont-Ferrand and the Auvergne region's cultural life is important in France. One of the city's nicknames is "France's Liverpool". Groups such as The Elderberries and Cocoon were formed there.
Additionally, the city was the subject of the acclaimed documentary The Sorrow and the Pity , which used Clermont-Ferrand as the basis of the film, which told the story of France under Nazi occupation and the Vichy regime of Marshal Pétain. Pierre Laval, Pétain's "handman," was an Auvergnat.
My Night at Maud's (French : Ma nuit chez Maud) a 1969 French drama film by Éric Rohmer was set and filmed in Clermont-Ferrand in and around Christmas Eve. It is the third film (fourth in order of release) in his series of Six Moral Tales . One of the main themes of the film concerns Pascal's Wager whose author was born in the city in 1623.
A racing circuit, the Charade Circuit, close to the city, using closed-off public roads held the French Grand Prix in 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1972. It was a daunting circuit, with such harsh elevation changes that caused some drivers to be ill as they drove. Winners included Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart (twice), and Jochen Rindt.
Clermont-Ferrand has some experience in hosting major international sports tournaments such as the FIBA EuroBasket 1999.
The city is also host to a rugby union club competing at international level, ASM Clermont Auvergne, as well as Clermont Foot Auvergne, a football club that has competed in France's second division, Ligue 2, since the 2007–08 season.
In the sevens version of rugby union, Clermont-Ferrand has hosted the France Women's Sevens, the final event in each season's World Rugby Women's Sevens Series, since 2016.
Education is also an important factor in the economy of Clermont-Ferrand. The University of Clermont Auvergne (formed from a merger of Université Blaise Pascal and Université d'Auvergne) is located there and has a total student population of over 37,000,along with university faculty and staff.
With around 1,000 students SIGMA Clermont is the biggest engineering graduate school in the city.
A division of Polytech (an engineering school) located in Clermont-Ferrand made the news because two of its students, Laurent Bonomo and Gabriel Ferez, were murdered in June 2008 while enrolled in a program at Imperial College in London in what was to be known as the New Cross double murder.
Clermont-Ferrand is twinned with:
Puy-de-Dôme is a department in the centre of France named after the famous dormant volcano, the Puy de Dôme. Inhabitants were called Puydedomois until December 2005. With effect from Spring 2006, in response to a letter writing campaign, the name used for the inhabitants was changed by the Puy-de-Dôme General Council to Puydômois, and this is the name that has since then been used in all official documents and publications.
Puy de Dôme is a lava dome and one of the youngest volcanoes in the Chaîne des Puys region of Massif Central in central France. This chain of volcanoes including numerous cinder cones, lava domes, and maars is far from the edge of any tectonic plate. Puy de Dôme was created by a Peléan eruption, some 10,700 years ago. Puy de Dôme is approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) from Clermont-Ferrand. The Puy-de-Dôme département is named after the volcano.
Auvergnat or Auvergnat language is a language or dialect spoken in France in part of the Massif Central and in particular, in most of Auvergne, the province that gives it its name.
The history of the Auvergne dates back to the early Middle Ages, when it was a historic province in south central France. It was originally the feudal domain of the Counts of Auvergne.
Issoire is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.
Chamalières is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France.
Mont-Dore, in common usage Le Mont-Dore, is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France.
Royat is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne in central France.
Gergovie is a French village in the commune of La Roche-Blanche in the Puy-de-Dôme département, a few kilometres south of Clermont-Ferrand.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Clermont is an Archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the department of Puy-de-Dôme, in the Region of Auvergne. The Archbishop's seat is Clermont-Ferrand Cathedral. Throughout its history Clermont was the senior suffragan of the Archdiocese of Bourges. It became a metropolitan see itself, however, in 2002. The current Archbishop is François Kalist.
Pont-du-Château is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme department in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes in central France.
Aubière is a French commune located in the department of Puy-de-Dôme in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeast France. As of 2014 its population was 9,832.
Malintrat is a commune in the Puy-de-Dôme département in Auvergne in central France.
Vertaizon is a commune of the department of Puy-de-Dôme in the region Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. It is part of the urban area of Clermont-Ferrand.
Yves Morvan is a French archaeologist, specialist of the romanesque art and of the iconography of Blaise Pascal. He is also a restorer, sculptor of religious characters, as well as member of the Academy of Science, Literature and Arts of Clermont-Ferrand.
The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Clermont-Ferrand, France.
The Clermont-Ferrand tramway was a tram system in the French city of Clermont-Ferrand between 1890 and 1956. A new system came into operation in 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Clermont-Ferrand .|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Clermont-Ferrand .|
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Clermont-Ferrand .|