Cathédrale Notre Dame

Top choice in Clermont-Ferrand

Clermont-Ferrand’s skyline broods with volcanic stone, but its most impressive edifice is Cathédrale Notre-Dame, whose 108m twin spires pierce the sky like blackened spears. Its façade, with snarling gargoyles and Gothic tracery, was constructed between the 13th and 19th centuries. Within, lift your gaze to the 1527 jacquemart clock, with the faun-like god Mars and Time beating out the hours, and intricate rose windows, restored in the early 20th century.

In summer, climb Tour de la Bayette for 360-degree views.

The cathedral was narrowly saved from destruction during the French Revolution when it was offered as a revolutionary meeting place and landmark. For more insight into the cathedral's seven centuries of history, ask at the tourist office about guided one-hour tours (€4.90, French only) from mid-July to August, usually at 11am on Tuesdays and Fridays.