Vallée des Rouets


About 4km northeast of Thiers is the Vallée des Rouets, an open-air museum dedicated to the knife-makers who once toiled here in front of water-driven grindstones, a method abandoned in the 1930s. In July and August a free shuttle-bus runs here from Thiers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Auvergne attractions

1. Église St-Gènes

1.71 MILES

It's worth a peep inside this collegiate church, whose foundations date back to the 6th century, to admire its medieval murals and fine 19th-century organ.

2. Musée de la Coutellerie

1.74 MILES

Split across two buildings, this museum gives an entertaining account of cutlery-making history. In number 23, a kid-friendly sound-and-light show evokes…

3. Église St-Jean

11.86 MILES

A blushing sandstone church in Glaine-Montaigut, 20km southwest of Thiers, makes a worthwhile detour. The Romanesque church's interior, brightly coloured…

4. Source des Célestins

19.27 MILES

For unlimited sips of Vichy's reputedly healing mineral waters, head for the Source des Célestins, housed in an attractive 19th-century atrium with lacy…

5. Parc Kennedy

19.37 MILES

Just south of the Parc Napoléon III is this stretch of parkland hugging the Allier River, landscaped in the style of an English garden during the late…

6. Église St-Blaise

19.4 MILES

Two contrasting churches combine at Église St-Blaise: the concrete outer shell of a 1931 art-deco church, resembling something of a Soviet space rocket,…

7. Parc Napoléon III

19.45 MILES

These 13 hectares of peaceful parkland, landscaped in honour of Napoléon III, have become a favourite riverfront idling ground for pedestrians and…

8. Musée de l’Opéra de Vichy

19.45 MILES

This seasonal museum houses rotating exhibits that document the performances, costumes and culture of Vichy’s turn-of-the-20th-century opera house.