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There are dozens of good reasons to visit the Cantal’s Saint-Flour area. You can take part in events which reach far beyond the Auvergne's borders, including a festival of mountain cultures, a major festival for "terroir" products (local produce and specialities), an exciting night event in the Truyère gorges and an art festival etc. A friendly and festive selection of events combined with a remarkable local heritage which has earned the area the prestigious "Pays d’Art et d’Histoire" label (Region of Art and History).
From the low town to the high town, linked by the Montée des Orgues and Chemin des Chèvres trails, Saint-Flour reveals its authentic charm with the cathedral of Saint-Pierre built from basalt, the Old Bridge, the Episcopal Palace which was rebuilt in the 17th century or the "Maison Consulaire" (consular house), an architectural masterpiece of the Italian Renaissance, which is home to the Haute Auvergne Museum and the Alfred Douët Museum of Art and History.
You'll be surprised at the unusual diversity of the architectural heritage to be found throughout the area, where the sheer majesty of the castles of Alleuze and Roffiac combine superbly with the charm of the Romanesque chapels and churches.
Another attraction which has its own particular charm and is certainly worth visiting above the Truyère gorges is the Garabit viaduct built by Gustave Eiffel (the engineer who gave us the Eiffel Tower in Paris), a major technical feat in its day, just like the nearby Millau viaduct.
Another major challenge involved a number passionate enthusiasts who have succeeded in bringing together several cultural events whose reputations extend far beyond the borders of the Auvergne: (Hautes Terres, the festival of mountain cultures; Festa del Païs, a major festival celebrating local agriculture and products; the Dit d’Alleuze, a spellbinding night-time event held in the Truyère gorges, and Chemin d’Art, a contemporary art festival). By providing a specific, user-friendly source of information the "Pays d’art et d’histoire" (Region of Art and History) label offers a new way to discover and appreciate heritage sites.
To this should be added the numerous summer events and attractions (including narrated walks, street theatre, musical evenings, etc) proposed by the Passerelle cultural activities centre.
In this festive and cultural atmosphere, you can also enjoy a welcome change of scenery, open-air activities and a generous dose of health and well-being with an example being Chaudes-Aigues, the spa resort offering Europe's hottest waters (82°C - 180°F) and its recreational spa centre, Caleden, which opened in 2009.