Follow Jazz along the Cher

coulisse-des-métiers'JAZZ au fil du CHER' is an itinerant festival around the Montluçon conurbation!
For 6 days at the end of July you can be regaled by itinerant musicians with their high-quality music,

Some thoroughly rehearsed and some deliciously improvised.

Craftsmen's secrets

coulisse-des-métiersLes Coulisses des Métiers takes place from May to October

The inquiring mind…. how to take advantage of this programme
For the past six years the Montluçon Valley Tourist Office has been driving a very original and very successful programme. The idea, called "les Coulisses des Métiers" is to arrange visits to companies and craftsmen's workshops to broaden the knowledge of the rich depository of know-how in the region.
Launched originally by the Montluçon-Gannat Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the main aim is to show the world the wealth of skills in the Montluçon Valley area.

The town has long been associated with a history of heavy industry and this very original initiative is a golden opportunity to show people how the region has rejuvenated itself.

At the same time, certain small companies and individual craftsmen are keen to make their know-how more widely known, and the visits give rise to some interesting and fruitful encounters between local entrepreneurs and the general public.
Several novel ideas are included in this year's edition, with now a total of more than sixty visits programmed giving a very wide view of the local socio-economic fabric and the skills that lie behind it.
To obtain the informative leaflet either drop in to collect it from the Tourist Office or download it from this website:

And, if there are any companies who would be interested in joining the scheme, they should make themselves known to the Tourist Office through the tourist officer Jérôme Goutaudier (Tel: +33 (0)4-70-05-11-44 and

The 2012 brochure can be downloaded from here: Programme 2012 des Coulisses des Métiers.

Festival of French Songs

August in Montluçon - The Chanson Française Weekend

festival-chanson-francaise-montluconIn France, everything ends with a song!
The Chansons Françaises are very specific and special. Singing them
is an art in itself. Those of yesteryear differ from those of today and tomorrow's will be different again. They are part of French culture and evoke pleasant dreams, plenty of emotion and fond memories - it is appropriate to salute both the songs and those who keep them alive.

With this festival, Montluçon wishes to portray the widest possible range in this particular genre to the ever increasing numbers who attend year in year out. The 2010 edition brought together artists from around our native Auvergne, of course, but also from the four corners of France.

The Festival is an occasion for discovering new talent in the Chanson Française world, emerging artists who have already performed on stages around France, and to salute those artists that have been the driving force behind this particular style.

The programme covers all generations and helps to promote the lyricists and composers of this particular style, and offers a platform for local artists to make themselves known. Around 20 concerts, all with free admission, are scheduled in the heart of medieval Montluçon.

Each year, we receive increasing numbers of requests from artists wishing to take part in the Fringe Festival. And so, this year, the number of performances in the Fringe will be considerably increased, giving a platform to a maximum number of artists.

A weekend not to be missed!

Consult the following articles on www.mairie-montluç :

  • "Week-End Chanson Française, un festival en devenir" - 2010
  • "Week-End Chanson Française, exclusivité !" (The full exclusive programme!) - 2010
  • "Week-End Chanson Française du 20 au 22 août" - 2010
  • "Montluçon aime la chanson française" - 2011
  • Report: "Bienvenue chez Nous - Week-end Chanson Française" - 2011

L’agglo Rando Montluçonnaise

rando agglo montluçonnaiseThe local Agglo-rando-montluçonnaise (Montluçon ramble) is the opportunity to explore some unusual paths along the still-wild river banks, and to take advantage of some unexpected havens of peace and calm in beautiful settings full of Nature's greenery.
Circuits of differing difficulty take you right to the heart of the Bourbonnais countryside where the Bourbon dialect is still spoken, and from where you will be able to appreciate the magnificent views offered by the valley, and to explore the protected nature reserve and its relatively unknown heritage sites.
At your own pace, this is an excellent way of exploring the various villages in the region.
After the effort, comes the time for ramblers to relax with refreshments and a local musical accompaniment.

Contact: The Montluçon Valley Tourist Office
Tel: +33 (0)4 70 05 11 44

European Heritage Days

journée-du-patrimoineMontluçon town and the whole Montluçon valley participate in this event during the 3rd weekend in September, with each year's theme being published in June.

For this annual event, the doors are open for numerous sites, monuments and exhibitions where you can choose conducted tours or decide to roam around at your leisure.

This weekend is the moment when you can explore and wonder at some of the most original, least known, and sometimes extraordinary, sites in the Montluçon area.

The programme for the Heritage Days activity in the Montluçon conurbation and the rest of the Auvergne is consultable on the website links.

Conducted tours

chateau-duc-de-bourbonGuides are available for groups for certain tours throughout the year by appointment and depending on the availability of the guides. In the summer season a pre-established timetable of guides is available to individuals.

Group rates: from 3 € to 3.20 € per person depending on the size of the group.
Individual rate: 3 € per person and per visit.

Tour of the medieval town: 2 hours (all year round)
The medieval town, huddled around its ancient castle, has some magnificent 15th century half-timbered houses. Its narrow streets (now pedestrianised) take you in turn to: the 13th century Passage du Doyenné, Notre-Dame square with its Gothic church, surrounded by some superb 18th century mansions, rue de la Fontaine with its 16th century town houses, the area around Saint Peter's with its 15th century, well restored, half-timbered houses gathered around the 12th century church.

Tour of Saint Paul's church: 1 hour 30 mins (for individuals and only in the summer season)
Saint Paul's church is one of the very few churches in France built with a metal frame, by the renowned architect Louis-Auguste Boileau, in 1867. The metal structure was entirely cast and assembled in the foundries of the local Commentry-Fourchambault company. The cladding is in Bourré and Volvic stone. A classified historic monument

Walking tour along the Canal du Berry: 2 hours (for individuals and only in the summer season)
Learn the history of the Canal du Berry through its construction, the life of the bargees and the impact the canal had on Montluçon's industrial development.

Château de la Louvière: (for individuals and only in the summer season)
Inspired by the Petit Trianon in Versailles, the château de la Louvière and its gardens, registered in the supplementary list of Historic Monuments, were built in 1926 at the request of a local Montluçon industrialist. It was he who drew up the plans for the gardens, a subtle compromise between a French and an English garden. Within the grounds can be found several species of tree: lime, kiwi, cypress, magnolia, etc. Sculptures and aviaries adorn the site, and the orangery and the associated gallery are used for temporary art exhibitions.

Roll up to the Fair

foire expositionThe Montluçon Fair has been a local tradition for several generations.

The Fair takes place every year in the Parc des Expositions from the last Saturday in September through to the first Sunday in October.

Not only tradesmen from all corners of France are represented, but you will also find clubs, associations, and other organisations.

Covering some 20,000 m², the Fair is home to more than 300 exhibitors who present the latest trends in areas as diverse as motor cars, open-air activities, gastronomy, fashion, household gadgets and interior decoration, etc.

With the Montluçon Fair shopping is a delight!

Admission free.

Cookery Courses

ateliers culinairesCookery Courses run by the local chefs in the Montluçon Valley region

These courses are organised with the close collaboration of local Montluçon chefs and in particular our faithful chefs from the following restaurants: the Grenier à Sel, the Table de Reugny, the Château Saint-Jean, the Plaisir des Marais, and the Au Coeur de Meaulne.

Very simply, these renowned chefs open their kitchens to visitors and demonstrate how they apply their passion for the culinary art to the creation of their distinctive recipes.

They guide and help the participants to construct a menu - from starter to dessert - finishing, of course, by a session to sample all the dishes created by the students.

There's no better way for lovers of fine cuisine to taste the joys of the Bourbon's haute cuisine and to really set their taste buds tingling.

The Ciné En Herbe Festival

March in Montluçon for the Festival of Short Films

"CINÉ EN HERBE" is a meeting of the general public with young senior year pupils to show the latest French short films (first films) and to see the latest video productions from pupils from all over France pursuing the Cinema-Audiovisual option in the French Baccalaureate.
The non-profit organisation "Ciné en Herbe» was set up in Montluçon in January 1987. It is the result of close collaboration between students taking the Cinema option, the Madame de Staël Lycée in Montluçon
and the Clermont-Ferrand-based association, Sauve-qui-peut-le-court-métrage.

The objectives of Ciné en Herbe have been defined as follows:

  • Promote the world of young cinematographic talent through meetings, debates and competition between young producers and pupils following the cinema option at the lycée.
  • Enable the talent and passion to be passed from generation to generation, down to the really young.
  • Provide a forum for analysis and debate to offer educational and constructive criticism concerning the cinema.
  • Encourage involvement from the widest possible range of people.

More information:

Festirail Montluçon

June in Montluçon

The Roundhouse and its railway turntable come back to life for a day. Old rail-buses and steam engines will be there to be admired.

The Montluçon roundhouse is the location for this great rail enthusiasts' event organised by the Montluçon-Auvergne section of the A.A.A.T.V. (French National Society of the Friends and Former Steam Train Drivers).

The society works all year round to preserve and maintain this historic equipment and invites you to join them on this special day. The opportunity to admire these great servants of the past (steam engines, rail-buses, and, for the first time, some of the older passenger carriages). Get into the friendly and festive atmosphere, and listen to the old engine noises, the hooters and the characteristic huffing and puffing of the steam engines.

With free admission, you have no reason not to enjoy yourselves! Especially as you can get really close to all the exhibits. And you can see how the roundhouse and turntable were put to use.

As in previous years, you can buy a ticket to ride the Montluçon-Commentry link with two steam engines and experience the pleasure of travelling in authentic original carriages, and follow that wonderful billowing smoke!

More information:

The Boeuf-Villé Carnival

festival-boeuf-villeA bit of history
Each year, Montluçon celebrates the arrival of spring with the Boeuf-Villé carnival. This is the occasion for visitors and the townspeople of Montluçon to take to the streets in festive mood: breakfast in pyjamas, election of Miss Spring, fancy-dress parades, musical events, the confetti battle and not forgetting the firework display.
Every year the ideas for having fun get more numerous and more original with the sole aim of having young and old alike, in their own particular way, "Drive out Winter and usher in Spring".

Where does the carnival's name come from?
The Promenade du Boeuf Gras, Fête du Boeuf villé (in other words: parade around town), Fête du Boeuf viellé or violé (parade to the sound of the hurdy-gurdy or the viol) is a very ancient festive custom.
In Paris, and in most large towns in the 18th century, the traditional Fat Thursday event was for the apprentice butchers from each district to parade through the town to the sound of music, with their chosen round-necked bulls whose horns and gilded hooves had been decorated with garlands and flowers.

The Boeuf-Villé carnival takes place in March.
For more details, click on this link: Programme Carnaval du Boeuf-Villé 2012

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