10 largest cities in France




Clermont-Ferrand is a city in central France located in the Massif Central. It is the historic capital of Auvergne, the capital of the Puy-de-Dôme department and one of the four metropolises of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Its inhabitants are called Clermontois.

The modern city was born from the union in the seventeenth century of two ancient rival cities, Clermont and Montferrand. The city of Augustonemetum appears after the disappearance of the Arverne metropolis Nemossos. It then took the name of Arvernis and then of Clermont. At the beginning of the 12th century, the Counts of Auvergne founded the competing city of Montferrand. In 1630, Louis XIII imposed by the edict of Troyes the unification of the two neighboring towns. This union will be reaffirmed by Louis XV in 1731.

In 2020, Clermont-Ferrand is the 24th municipality in France with 144,751 inhabitants and the 19th urban area in France with 485,315 inhabitants. The urban ensemble became a metropolis on January 1, 2018 under the name Clermont Auvergne Métropole.

A major French university and research center, the city retains important administrative functions and intermediary services. With more than 40,000 students, or a quarter of the municipal population, and 6,000 researchers, it is the first city in France to join the UNESCO learning city network.

A town with an industrial tradition, the headquarters of one of the world's two largest tire manufacturers, Clermont-Ferrand is also well positioned in the pharmaceutical, food-processing and aeronautical industries. It hosts three competitiveness clusters.

The city is located at the foot of the Limagne fault and the Puys chain, a natural site registered since July 2018 as a "tectonic hotspot" in the UNESCO world heritage.


Geographic location

Clermont-Ferrand is located in central France, overlooked by a basaltic plateau on which is the Puys chain, the largest chain of dormant volcanoes in Europe among which we find the summit of the Puy de Dôme, culminating at 1 465 m above sea level.

The upper town was built on the central plateau, but Clermont-Ferrand was built in the heart of a phreato-magmatic volcano in the center of the crater of Maar de Jaude.

In terms of climate, it is the city with the lowest rainfall and the highest thermal amplitudes in mainland France.

Historical events
The city of Clermont-Ferrand is originally named Augustonemetum, originally named Nemossos in antiquity. There were also the names of Arvernis, Clairmont then Clermont, a name given in the 17th century and which is still widely used today.

The town itself is recognized internationally by the head office of a tire company: Michelin, where its head office is located around the Carmelite district from the end of the 19th century.

For several years, the city has been rebuilt, with the renovation of the Place de Jaude, the creation of concert halls (Grande Halle or Zénith), as well as the commissioning of a tramway in 2006.

Clermont-Ferrand is divided into several districts, ranging from the city center, the commercial heart, to the sensitive districts of Vergnes or to the disparate architectures of the south-east towards La Pardieu. The northern districts are mainly made up of low-cost housing built in the 1970s.

Northern districts: Croix-de-Neyrat, Champratel, La Plaine, Les Vergnes, La Gauthière
In the north-west: La Gauthière, Côtes de Clermont
In the south-west: Salins, Vallières
Near the center: Les Bughes, Montferrand
South: Saint-Jacques

Clermont-Ferrand Town Hall, 10 rue Philippe Marcombes, +33 4 73 42 63 63
Clermont Auvergne Métropole, 64 avenue de l'Union Soviétique, 63007 Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 1, +33 4 73 98 34 00 - The Clermont-Ferrand metropolis includes 21 municipalities.
Clermont Auvergne Tourisme, place de la Victoire, +33 4 73 98 65 00 July and August: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. and Sat-Sun: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. September to June: Mon - Sat: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sun: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. closed on December 25, January 1 and Sundays in January. - The tourist office, which has jurisdiction over the entire metropolitan area, offers guided tours of the city.