Visit one of Clermont-Ferrand’s major squares. Come in the daytime to enjoy its cosmopolitan feel and take in the sights, including statues of French heroes.
Around the Place de Jaude you will find striking architecture, both old and new. The square is also home to many of the city’s institutions, making it a busy place on weekdays. Find some peace and quiet in the splendid 17th century church Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes. On a clear day, look beyond the square to see the peaks of the Chaîne des Puys volcanic mountain range on the skyline. Come to the square to appreciate the special setting of Clermont-Ferrand, surrounded by mountains.
The most famous statue in this central square is of Gallic leader Vercingétorix, who defeated Roman emperor Julius Caesar. Shown on horseback, the statue was designed by sculptor Frédéric Auguste-Bartholdi, who also created New York’s Statue of Liberty. Make a tour of the Place de Jaude to take in this magnificent work of art from all angles.
The square also features water fountains, as well as beautiful magnolia trees that provide wonderful shade in the summer months. Visit in winter to see the space illuminated with atmospheric lights. The plaza is surrounded by bars, restaurants and cafés. Enjoy a drink or bite to eat while you people-watch.
You will also find this a popular area for shopping, with many international retailers based in and around the square. Located just off the southeast end is the Centre Jaude shopping mall, one of Clermont-Ferrand’s largest. Spend a rainy day discovering its many boutiques, including both French and international brands.
For a spot of culture, visit the beautiful and lavishly decorated opera theater. Its opulent façade is hard to miss. Or, see a show at the movie theater and improve your French language skills. February brings a short film festival, with many movies offering English subtitles. Don't miss the closing party in the square. In July and August, the Les Contre-Plongées festival fills the square with free music, theater and film.
The Place de Jaude’s city center location makes it easily accessible from most of Clermont-Ferrand. Take one of the trams that run through the square itself. You can also reach the square by taking a local bus.