Stay in Moulins
Moulins, Town of Art and History
Coming to the CNCS from far away, alone, as a couple or a group? Make the most of your trip by spending a few days discovering the splendid town of Moulins and the Allier department combining its peaceful way of life and an exceptional cultural and architectural heritage.
During a stroll around the historical quarter of Moulins you will be able to visit the Mantin town house, a bourgeois’ eccentric 19th century house built on the ruins of the castle of the Dukes of Bourbon. A short distance away in the Cathedral, you will be overwhelmed by the Master of Moulins’ triptych, an altarpiece from the end of the Middle-Ages that is considered one of French painting’s finest works of art.
To end your day on a gourmand note, you will appreciate the style of a dinner at the Grand Café, one of France’s most beautiful 1900 brasseries with its Art Nouveau decoration. . After a night at the hotel, your excursion can continue in the town centre through the local market with its stalls well-stocked with all of Allier’s authentic gastronomic specialities.
You may also discover the Chapel of the Visitation, with its magnificent recently-restored painted ceilings. There are many other museums to discover! The museum of the Visitation, the Anne-de-Beaujeu museum, the museum of Children’s Illustrations (MIJ) and the Building museum.
Why not simply take time to discover the typical paved-stone streets of medieval Moulins? You will find a mixture of timber-framed houses and bourgeois town houses and buildings. Keep in mind that Moulins once was the capital of the Dukes of Bourbon and birthplace of French kings, and it has managed to keep from its architecture of yesteryear an enchanting charm that is a reflection of the Allier department.
…and its region
At the heart of France, the department of Allier is a land of history that has been able to preserve its identity and its culture. Explore its heritage consisting of powerful fortresses, enchanting dungeons, and magnificent stately homes: Allier is the second department in France with the greatest number of castles!
Many other splendid villages can be visited in Allier where the art of fine living and fine eating is cultivated: the Clunisian village of Souvigny, once the necropolis of the Dukes of Bourbon; the spa town of Bourbon-l'Archambault, famous since the time of the Romans and still popular today for the quality of its treatments; the ancient village of Charroux, well-known for its medieval streets and delicious mustards, and many other beautiful villages.
You will discover a mosaic of contrasting landscapes: the splendid Tronçais forest planned by Jean-Baptiste Colbert; the pleasant bocage of the Bourbonnais region, paradise for fishermen and hunters; the wine-growing region of Saint-Pourçain and its wonderful PDO wine; the rocky peaks and green valleys of the Montagne Bourbonnaise; the Val d’Allier nature reserve, second ornithological reserve after the Camargue, where one can go hiking along one of the last untouched rivers in Europe and which is home for a gorgeous flora and for 250 different bird species.
A rich cultural heritage, beautiful natural sites and a profusion of outdoor activities: welcome to Allier!