Clermont-Ferrand, France

View of Clermont Cathedral in the city of Clermont-Ferrand, France. Photo © Sacred Destinations.

Clermont-Ferrand was home to a Christian community since the 4th century and a Jewish community even earlier, and it was here in that the First Crusade was launched in 1095. The city, which unifies the towns of Clermont and Montferrand, has lost some of its medieval charm in the pursuit of industry (it's the home of Michelin tires), but it is still worth stopping by for two main attractions: a soaring Gothic cathedral made of black volcanic stone and filled with medieval stained glass; and the beautiful church of Notre-Dame-du-Port, a Romanesque gem from the 12th century. Clermont has a population of 140,700 in the city center and works well as a base for exploring the Auvergne region.

Clermont Cathedral
Located in the Auvergne region of central France, Clermont Cathedral is a striking Gothic edifice made of black lava stone. Inside it has beautiful medieval stained glass windows, frescoes, and an old crypt.
Built in the early 12th century, this beautiful Romanesque church has an apse decorated with multicolored stone, carved portals and capitals covered in sculptures.