About a thousand years ago, in the place where the mountains join the plain, the idea to create a city was born. The counts who ruled Forez at the time designed the outline of the town. The historic centre, which has the largest concentration of listed monuments in the department, can be discovered on foot. Take the time to stroll, before relaxing on a terrace in the shade of the plane trees. A top tip: Saturday is a good day to stop in Montbrison. It’s market day, and the market was voted best in France in 2019! The town is lively and filled with the colours and fragrances of local produce. Your taste-buds will remember the experience.
Montbrison is rich in iconic heritage sites that just cannot be missed. The Collegiate Church of Notre-Dame-d’Espérance, the largest Gothic church in the Loire department, and the Diana Heraldic Hall with its ceiling, the only one of its kind in France, are a couple of the discoveries to be made in the historic centre.
Also take the time to browse through the exhibition rooms of the Musée d’Allard with its encyclopaedic collections.
The Heraldic Hall “La Diana”
The heraldry hall of Diana, adorned with a ceiling decorated with 1,728 coats of arms, is a unique place…
Right next to a splendid park, the Jean-Baptiste d’Allard museum, one of the oldest in the departement,…
Montbrison town centre with its shopping streets and lively terraces, is a vibrant and friendly place. A top tip: Saturday is a good day to stop there. It’s market day, and the market was voted best in France in 2019! The town is lively and filled with the colours and fragrances of local produce. Your taste-buds will remember the experience.
The simplest way to explore the town is to join a guided tour offered by the Tourist Office, or follow the Montbrison historic route using a booklet.
Finally, if you want to take a break, enjoy the Allard garden for a stroll to admire the remarkable trees that surround you.
The oldest public garden of the Loire Department, it was laid out in 1857 by the Bülher brothers, who…
Around Montbrison there are many charming villages and natural sites. They are all ideal places for pretty walks. For example, at the Etang de Savigneux, a neighbouring commune to Montbrison, many activities are on offer: fishing, wooden play area, picnic tables, barbecues, petanque areas and a path around the edge of the lake.
Several kilometres from Montbrison, discover one of the most picturesque places in the Forez area: the site of Vieil Ecotay. A 2-hour walk will take you around this little unspoilt paradise in the heart of the valleys.
Finally, climb up a little from the medieval site of the Chapelle d’Essertines Basses, where several signposted circuits from the village await you.