A walk through Montluçon is like a walk back through time. The chateau of the Dukes of Bourbon towers over the medieval city which consists of steep, narrow, streets, 15th and 16th century buildings and numerous fountains. Yet that’s only part of this city’s story. The other side of town houses the city’s rubber and metal processing industries and its mechanical and electrical components factories, which make Montluçon the Auvergne’s second largest industrial center.
Cérilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond
Cerilly is notable for its castle and it 11th Century Romanesque church, which is dedicated to Saint Martin. The church is famous for its bell-tower and a 17th century entombment.
Saint-Amand-Montrond comprises three medieval cities: Saint Armand le Chastel, Montrond and Saint Armand sous Montrond. Gold and printing are the city’s major industries.
Étampes to Paris
A satellite of Paris, Étampes came into existence in the 7th century. It’s known as “Little Venice” because of the many rivers that flow through it. The town has 26 buildings of historic importance including the Tour Guinette, a ruined keep built by Louis VI in the 12th century; Notre-Dame du Fort, which dates from the 11th and 12th centuries; and the 16th Century St Martin with its leaning tower.
photo credit: phillipo
Paris needs no introduction. Here, the riders enter the Champs-Élysées riding up the Rue de Rivoli, on to the Place de La Concorde and then take a right onto the Champs-Élysées. Riders head up toward the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Élysées, round the Tuilerries and the Louvre across the Place de La Concorde back onto the Champs-Élysées.
The tour moved its finish to Paris’ Champs Elysees in 1975 and it has finished there every year since.
photo credit: Brother G