The Auvergne region’s second largest town is an endearing medieval settlement on the banks of the Cher. Looking out over Montluçon from a hilltop is the regal Château des Ducs de Bourbon, a seat for the Dukes of Bourbon for hundreds of years. This sets the tone for a medieval centre of timber-framed houses, Romanesque churches and vaulted passageways.
The highlight in Montluçon has to be MuPop, which charts the history of popular music and has the largest set of musical instruments in France. For days out there’s a vast oak forest, medieval castles and cute old villages all in touching distance.
Lets explore the best things to do in Montlucon:
1. Château des Ducs de Bourbon
On a terrace at the highest point in Montluçon, the Château des Ducs de Bourbon is a venerable15th-century fortress-cum-mansion.
The panoramas from the esplanade are very photo-worthy, rolling out over the Cher Valley and taking in the Massif Central to the south.
The castle was started in the 1400s by Louis II de Bourbon during the 100 Years’ War, and later, in more peaceful times the more decorative elements you see now were added: There’s a fine timbered gallery, an elegant turret and gothic dormer windows.
The interior is now the archive for the MuPop museum, but you’re able to go in to look around.