Our must-sees in Saint-Étienne and the Loire

Not far from the castle of Val-de-Loire, France’s longest river, near its source, gives its name to a little-known department with few riches. A selection of unforgettable activities along the route that the Olympic torch will pass next June.

the legal failures of its mayor; Those of the economic, casino group; The “Greens” who play in Ligue 2, far from their legend… Saint-Étienne has not always had good press at the national level recently. Behind this sometimes damaged reputation, the former mining town and the department to which it belongs, have much to offer: discovery, crossing the Loire during which the Olympic flame will make the Rhône on June 22, 2024 – Alpine A destination that many would like to keep as secret as possible.

A designer “city break”

Since 2010, Saint-Étienne has been the only French city to be a member of the UNESCO Design Cities network. a title she shares with Singaporedetroit, brasilia, soul Or even Shanghai… The former site of the armaments factory today hosts the vast Cître du Design, a veritable laboratory of French design, which next year will see the birth of the new National Design Gallery.

The venue will bring together, among other things, the Center Pompidou, the National Center for Plastic Arts, the Museum of Decorative Arts and the National Furniture Collection. The 13th edition of… International Design Biennial,

  • Cite du Design, 3 rue Javelin Pagnon, 42000 Saint-Étienne

Museums, mines, industries: the soul of “Sante”

The old Coriot Pit, which houses an attractive mining museum.
Eric – Stock.adobe.com

For centuries, Saint-Étienne was the site of the invention and manufacture of firearms, looms, textiles, bicycles… Proud of this industrial heritage, the Museum of Arts and Industry is a must-see, bound to capture the soul of the city. Two dates to remember in 2024. First, the creation of a new permanent exhibition called “The Mechanics of Art” and the organization of a major exhibition around the Olympic Games (“From Olympia to Saint-Étienne, sports at stake”, From April 4 to November 24, 2024) where we will learn, for example, that blowgun was a sport widely practiced by miners, which allowed them to blow coal with their lungs…

In addition, the work also focuses on the reopening, at the end of 2024, of the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, the first collection of contemporary art in France since the Center Pompidou. Without forgetting the old Kouriet well, which houses a fascinating mining museum.

  • Museum of Arts and Industry, 2 Pl Louis Comte, 42000 Saint-Étienne
  • Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rue Fernand Léger, 42270 Saint-Priest-en-Jarez
  • Mining Museum – Coriat Wells, 3 bowls. Marshal Franchet d’Esperre, 42000 Saint-Étienne

take the temperature of the pan

Geoffroy Guichard Stadium is known as “Caudron”, the den of the Greens.
Saint-Etienne Tourism and Congress _Disbeltran

Apart from being the first pride of the city, it is also its tourist attraction. Some of the most profound pages in the history of French football were written at the Geoffroy Guichard Stadium. If the Greens of AS Saint-Étienne have been playing in the second national division for two years, this does not prevent thousands of their supporters, who often come from outside the region, from filling the stands of this famous stadium in a fiery atmosphere. For the Olympic Games, it will host six football matches, including the French women’s team’s first match against Canada on July 25.

  • Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium and Musée des Verts, 14 rue Paul et Pierre Guichard, 42000 Saint-Étienne.

Le Pilat: wide open spaces at the gates of the city

Les Trois Dents, a peak of the Pilat Massif.
L Lambert

Perched on seven hills (like Rome) and about 600 meters above sea level (like Madrid), Saint-Étienne is also the gateway to the Pilat massif and its Regional Natural Park. Just a short distance from the city centre, it is full of natural gems that can be explored on foot, by mountain bike, on horseback, by dog ​​sled or in winter by cross-country skiing. Its summit, the Crête de la Perdrix (1432 m), offers a spectacular view of the Rhône valley and the Alps, especially at sunrise. Not to miss: the villages of Sainte-Croix-en-Jerez or Malleval, and a delicious stop at the famous Auberge de la Jaserie.

  • Auberge de la Jasserie, La Jasserie du Pilat, 42660 Le Besset
Village of Sainte-Croix-en-Jaréz.
david mason

A city signed by Le Corbusier

The Maison de la Culture with its wavy glass panels on the Le Corbusier site in Firmini.
Saint Etienne Out of Frame

During its journey through the Loire, the Olympic flame will also stop at a key place in the history of architecture: the Le Corbusier site in Firminy, home to the largest livery conceived by the artist in Europe (and the second in the world after it). Chandigarh in India,

We will discover an entire city with a housing unit, a church, a cultural center, a stadium and a swimming pool. At the Saint-Pierre Church, the exhibition “La Rue des Transitions” is being held from April 12, 2024 to January 12, 2025, exploring ways to a future where fossil resources have been exhausted.

  • House of Culture, Boulevard Perif. du Stade, 42700 Firmini

Le Forez, life size

Mysterious Hautes Chaumes du Forez…
gil lebois

Now it’s time to descend along the river and discover the broad Forez plain, bordered to the west by the mountains of the same name (“evening mountains”) and Lyons and beaujolais To the East (“Morning Mountains”). There is no shortage of sites of interest: the spectacular Loire gorges, Lake Grangant, the Château de la Roche, the mysterious Hautes Chaumes du Forez and Pierre-sur-Haute, their highest point, Montbrison and its forum…

  • Tourist route of the coast of the Loire, 42590 Saint-Priest-la-Roche
  • Station de Chalmazel, 42920 Chalmazel – Jeansagnier

Charleau, medieval pearl

The Benedictine Abbey of Charlieu will celebrate its 1150th anniversary in 2025I birthday…

The first Loire town to come under fire on April 22, it is a small town with a rich history and surprising vitality. Located in the very north of the department, at the crossroads of Lyon, Charolais and Forezien influences, Charleau, one of the “most beautiful arrondissements of France”, is a village with a first-class architectural heritage: a Benedictine monastery founded in 875 (Romanesque in France This marvel of art will celebrate its 1150th anniversary in 2025I Anniversaries), lively medieval streets with 13th-century housesI Half-century wood or yellow stone, the Cordeliers Convent or even the Silk Museum, an industry that made (and still makes) the prestige of the Pays de Charleau. Don’t miss one of the local specialties: andouille, its brotherhood and its good restaurants that offer it on the menu (see last paragraph).

  • Benedictine Abbey of Charleau, 1 all. de l’Abbaye, 42190 Charlieu
  • Silk Museum, 9 bd General Leclerc, 42190 Charlieu

a new wine route

Crossing the vineyards of the Côte d’Ornais.
luke oliver

When two vineyards with growing reputations join their forces. Rhone coast and Forez coast to be linked by 2024 “Forez-Ronais wine route “En Loire Volcano”, extends over 96 kilometers and includes 95 service providers with labels of vineyards and discoveries, 25 wine producers and 65% organically grown vines.

Then you just have to continue towards another major vineyard in the department: Pilat Rhodanian and its famous Condrieu, Saint-Joseph and Côte Roti appellations..

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