La Chaîne des Puys

Pendant des siècles le Massif Central fut une terra incognita où, selon Chateaubriand dans son enfance, il se passait des choses étranges... .

Jean Anglade

Presentation - Location

La Chaîne des Puys vue de l'Ouest

"La Chaîne des Puys" : west view



The bench mark of Auvergne

La Chaîne vue du NordAuvergne is famous for its volcanos. But only a travel enable to evalue how the nature has maden unusual things. A volcanic landing has always something else than a classic mountain landing, a feeling that nothing is fixed. A permanent dynamic way.

Whatever its place of input, the traveller who penetrates in Auvergne is immediately astonished by the profile by the horizon which overhangs the plain of Clermont Ferrand. Of the four cardinal points of the area, the silhouette of Puy de Dôme draws already the attention. Summit isolated, capped from an aerial which gives him more importance, it rises in headland on the hills north of the "Massif Central". This privileged position does not pass unperceived, far from there, and this mountain has much history.

An extraordinary nature

Le Puy de DômeWhile approaching, this horizon is even more curious. Contrasting with the roundnesses of the close mountains softened by time, of the conical forms surround the giant. But the spectacle becomes even more incredible dice than one is introduced into the region, and better still, if one rises on the node of Puy de Dôme. There, in front of us, of north in the south arises a landscape single in France and perhaps in the World. We are in front of the most formidable collection of volcanos, of all the types, all the forms, all the sizes. Born in fire from the Earth, a few millenia ago, they do not leave indifferent. They are the interrogation and matter of astonishment of that which passes. An extraordinary, wild and admirable nature

The local persons in charge, conscious of the richness of this single geological inheritance, multiply today the initiatives to make known and to preserve this environment.



FranceAuvergne forms part of the "Massif Central". The "Massif Central" is this vast mountainous triangle placed in the southern medium of France. As it will be seen front it is characterized by the presence of volcanic formations on most of its extent. The "Chaîne des Puys" is most septentrional of these formations, and also most recent. It is spread out over approximately 50 km of north in the south, while overhanging in the east, the plain of collapse where is Clermont Ferrand. A hundred volcanos constitute it and the total width of alignment does not exceed 8 km. Average altitude is approximately 1100 m, the average of the nodes being around 1200 m, except for Puy de Dôme which culminates to 1465 Mr. Exceeding his neighbors thus, it constitutes a superb balcony of observation.

At the left: location othe Chaîne des Puys in France (GIF 47 Ko)

Massif Central

Puy de Dôme

Massif Central

Puy de Dôme(département)

Chaîne des Puys

© Copyright Jan 2001 Photos: Cartes: Bernard Dichamp