Once a fortified city, Besse has kept its narrow, cobbled streets, its shops, its beautiful lava stone houses with red shutters, its flowered fountains... A stroll through the maze of its small streets, and it is an instant trip back to the Middle Ages!
Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise: medieval city
A commercial crossroads between the Limagne plain and the mountains of the Massif du Sancy: it is the ideal place for transactions that enabled the city to be created in the 12th century. In 1270, Besse obtained from the lord of the Tour d'Auvergne a number of freedoms for its inhabitants, including the right to elect two consuls each year. In the absence of nobles, it was the bourgeoisie, traders, scholars and lawyers who dominated the "free" city.
In the 15th century, the city was surrounded by fortifications in order to protect itself, but also to assert its role as a commercial, rich and prosperous city. Besse entered the royal domain in the 16th century by Catherine de Médicis, heiress to the lords of the Tour d'Auvergne. For the rest of the story, visit the site of the city of Besse.
To visit the historic centre of Besse, the fourteen panels of the discovery tour detail the city's must-see places. The city map with the tour is available free of charge at the Besse Tourist Office. On sale at the tourist office, the booklet Les Mystères de Besse allows young and old to discover the city by solving several riddles.
Guided and theatrical tours are organized during the summer season.
1st French ski museum, the market
In one of the most beautiful vaulted rooms of the Queen Margot House, an interesting collection of wooden skis collected from all over Europe is presented.
The origins of skiing, 2500 BC, and the advent of skiing in Besse at the beginning of the 20th century are mentioned. Presentation of skis, sleds, ice skates, bobsleds, sleds and boots. Visit commented by the creator of the museum.
The place to be on Monday morning: the Besse market, one of the most important in Sancy. We are sure to meet all the bessards and a good part of the inhabitants of Murcia and Saint-Nectairiens there!