Moulins is classified as’ ‘Ville d’Art et d’Histoire’. The history of the city is closely linked to that of the dukes of Bourbon. According to tradition, a lost hunter sought refuge in a mill on the banks of the Allier. Because he fell in love with the miller who had cared for him, he had a hunting lodge built on the present site of the Ducal Palace. The city arose around it later.

Moulins has an interesting city center, dominated by the high bell towers of the Notre-Dame-de-l’Annonciation and the Sacré-Cœur cathedral. Furthermore, the skyline is defined by the Jacquemart copper bell tower, the high bell tower of the former residential school of Saint-Gilles, the large slate, the zinc dome of the “Nouvelles Galeries” and the flamboyant Gothic bell tower of the Saint-Pierre church.



Cathedral of Moulins : the cathedral’s choir is in the flamboyant Gothic style of the 15th century in yellow-orange sandstone from Coulandon.

Sacré-Cœur of Moulins: one of the masterpieces of the neo-gothic movement. The church has two high towers (74 m) that overlook the Place d’Allier.

The Tour de la « Mal-Coiffée » are the remains of the former medieval castle of the dukes of Bourbon. During the Second World War it was used as a German prison. Thousands of Jews and resistance fighters were detained there. Today, the tower has been completely renovated and opened to the public.

Place de l’Alliera former large shopping center from the 19th century, houses a number of remarkable buildings:

  • The façade and dome of the New Galleries, in the style of the Beaux-Arts with faience mosaics from 1914.
  • The large fountain of the column, early 19th century
  • The market for the main building, which consists of a Baltard building inaugurated in 1880, used to be used as a poultry market.
  • The Grand Café, from 1899, in the “beaux arts 1900” style, is considered one of the ten most beautiful brasseries in France in the 1900s.

Moulins is a strong bastion of regional culinary traditions, including: the gratton pump, the “tartouffepump” or potato pate, Charolais beef, a whole range of fresh cheeses (sheep, cow) and regional wines such as Saint-pourçain.

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