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The best time to visit Aurillac is the third weekend of August, when the streets come alive for the largest International Street Theatre festival, attracting more than 25,000 visitors! This exciting festival brings performers from around the world to this city in the Cantal. A perfect way to discover the heritage that Aurillac has to offer.
Take a stroll through the narrow streets and churches of Aurillac. To get the best view, climb up to the Castle of Saint-Étienne, which is where you’ll find the volcano museum.
Back in the city, discover the 9th century Benedictine abbey of Saint-Géraud; its walls can now be seen at the bend of Rue du Collège. This was once the centre of the town, over the years, Aurillac has expanded, reaching Place d’Aurinques and the banks of the Jordanne during the 12th and 13th centuries, before extending even further, right along the river, then opening out onto the chestnut grove, towards the Languedoc and Quercy. The streets of Aurillac retain the traces of these developments, with houses of all eras standing together.
Set back from the shopping streets there are hidden secret passages, such as the Impasse de la Barbantelle, where you’ll find the remnants of the old ramparts, and the Cour de Noailles, hidden away in a cranny of Rue Arsène-Vermenouze, with its ancient, half-timbered houses. Aurillac is also home to various curiosities, such as the Black Virgin, who sits imposingly inside the church of Notre-Dame-aux-Neiges, and the Huguenot trumpet, which was collected when the city was under siege in 1581 and which is now kept in a corner of the magnificent chapel of Aurinques.