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Listed as a "Town of Art and History" since 1985, Riom has a historical town centre with no fewer than 16 listed monuments and 57 monuments entered on the heritage register. In the heart of its pedestrian districts you can enjoy a relaxing stroll around the town’s religious or civil architectural treasures.
Originally an ancient village, Riom expanded during the Middle Ages around a religious building, which was a place of pilgrimage housing the relics of Saint Amable. The town became the administrative capital of the royal lands of the Auvergne in the 13th century. During the 14th century, Jean, Duke of Berry, significantly influenced the town's architectural development, resulting in the building of the Duke’s Palace and the Sainte-Chapelle. Riom has continued to flourish ever since. After the revolution it retained a legal role and permission was given for the Court of Appeal to be established here.
Bearing witness to the architecturally rich periods of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the 18th-century, this outstanding architectural heritage is marvellously combined and includes numerous private buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries. During a stroll through the town, you can discover the so-called "Consuls" house which has one of the town's best facades, the "maison de l'artisan" or "craftsman's house", (dating from the 15th century), the "maison de bois" or "wooden house" (15th century) and the house of Antoine Pandier (otherwise known as Antoine Pandu, dating from the 16th century). During your walk you will also encounter some fine carved fountains, remarkable facades and a number of small squares and other attractive places to stop off.
Don't miss the museums of Riom, including the Musée Mandet, housing fine and decorative arts. Other notable sites include the Court of Appeal and its gardens, the Sainte-Chapelle, the basilica of Saint-Amable and the Church of Le Marthuret, the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) with its galleries and spiral staircase. The Clock Tower, a permanent exhibition area offering an excellent view across the town and the Limagne Plains, represents a heritage feature as pure and unspoiled as the local air or as the Enval gorges once so popular with Georges Sand and Maupassant.