Clermont-Ferrand klĕrmôN´-fĕräN´ [key], city (1990 pop. 140,167), capital of Puy-de-Dôme dept., central France, in Auvergne, on the Tiretaine River. One of the population and industrial centers of the Massif Central, it is home of the Michelin and other tire factories, and of important metallurgical works. The capital of the former province of Auvergne, it was formed in 1731 by the merger of Clermont and Montferrand. Clermont was built in Roman times near the site of Gergovia, which Vercingetorix held against Julius Caesar in 52 BC and which was later destroyed. An episcopal see since the 3d cent., it was the site of several church councils, notably that of 1095, where Pope Urban II preached the First Crusade (see Crusades ). The city is picturesquely situated near the Puy de Dôme peak. It is built largely of the dark volcanic rock of the region. The Gothic Cathedral of Notre-Dame (13th–14th cent.) and the Romanesque Church of Notre-Dame du Port (12th cent.) are among the notable buildings. Blaise Pascal was born in Clermont-Ferrand. There is a university (founded 1854) in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: French Political Geography