|Today is a holiday in France (Ascension day) and so most of the shops are closed. We decide to make use of the good guide books we had picked up at the information center and follow some of the walks around town.
The first walk concentrated on the Medieval town which is the very center of town. The town consists of steep, narrow, winding streets, and preserves several buildings of the 15th and 16th centuries. Of the churches, Notre-Dame is of the 14th century, St Pierre partly of the 12th and St Paul modern. The town hall, with a library, occupies the site of an old Ursuline convent, and two other convents are used as a college and a hospital. Overlooking the town is the castle rebuilt by Louis II, Duke of Bourbon, and taken by Henry IV during the French Wars of Religion. it now houses the local museum.
The second walk we did covered the industrial town that was created during the industrial revolution in the 19th century. This area surrounded the older city and we could see some of the "modern" buildings from the 19th and early 20th centuries. It was very easy walking as there was no traffic and hardly any people around.