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Located in the elevated Massif Central area of southern central France, and surrounded by a chain of volcanoes, Clermont-Ferrand is a city of 140,000 inhabitants. It is also the capital of the Puy-de-Dôme department in the Auvergne region. As one of the oldest cities in France, Clermont-Ferrand has a long and unique history. The city was founded as “Nemossos,” on the small hill where its central cathedral now stands, within walking distance of the Kyriad Clermont-Ferrand Centre Hotel.
The city was renamed “Clairmont” in 848 and was ruled by bishops throughout much of the Middle Ages. As an episcopal city, Clermont was of great religious significance, serving as the starting point of the First Crusade in 1095. To counter the political power of the bishops who ruled the city, the counts of Auvergne founded Montferrand, a rival city on a neighbouring hill. The two cities remained separate until 1630, when a royal edict joined them.