Culture, heritageand legends

Cultural discoveries

Cultivate your garden in the Monts de Guéret ! Rural heritage, stones with legends, surprising perched villages and small town of character, museum impossible to circumvent, numerous and diverse cultural activities…

In Les Monts de Guéret, the pleasures are multiple: the riches are varied, the curiosities are numerous and the unusual often there. Our strength, lies in the complementarity of our sites whose originality will enchant your visits…

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Guéret in its setting deserves a detour… Prefecture city, chief town of the department, place of powers, it has beautiful architectural treasures such as the hotel of Moneyroux (15th-16th century), the presidial (17th century) or its city hall (1935) all in blue granite … A granite exploited in the heart of the forest of Chabrières, from the late 19th century with intense activity during the 1930s.

Town of recognized artists with the writer Marcel Jouhandeau who will give it the name of Chaminadour, title also of one of his books, or Fernand Maillaud, painter, illustrator and sculptor who set up his studio in Guéret around 1920. A visit to the musée de Guéret is a must, as is a stroll through the Jardin Ferdinand Villard with its remarkable species.

Overlooking the city of Guéret, wedged between the valleys of the Creuse and Gartempe rivers, the Chabrières forest massif is a much-appreciated place for relaxation. This barrier of hills with a mid-mountain feel, is home to historical sites such as the oppidum of Puy de Gaudy (651 m) and its surroundings, Le Maupuy (686 m) marked by the more recent history of the carrières du Maupuy from where tons of granite cut into paving stones or curbs left for large French cities… In the heart of the forest, the pierres à légendes de Chabrières are numerous and often very enigmatic.

In the Gartempe and Creuse valleys, the rural heritage is very well preserved. The landscapes shaped by agricultural activity, the villages and hamlets, are well visible. Dry stone walls, fountains , wash houses, paths and landscapes… This small heritage, rarely classified or protected is preserved here.



The city was born from a grouping of population at the end of the seventh century around a monastery, probably not far from the present church. Very quickly, it grew and became a place of power, a fortified city for a time. Around the market place, the center of historical Guéret, beautiful buildings were built: the old town hall, the presidial,… The shops along the street of the old town hall and the Grande Rue made Guéret a lively place. The Prefecture hotel and the Moneyroux hotel, current headquarters of the departmental council, are among the most beautiful buildings of the Guéret city, making the junction with the Bonnyaud square, often presented as the modern or more recent center of Guéret.
Guéret is also the city of the writer Marcel Jouhandeau (1888 – 1979). He spent part of his youth there before leaving to live in Paris. In his work, he gives a large place to Guéret and his native neighborhood located in the city center, which he renamed “Chaminadour“.

To discover all the richness of the Guéret city, download Visit’Guéret, the fun on-board tour of Guéret. This application is available in several versions: all public, English, audiodescription and FALC. It is completed by 10 explanatory panels that allow you to find your way around, and, for children (from 7 years old), the booklet-games “Welcome to Guéret” available at the Tourist Office.

The Chabrières forest

Between the valleys of the Creuse and Gartempe, the Chabrières forest covers a chain of hills constituting The Mountains of the March. Its altitude varies from 450 m (Courtille lake) to 683 m (Le Maupuy), 651 m (Puy de Gaudy) to culminate at 689 m (Puy de Chiroux). From this granitic massif where the forest, on more than 2000 hectares, is queen, emerge enigmatic stones with legends: Pierre de l’Ermite, Pierre de la Tribune, Pierre du Loup, Pierre Chabranle, Pierre au Trésor…
A highly courted granite… It is exploited on a large scale in quarries located on Le Maupuy and surrounding areas. The extraction starts at the end of the 19th century with a peak in the 1930s… To discover, the audio tour:
Don’t miss: the arboretum, the discovery trail and the trails of the state forest equipped with QR codes to deepen your knowledge.

The Gartempe valley

The Gartempe river rises in the commune of Peyrabout and crosses the Monts de Guéret. It strongly marks the landscapes with its imprint: tributary streams, meanders and small bridges, especially in the communes of La Chapelle-Taillefert and Saint-Victor-en-Marche. Not to be missed: village and waterfalls of La Rebeyrolle, washhouses and fountains all along the valley…

The Creuse Valley

From the peaceful valleys between Ajain and Saint-Laurent, the Creuse river flows to Glénic, before rushing into deep and narrow gorges. This portion of the valley is classified as a Natura 2000 site for its remarkable biological heritage. At the end of the 19th century, the shimmering landscapes with amazing colors, seduced the impressionist painters. You will, in turn, be conquered by the charm of this valley, the perched villages of Glénic and Anzême, their churches, the viaducts and granite bridges that span, from far and wide, the Creuse.

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