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Commentry - from the black stuff

The town of Commentry lies in the little known department of Allier, in the central region of Auvergne. Commentry came to prominence thanks to the massive coalfields it once supported, and this, coupled with the iron ore deposits also found locally formed the basis of an important industrial position within the country, and paved the way for the thriving economy that exists today. Although the town is still dependant on industry for its wealth, it is a pleasant and attractive place to live, set in the peaceful countryside of its region.

Something for everyone

Commentry has all the shops and services you could hope for, with supermarkets, local style shops and all the service industries. The town also has a good complement of bars and restaurants, hotels and take away fast food vendors, as well weekly markets. Something for everyone then, which can be hard to find in rural France.

Not just about industry

Don't judge Commentry purely on its history of coalmining and its industrial reputation, for to do so would be to miss out on the beautiful green spaces and culture of this town. There is history too, with a fabulous Gothic church, a pretty little Romanesque "eglise", and a crockery museum residing in the castle that was once the seat of the Dukes of Bourbon. With some beautiful parks and gardens, Commentry prides itself on the high quality of living it provides for its inhabitants, and there is always something happening to entertain or educate!

Sports anyone?

Commentry hasn't forgotten its sports fans, and the town positively encourages everyone particularly youngsters, to get out there and get active. There is a superb swimming pool, a skate park, a gym, and a martial arts studio as well as all the usual football clubs, rugby clubs, petanque courts and tennis! Outside the town too are even more possibilities, so take your pick from golf, horse-riding, walking, cycling, canoeing and kayaking.

Out and about

Montlucon is a nearby large town that is noted for beautiful floral displays, so if you are looking to explore the region this could be a good place to start. Vichy is also within easy reach, famous... or perhaps notorious, for its wartime role on behalf of the Nazis, but these days all is forgiven and Vichy is a delightful place to visit and to take the celebrated waters. Enjoy also the unspoiled countryside of the Allier, one of France's best kept secrets.

How to get there

Unfortunately, the airport of Clermont Ferrand doesn't offer direct flights to the UK at the time of writing, so you will have to fly into Lyon, St Etienne, Tours or Limoges. Lyon is served by Air France, British Airways, easyJet and bmi; St Etienne and Tours are served by Ryanair; and Limoges by Ryanair and flybe. Paris is another option, a little further afield but it has the advantage of easy links to services which will get you to your destination. The TGV travels from Paris to Lyon and Limoges, and if you are travelling by car you should take the A71 auto route.

Property prices and availability in and around Commentry

Although Parisians are beginning to look to the region around Commentry for second homes, the Allier is still relatively undiscovered by the foreign property market, so if you are working on a budget or looking to make a sound property investment, this could be the ideal place to look.

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Commentry AT A GLANCE

WHERE IS Commentry?

Commentry is located in the south of central France, in the Massif Central. It lies in the south-west of the Allier department.

Commentry Property Map

IN THE REGION OF AUVERGNE

Auvergne Guide

Auvergne Property Map

IN THE DEPARTMENT OF ALLIER

Allier Guide

  Allier Map


Population: 7,204


Access: By air: Fly to Tours, Lyon, St Etienne, Limoges or Clermont Ferrand (local flights only). By rail: The TGV runs to Lyon and Limoges, with links from Eurostar at Paris. By road: The A71 is the nearest major road to Commentry.


Economy: The economy, traditionally coal, is industrial and includes iron ores, electrical and metal products, clothing, furniture and chemicals.


Interesting fact: Commentry became industrially important thanks to its massive coalfield.

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