Typical view of the city from "La pierre Carrée", featuring the black cathedral on the left.
Clermont-Ferrand is a city of France, in the Auvergne region, with a population of approximately 140,000. It is the préfecture (capital) of the Puy-de-Dôme département. The city is famous for the chain of volcanoes surrounding it, of which the Puy-de-Dôme (13km of the city) is the highest and well-known for the telecommunication antennas that sit on its top and are visible from large distances.
Clermont and Montferrand originally constituted two distinct (and often rival) cities. They were forcefully merged under king Louis XIV.
Clermont ranks among the oldest cities of France. It witnessed the famous battle of Gergovie won by the Gauls lead by Vercingetorix against the Romans lead by Julius Caesar. It was also the starting point of the first crusade from the Christian world to free Jerusalem from Muslim domination.
Its most famous figure is the mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal who tested the Torricelli's hypothesis concerning the influence of gas pressure on liquid equilibrium by running all way long from Clermont-Ferrand up to the Puy-de-Dôme the famous experiment where a vacuum is created in a mercury tube.
Its most famous public square is place de Jaude, on which stands a grand statue of Vercingetorix sitting imperiously on a horse and holding a glaive. The inscription reads J'ai pris les armes pour la liberté de tous (I took to arms for the liberty of all).
Serge Godard is the current city Mayor.