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An outstanding site of natural beauty

Viewing platform across the Auvergne

Before becoming a plateau, Gergovia was formed of volcanoes!

Around 20 million years ago, a massive volcanic eruption created by the convergence of magma and water gave rise to a new form of rock, peperite. In Gergovia, numerous peperite volcanoes were created when these overlapped. The craters, or maars, formed a lake that dried out by being filled with sediment that was then submerged in lava flow. This basalt layer offered protection against erosion.  

A few million years later, this phenomenon of differential erosion resulted in the morphology of the current plateau, which presides over the magnificent Auvergne landscape:

  • the high plateaus of Forez and Livradois to the east;
  • the chaîne des Puys to the west;
  • the massif du Sancy to the southwest;
  • the Cézallier plateau to the south;
  • and of course the large number of volcanic structures that give the Limagne des Buttes its name.
Le plateau de Gergovie
Plateau of Gergovia