Puy-de-Dôme (mountain)

Puy-de-Dôme (mountain)

Infobox Mountain
Photo= Puy de dome 2001-12-15.jpg
Caption=General view
Elevation=1,464 metres (4,803 feet)
Range=Chaîne des Puys region of Massif Central
Location=near Clermont-Ferrand, France
Prominence =
Coordinates = coord|45|46|19.2|N|2|57|44.64|E|type:mountain_region:FR

Type= Lava dome
Age=<10,000 years
Last eruption=ca. 5760 BC
First ascent = Unknown
Easiest route=road

Puy-de-Dôme ( _oc. Puèi Domat, Puèi de Doma) is a large lava dome and one of the youngest volcanoes in the Chaîne des Puys region of Massif Central in south-central France. Curiously, this chain of volcanoes including numerous cinder cones, lava domes, and maars is located far from the edge of any tectonic plate. Puy-de-Dôme is located approximately 10 km away from Clermont-Ferrand. The Puy-de-Dôme "département" is named after the volcano.


In pre-Christian Europe, Puy-de-Dôme served as an assembly place for spiritual ceremonies. Temples were built at the summit, including a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to the God Mercury, the ruins of which were discovered in 1873.

In 1648, Florin Périer, at the urging of Blaise Pascal, proved Evangelista Torricelli's theory that barometric observations were caused by the weight of air by measuring the height of a column of mercury at three elevations on Puy-de-Dôme.

In 1875, a physics laboratory was built at the summit. Since 1956, a TDF ("Télédiffusion de France") antenna is also located there.

On the top of the mountain, there is a transmitter for FM and TV.


In more recent times, Puy-de-Dôme has served as an occasional stage finish in the Tour de France. It was here in 1964 that Raymond Poulidor battled with Jacques Anquetil in one of the race's most famous moments, racing side by side up almost the entire climb. Also on this peak in 1975 Eddy Merckx was punched in the stomach by a spectator.

The road is only open for cyclists during very limited periods (when other vehicles are prohibited). In 2006 this is 7-9am on Wednesdays and Sundays between 1 May and 30 September.


The Puy de Dôme is one of the most visited sites in the Auvergne region, attracting nearly 500 000 visitors a year. It is a well-known centre for parascending. The summit offers expansive views of the Chaîne des Puys and Clermont-Ferrand. A restaurant and shops are available, as well as a visitor centre giving information on the history and geology of the area.

Tourists have a choice of two ways to reach the top. A pedestrian path ("Le sentier des muletiers"), formerly a Roman way leads to the Temple of Mercury. Alternatively, there is a 6km/4mile motor road with a gradient of 12%. At busy times, private cars must be parked at the bottom and the ascent made by bus.


* [http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=0100-02- Global Volcanism Program: Chaîne des Puys]

External links

*Climbbybike.com [http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?col=Puy_de_Dome&qryMountainID=7084 All cycling information on and profile to climb the Puy-de-Dôme]

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