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Excursions

Friday 31 January 2014

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Departing from and returning to the « Logistics base », (shuttle buses will be parked in the area between the car parks, the Event Organisers HQ and the Logistics Base). All departure times are from between 08.30 and 09.15 (with the exception of the excursion « The 1,000 facets of Tronçais country» which will depart at 08.00) and all returns are scheduled for between 17.00 and 18.00.
You will be informed of the exact departure and return times for each excursion in your information pack upon your arrival at the Semaine Fédérale.
Animals are not permitted on the Excursions. Prices shown include return transport and entry to the site(s) to be visited, but do not include lunch.
Sunday 3 August
Guided visit of St-Pourçain, wine town and gourmet wine tasting
Departures :10.00-14.00 or 15.00
Fall under the spell of the town of St-Pourçain : the history of the town, the treasures to be found in the church of Ste-Croix, the impulsion of an innovative town, learn about the Union des Vignerons (St Pourçain winemakers co-operative) and complete the visit with a tasting of gourmet wines from St-Pourçain.

Price : 10 €/person

Monday 4 August

Vulcania : explore a new world

Discover the mysteries of our planet. The day’s programme includes : exciting attractions, films in 5-D, interactive activities and exhibitions, games and out of the ordinary experiments…The park of Vulcania invites you to recharge your battery with thrills, sensations and discoveries of mother Earth, volcanos, and forces of nature and also the precarious beauty of our planet.
Located in the heart of the National Park of the Volcanos of Auvergne, Vulcania provides a welcome breath of fresh air in an exceptional natural environment. A quite unique in its style theme park, dug into the volcanic rock, the park is ¾ underground, boasting an architecture both modern and discreet for its perfect integration within its environment of dormant volcanos.
Packed lunch or restaurant on site (at Vulcania) at the participant’s cost.

Price : 47€/person

Villages of character : Charroux, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France and Chantelle the mysterious.

In Chantelle, relive the legendary history of the Bourbonnais. The property and grounds surrounding, and belonging to, the château, so loved by Duke Pierre II and the Duchess Anne de Beaujeu, Chantelle has also had its share of misadventures. If the château built long ago was subsequently destroyed, the monastery and church still standing today vouch for the town’s medieval past. The abbey of Saint-Vincent, where a community of Benedictine nuns lived, overlooks the gorges of the river Bouble, classified a sensitive natural area.
Charroux’s heritage is quite exceptional. In past times, a fortified village, Charroux has many charms : wells, paved narrow lanes, half-timbered houses, ancient town gates and plethora of local crafts.

Lunch will be either at the Information centre in Charroux or a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 24€/person

Treasures of Saint-Pourçain country : Verneuil, St-Pourçain, Chareil-Cintrat -Visits and tastings

Relive the history of Verneuil, the property and grounds surrounding the château of the Bourbonnais and that at St-Pourçain, a medieval town developed by the monks. Visit the Château of Chareil. A medieval building completely renovated in the C.16th, the château boasts a sculpted interior design, inspired by the second French Renaissance. The paintings of grotesque figures inspired by antiquity are a quite unique collection. On site, at the Conservatory of traditional ancient vines, you will taste an original vintage produced from previously-grown varieties of vines in the St-Pourçain vineyards.

Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 27€/person

Tuesday 5 August

The town of Moulins, capital of the Ducs de Bourbon and the Centre National du Costume de Scène (National Centre for Theatrical Arts Costumes)

A town of art and history, historically-important and boasting a rich and varied heritage, Moulins is crammed with treasures. Follow the guide through the historical centre of what was the capital of the Bourbons.
The Centre National du Costume de Scène is a big novelty : the first establishment in the world entirely dedicated to the heritage of live theatre (theatre, opera, dance etc) and more specifically to the decoration and costumes. For the Semaine Fédérale 2014, you will be able to admire the exhibition based on « Shakespeare »
Lunch will be either at the Information centre at the Centre National du Costume de Scène or a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 29€/person

Château life in the Bourbonnais : Lapalisse, Billy, Montaigu-le-Blin.

The Allier département has the 2nd largest number of châteaux in France. The military fortress in Billy, built at the end of the C.12th, start of the C.13th, was an important piece in the property belonging to the Bourbons for many centuries. The fortified village of Billy was the second largest of the seventeen properties belonging to châteaux in the Bourbonnais province. And it remained influential until the French Revolution.
Built in the C.13th on a chalkstone hillock, the château of Montaigu-le-Blin is made up of a castellated core of nine towers encircled by a round defensive closure. The visit of the chateau’s farmyard shows the history and methods used to construct the château using local resources.
Turning to the Château de La Palice (12th – 15th – 16th, a classified historical building*), has been, since 1430, the property of the de Chabannes family. The ceiling of the golden salon, dating from the 16th, and of the renaissance style, is considered to be unique in Europe.

Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 24€/person

Villages of character : Charroux, classified as one of the most beautiful villages of France and Chantelle the mysterious.

In Chantelle, relive the legendary history of the Bourbonnais. The property and grounds surrounding, and belonging to, the château, so loved by Duke Pierre II and the Duchess Anne de Beaujeu, Chantelle has also had its share of misadventures. If the château built long ago was subsequently destroyed, the monastery and church still standing today vouch for the town’s medieval past. The abbey of Saint-Vincent, where a community of Benedictine nuns lived, overlooks the gorges of the river Bouble, classified a sensitive natural area.
Charroux’s heritage is quite exceptional. In past times, a fortified village, Charroux has many charms : wells, paved narrow lanes, half-timbered houses, ancient town gates and plethora of local crafts.

Lunch will be either at the Information centre in Charroux or a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 24€/person

The Pal : Animal and attractions park

Set in an exceptional natural site of 35 hectares, more than 25 spectacular attractions and over 500 animals, living in semi-captivity in their reconstituted natural habitat. 

The PAL is both an attraction and animal park offering several activities : an attraction park for both adults and children (The mine train, the Sun Disc, the stimulating 3-D Cinema, the Canadian River, the PAL’s stud farm, the Desert Squadron etc), a zoo (Asian Elephants, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers), animal shows (Otters and sea-lions, Birds of prey in flight and parrot show), plus help the handlers to feed the animals.

Lunch will be either a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 37€/person

Wednesday 6 August

The town of Moulins, capital of the Ducs de Bourbon and the Centre National du Costume de Scène (National Centre for Theatrical Arts Costumes)

A town of art and history, historically-important and boasting a rich and varied heritage, Moulins is crammed with treasures. Follow the guide through the historical centre of what was the capital of the Bourbons.
The Centre National du Costume de Scène is a big novelty : the first establishment in the world entirely dedicated to the heritage of live theatre (theatre, opera, dance etc) and more specifically to the decoration and costumes. For the Semaine Fédérale 2014, you will be able to admire the exhibition based on « Shakespeare »
Lunch will be either at the Information centre at the Centre National du Costume de Scène or a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 29€/person

Château life in the Bourbonnais : Lapalisse, Billy, Montaigu-le-Blin.

The Allier département has the 2nd largest number of châteaux in France. The military fortress in Billy, built at the end of the C.12th, start of the C.13th, was an important piece in the property belonging to the Bourbons for many centuries. The fortified village of Billy was the second largest of the seventeen properties belonging to châteaux in the Bourbonnais province. And it remained influential until the French Revolution.
Built in the C.13th on a chalkstone hillock, the château of Montaigu-le-Blin is made up of a castellated core of nine towers encircled by a round defensive closure. The visit of the château’s farmyard shows the history and methods used to construct the château using local resources.
Turning to the Château de La Palice (12th – 15th – 16th, a classified historical building*), has been, since 1430, the property of the de Chabannes family. The ceiling of the golden salon, dating from the 16th, and of the renaissance style, is considered to be unique in Europe.
Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 24€/person

Heritage and the "Belle Epoque" in Néris les Bains - MUPOP, stimulating music

A walk in Néris-les-Bains, it’s a little like taking a time machine to go back in time to travel through more than 2,000 years of history. From the Gallo-Roman sites to the luxurious architecture of the "Belle-Époque" (Beautiful period) via roman heritage, relive the most important times in the history of this town.
It’s in the heart of the medieval centre of Montluçon where the Museum of Popular Music awaits you. The MUPOP has counted on an innovative architecture, a spectacular scenography and interactive installations to render a tribute to the popular music of yesterday and today through the largest collection of musical objects from the France of 1750 to modern times. 
Lunch will be either at the Information centre in Montluçon or a packed lunch at the participant’s cost.

Price : 24€/person

The Pal : Animal and attractions park

Set in an exceptional natural site of 35 hectares, more than 25 spectacular attractions and over 500 animals, living in semi-captivity in their reconstituted natural habitat. 

The PAL is both an attraction and animal park offering several activities : an attraction park for both adults and children (The mine train, the Sun Disc, the stimulating 3-D Cinema, the Canadian RIver, the PAL’s stud farm, the Desert Squadron etc), a zoo (Asian Elephants, Giraffes, Lions, Tigers), animal shows (Otters and sea-lions, Birds of prey in flight and parrot show), plus help the handlers to feed the animals.

Lunch will be either a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 37€/person

Thursday 7 August

Vichy in the Second Empire, the "Belle Epoque", the Golden Age.

In the steps of Napoléon III... The emperor’s first five holidays (1861-1866) taken in the spa town profoundly changed the image of the town. As it so happened, the emperor established a veritable planning charter : identifying future boulevards, the building of a casino, parks (200-year old trees), the town hall and several other examples of french architecture, including the magnificent chalets on the banks of the river Allier.

The "Belle Epoque" : from 1900 to 1910, the spa buildings and entertainment halls were modernised : the opera house, the Hall of Springs, the large spa building etc. Vichy was, at that time, enjoying one of the most spectacular periods in its history.

Lunch will be either a packed lunch or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 25€/person

Friday 8 August

Vulcania : explore a new world

Discover the mysteries of our planet. The day’s programme includes : exciting attractions, films in 5-D, interactive activities and exhibitions, games and out of the ordinary experiments…The park of Vulcania invites you to recharge your battery with thrills, sensations and discoveries of mother Earth, volcanos, and forces of nature and also the precarious beauty of our planet.
Located in the heart of the National Park of the Volcanos of Auvergne, Vulcania provides a welcome breath of fresh air in an exceptional natural environment. A quite unique in its style theme park, dug into the volcanic rock, the park is ¾ underground, boasting an architecture both modern and discreet for its perfect integration within its environment of dormant volcanos.
Packed lunch or restaurant on site (at Vulcania) at the participant’s cost.

Price : 47€/person

Discovery and ascension (by cog railway) of the Puy de Dôme, a volcano – one of the Grand Sites of France – Paléopolis, dinosaur hill.

From the summit of the Puy-de-Dôme, the highest point of a chain of (dormant) volcanos, via the electrically-powered cog railway, enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the local countryside and lights.
Discover or rediscover this most imposing natural phenomenon, quite rightly identified as being one of the most imposing natural emblematic landscapes to be found in France (Grands Sites de France) and subject to preservation order.
At the very heart of the National Park of the Volcanos of Auvergne, the Puy de Dôme offers a multitude of activities for both adults and children : the exceptional 360° panorama, areas for understanding the site, the Temple of Mercury, walks to the summit, shops, and orientation tables of the local countryside.
The permanent exhibition at PALEOPOLIS, through 15 different sequences provides a full immersion into the common history of past and current inhabitants of our planet. Giant ostrich eggs and a dragonfly with a 70cm wingspan, the 5 metre long dunkleosteus, the skeleton of the T-rex and those of numerous other surprising specimens punctuate this educational and fun visit. These objects are on view to help the visitor understand the evolution of life as from the smallest first marine micro-organism to the current biodiversity found today, via man, a species like any other.
Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 36 €/person

The 1,000 facets of Tronçais country : at the heart of the largest oak forest in Europe

Depart on the discovery of Europe’s most beautful oak forest. Ancient property of the Dukes de Bourbon, the forest was later confiscated by Francis I en 1528 and become royal property. Since that time, the forest has remained State property. Visit the lace museum with its exhibition of ancients laces and its secondary exhibition of miscellaneous private collections. Taste the « biquettes de Tronçais », the visit to a goat farm, watch the milking and taste the goat cheeses.
Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 24€/person

Saturday 9 August

The town of Moulins, capital of the Ducs de Bourbon and the Centre National du Costume de Scène (National Centre for Theatrical Arts Costumes)

A town of art and history, historically-important and boasting a rich and varied heritage, Moulins is crammed with treasures. Follow the guide through the historical centre of what was the capital of the Bourbons.
The Centre National du Costume de Scène is a big novelty : the first establishment in the world entirely dedicated to the heritage of live theatre (theatre, opera, dance etc) and more specifically to the decoration and costumes. For the Semaine Fédérale 2014, you will be able to admire the exhibition based on « Shakespeare »
Lunch will be either a packed lunch or restaurant at the Information centre at the Centre National du Costume de Scène at the participant’s cost.

Price : 29€/person

The Bocage Bourbonnais : unusual Noyant, Bourbon l’Archambault – spa town.

NOYANT d’ALLIER is an area of contrasts, to be found in the heart of the "bocage (meaning hedge-lined pastures) bourbonnais", with its typical farmhouses, its church with an unusual bell tower and its château. The cottages of this old mining village have become, since 1955, home to a number of Indochinese French nationals who have repatriated in France. This explains the presence of asian shops. You will also visit the pagoda built in 1983 by the buddhist community living in Noyant and where they continue to practise their faith.
Bourbon-l’Archambault is a vibrant spa town inextricably linked to the history of the Bourbons. Discover the buildings and monuments (fortress of the dukes, mill for common usage, the King’s Lodge, doors classified as of historical interest, beautiful houses) which punctuate this two-thousand year old town, and also the customs and traditions, plus the legends associated with local history.
Lunch will be either a packed lunch at the Information centre in Bourbon l’Archambault or restaurant on site at the participant’s cost.

Price : 20€/person

Treasures of Saint-Pourçain country : Verneuil, St-Pourçain, Chareil-Cintrat -Visits and tastings

Relive the history of Verneuil, the property and grounds surrounding the château of the Bourbonnais and that of St-Pourçain, a medieval town developed by the monks. Visit the Château of Chareil. A medieval building completely renovated in the C.16th, the château boasts a sculpted interior design, inspired by the second French Renaissance. The paintings of grotesque figures inspired by antiquity are a quite unique collection. On site, at the Conservatory of traditional ancient vines, you will taste an original vintage produced from previously-grown varieties of vines in the St-Pourçain vineyards.

Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 27€/person

The Michelin Adventure: the story of an international company – Discovery of and ascent (by cog railway) of the Puy de Dôme, a volcano – one of the Grand Sites of France

A very rich scenic visit enabling visitors to discover the Michelin story, surprising by its innovativeness and modernity for its period. From the reception centre, you plunge into the history of transport, as signed by Michelin. "La Micheline", a rail vehicle typical of the 1930’s, the Breguet plane, the "plane of victory" from the first world ward, to Fernando Alonso’s Formula 1 world champion’s car of 2005, transport you through time.
From the summit of the Puy-de-Dôme, the highest point of a chain of (dormant) volcanos, via the electrically-powered cog railway, enjoy some of the most spectacular views of the local countryside and lights.
Discover or rediscover this most imposing natural phenomenon, quite rightly identified as being one of the most imposing natural emblematic landscapes to be found in France (Grands Sites de France) and subject to preservation order.
At the very heart of the National Park of the Volcanos of Auvergne, the Puy de Dôme offers a multitude of activities for both adults and children : the exceptional 360° panorama, areas for understanding the site, the Temple of Mercury, walks to the summit, shops, and orientation tables of the local countryside.
Packed lunch at the participant’s cost.
Price : 37 €/person

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