Moulins, sometimes called Moulins-sur-Allier, is a French town of the Allier department, Auvergne. It is the historical capital of the Bourbonnais area (a former province of France) and the prefecture of the department. The 20,599 inhabitant town stretches over the Allier River.
The town offers a pleasant lifestyle at the heart of the Bourbonnais nature area and allows to practise many activities and sports. Moulins is located at the centre of an economic pole which is currently in development. Just to give an idea of its history, it used to be the capital of Bourbonnais and main residence of the Dukes of Bourbon. Many traces of this glorious past are still to be see.
As Town of Art & History, Moulins has several cultural monuments and sites worth visiting: the Jacquemart, town hall, cathedral, chapel, theatre, historical quarter, museums, Maison Thierry de Clèves… You will not be bored in Moulins for discovery is all over the town. Culture and handing down of traditions have definitely pride of place and the locals are always desirous to share them. Craftmen are indeed numerous and some of their workshops are to visit so as to let the visitor comprehend ancestral know-how. If you are fond of good food, you should try the Palets d’Or, a local speciality made of chocolate, crème fraiche and coffee which will give your taste buds a treat.
Situated between the bourbonnais hedged farmland to the west and the bourbonnaise Sologne to the east, Moulins offers pleasant surroundings. The Allier is one of the last wild rivers of Europe and the Val d’Allier natural reserve is part of the area. On the foothills of the Massif Central, the relief is however only slightly mountainous. This small town is nestled in the heart of a sweet and fertile countryside offering a peaceful lifestyle.
In 2009, a French property cost €3,197 /sq m in average. In the Allier department, property prices are very low: €1,182 /sq m. This is a very cheap area where many bargains can be driven. In terms of rentals, a house or an apartment in Allier is rented €7.12 /sq m a month, which is also below the national average of €12.22 /sq m a month. Properties in Moulins are slightly more expensive (€1,400 /sq m on average), but this may be explained by the fact that it is the prefecture of Allier.
Apartments in the town cost about €1,080 / sq m, which is very affordable. New-built apartments may be more expensive but offer modernity. In Moulins, 67.9% of the dwellings are apartments and 64.9% of the inhabitants are tenants. The latter implies a good rental market and opportunities for investors to let their property. Three-room homes are very sought-after and could be an ideal let.
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Architectural heritage: Moulins boasts an interesting town centre, dominated by the bell towers of the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral & Basilica. This latter nestles several treasures like beautiful sacred art paintings and a rich reliquary. The Jacquemart - a clock tower – stands in middle of Moulins and gives rythm to the towm’s life. Different styles are harmoniously mixed in the architecture of its monuments with however dominant Renaissance and medieval styles. Thanks to this gorgeous architecture, Moulins has been awarded the Town of Art and History label since 1997.
Wide range of activities : next to plenty of cultural activities, the choice is wide to discover the town’s environment. Fishing and strolling in this area is very appreciated; nature experiencing tours are also organized and the Val d’Allier natural reserve is really worth to visit. Besides, sport lovers will there be satisfied : golfing, horse-riding, hunting, rollerblading, mountain-bikering, canoeing… And this is a non-exhaustive list. If you prefer more relaxing activities, Moulins has a racecourse and the Ovive is a big nautique complexe offering large pools, water slides but also sauna, jacuzzi and hammam.
Cultural legacy: when visiting or living in Moulins, some sites are not to be missed. Do visit the Anne de Beaujeu museum which displays works about local history but also some temporary exhibitions and is furthermore laid out in a nice Renaissance castle. The museum of the Visitation is dedicated amongst other to the textile and goldsmith’s trade. The national centre of costume and scenography for its part is the first institution to preserve this heritage and lets you discover more than 8,500. To convey all these arts, the town library nestles notably several ancient manuscripts and ancient books. It is nationally registered and also offers a wide range of more modern books as well as multimedia material. Besides, the Citevolution centre is aimed at interpreting architecture and heritage.
Location – transport infrastructure: Moulins railway station offers travels to Paris, Tours, Orléans and Lyon. From Lyon, you can take the plane in the airport (many European and international destinations are on offer). Moulins also has an aerodrome called Moulins-Montbeugny.
|Clermont Ferrand||100km||1:30 hrs|
Maisons Bourgeoises: some prestigious properties are on offer in Moulins. They are luxury, heavy and full of character. Such property comes with a large land, outbuildings, garage and sometimes stables. They offer quietness and beautiful view.
Small farmhouses: they have the advantage of being large and boasting a huge land. Some have a rectangular shape, such as the Breton typical longères. They also have outbuildings and terrace and are of good value. They also come with a fireplace and a garage.
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