Saint-Amand-Montrond is a commune located in the southern part of the Cher department, in the south east of the Centre region. This 12,141-inhabitant town was a part of Berry and belonged later to the Bourbonnais, a French historical province.
Saint-Amand-Montrond has many assets which seduce both locals and holidaymakers. The town has several French labels such as ‘Ville et Métiers d’Art’ (label which promotes artisanal know-how) and ‘Ville Fleurie’ (flowers are ‘given’ to the towns if there are many parks, gardens, etc.). St Amand Montrond lies between Bourges (north), the préfecture of the Cher department and Montluçon in Allier ( Auvergne region).
Water is very important in the area: the town was built around the Marmande River (a tributary of the Cher River), which separates it from the neighbouring town of Orval. The Berry canal runs through the town from the south-east to the south-west. Saint-Amand-Montrond is located in an area of hedged farmlands where agriculture and livestock farming are the main activities.
The town dates from the Gallo-Roman era. Its feudal castle had 12 towers and a 40m-high dungeon at the time of its construction (12-13th centuries). It became a very important stronghold during the 17th century after some extensions. St Amand Montrond began to develop itself during the 19th century with amongst others the creation of the Berry canal which implied new activities between Montluçon and Val d’Aubois economical centres. Printing industry, jewellery and goldsmith’s art are important in the town.
With an average price of €1,371/square metre in May 2009, St-Amand-Montrond offers properties at affordable prices. Centre is far from being one of the most expensive French regions. Housing prices are indeed low is most of the departments of the Centre region. If you plan to buy a property in Saint-Amand-Montrond, here are the average prices: €82,909 for an apartment and €175,567 for a house. Only 4.1% of the properties of this town are second homes. This can be explained by the fact that holidaymakers are much more attracted by the sandy beaches of southern France or landscapes and beautiful sceneries of the western part of the country. But the Centre region has many assets, the biggest one remains in the fact that there are not too many tourists in this area. You can enjoy quietness and relax in a nice setting as well as discover the fascinating history or the area, visit castles and taste local wines.
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Culture, art and historical heritage: the town is home to interesting monuments in terms of history and architecture as well as places of interest: the Saint-Vic Museum (museum of regional history and art), château de La Férolle, ruins of Montrond’s castle and Cité d’Or. The latter was opened recently. This complex is an important tourist, cultural and economical centre. It houses an auditorium, reception rooms, and a museum called the ‘Maison de l’Or’ which recalls the history of gold, from mining to the creation of jewellery.
Outstanding surroundings: the area around St-Amand-Montrond offers plenty of places and monuments that are definitely not to be missed. Amongst others: the Gallo-Roman site in Drevant (theatre amphitheatre), Cistercian Abbey (12-14th c.) in Noirlac, castles of varied styles (Renaissance, medieval) in Meillant, Culan and Ainay-le-Vieil, medieval gardens in Orsan, belfry and ramparts in Dun-le-Auron, etc.
Location – transport network: the village is easily accessible by all means of transport. The motorway A71 is located only a few kilometres from Saint-Amand-Montrond. Major French cities can be reached in few hours only: Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand in 1h30, Paris and Lyon in 2h30. You can also take the train as there is a railway station in the town and regular trains from Paris. Bourges and Châteauroux’s airports are also possibilities.
Tranquillity and scenery: the Centre region is an actual heaven for nature lovers. Only 2 hours from the French capital, in the centre of the country, the area boasts breathtaking sceneries and an unspoiled nature. There is no better place if you want to relax and escape for your stressed daily life.
Stone houses: these charming properties of large dimension are often located in quiet places. They offer a beautiful view over the countryside and come with a land planted with trees as well as outbuildings, a large courtyard, garden and so on. Inside, beams and stones are exposed, a major asset for rustic-property lovers. Outside, the sloping roof is constructed of slates or tiles.
Detached houses: most of the time located in the countryside, such properties have great dimensions and offer beautiful views over the surroundings. They have many rooms and come with a large piece of land. The roof is generally made of slate tiles and it is sloping.
Town houses: these properties are close to all amenities, i.e schools, supermarkets, railway station, etc. Their size vary and they may come with a garage, terrace, garden, cellar, attic. Town houses are great properties for a first investment or a buy-to-let.
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