The village of Molompize, which is crossed by the RN122 road, is a welcoming spot! With its southern air, stone walls, river and sunshine, it has all the ingredients for a memorable stay.
There’s no shortage of volcanic rock on the hillsides. A good example of this is the Palhàs site, terraced fields with dry stone walls. The vines planted on these slopes produce a wine bursting with character, thanks to the tannins imbued by the volcanic terroir. Aromatic plants and orchards are grown on these very terraces. Look at the basalt walls at the top of the site: they have not moved since they were built at the end of the 19th century! The site has been classified as a Espace Naturel Sensible (sensitive natural area), and is now the focus of a hiking trail.
Vines on the Palhàs
It has overlooked the Route nationale 122 road for 1,000 years, and is a proud reminder of the region’s noble families. The ruins can be reached using the Via Arverna or a footpath, but they are dangerous and should not be visited. However, the panoramic view over the valley from the château’s esplanade is well worth the climb!
The Château d’Aurouze
Like a hidden treasure, the village of Molompize is home to a school museum. A faithful recreation of a classroom, with maps on the wall, desks, inkwells, aprons and clogs... Molompize takes you back in time! This classroom was also used as a set for one of the films “L’Instit” (The Schoolteacher) starring Gérard Klein.
The village of Molompize seen from the Palhàs
The Alagnon runs through the village, and béals, or irrigation channels, were used to power the mills and irrigate the market gardens. Some of these béals are still in use today. Over the centuries, water-powered mills have been used to run a sawmill and even a slaughterhouse! The Alagnon Valley, renowned for its market gardens, orchards and horticulture, has always used these irrigation systems, with small canals and wooden sluices.
A jewel waiting to be discovered! Built to house the Vauclair Virgin in Majesty, it has been restored and has a fully painted interior. The original statue of the Virgin in Majesty is on display in the church of Sainte-Foy in Molompize, but a copy can be seen in the chapel. It is revered for its curative properties: it heals the eyes, which used to be bathed in a spring that has now dried up. A pilgrimage is held every year in September, on the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Nativity!
Chapel of Vauclair