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Welcome to CLERMONT-FERRAND
an extra service of European City Guide / ECG
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Information about CLERMONT-FERRAND CLERMONT-FERRAND lies at the northern tip of the Massif Central. Although its situation is magnificent, almost encircled by the wooded and grassy volcanoes of the Monts-Dômes, it has for over a century been a typical smokestack industrial centre, the home base of Michelin tyres, which makes it a rather incongruous capital for the rustic, even backward province of the Auvergne. Its roots, both as a spa and a communications and trading centre, go back to Roman times. It was just outside the town, on the plateau of Gergovia to the south, that the Gauls under the leadership of Vercingétorix won their only, albeit indecisive, victory against Julius Caesar's invading Romans. In the Middle Ages, the two towns of Clermont and Montferrand were divided by commercial and political rivalry and ruled respectively by a bishop and the count of Auvergne. Louis XIII united them administratively in 1630, but it was not until the rapid industrial expansion of the late nineteenth century that the two really became indistinguishable. Indeed, it was Clermont that took the ascendancy, relegating Montferrand to a suburban backwater. Michelin came into being thanks to the inventions of Charles Mackintosh, the Scotsman of raincoat fame. His niece married Édouard Daubrée, a Clermont sugar manufacturer, and brought with her some ideas about making rubber goods that she had learnt from her uncle. In 1889, the company became Michelin and Co, just in time to catch the development of the automobile and the World War I aircraft industry. The family ruled the town and employed 30,000 of its citizens until the early 1980s, when the industry went into decline. In the years since, the workforce has been halved, causing rippling unemployment throughout Clermont's economy. Many of those who have lost their jobs are Portuguese immigrants, imported over the last forty years to fill the labour vacuum and well integrated with the local population. As in many other traditional industrial towns hit by recession and changing global patterns of trade, Clermont has had to struggle to reorientate itself, turning to service industries and the creation of a university of 34,000 students. Nonetheless, many people have moved elsewhere in search of work, reducing the population by nearly a tenth. The town has changed physically, too, as many of the old factories have been demolished. Despite all of this, the old centre has a surprisingly hip and youthful feel, with pavement bars packed out in the evenings as the boutiques and galleries which have sprung up wind down for the day.
 
Available Trades in CLERMONT-FERRAND ADVERTISING - MARKETING - COMMUNICATION & GRAPHIC DESIGN
AGRICULTURE - LIVESTOCK - PISCICULTURE & FORESTRY SERVICES
ARCHITECTS - DESIGNERS - ENGINEERS & SURVEYORS
ART - ANTIQUES & HANDICRAFTS
ASSOCIATIONS & ORGANISATIONS
AUDIO-VIDEO - ELECTRONIC & HOUSEHOLD APLLIANCES
BANKING - FINANCING & INSURANCE
BARS - RESTAURANTS - CAFES - CLUBS & CATERING
BUSINESS SERVICES
CHEMICALS & PHARMACEUTICALS
CLOTHING - TEXTILES & ACCESSORIES
CONSTRUCTION & MATERIALS
EDUCATION & TRAINING
ELECTRONICS & ELECTROTHECHNICS
ENERGY - GAS - ELECTRICITY &WATER - SERVICES
ENTERTAINMENT & LEISURE
ENVIRONMENT & RECYCLING
ESOTERISM & ASTROLOGY
FOOD - BEVERAGE & NEWSAGENTS
FURNITURE & CARPENTRY SERVICES
HEALTH & BEAUTY
HOTELS
HOUSE & GARDEN
INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & TELECOMMUNICATIONS
JEWELLERS & WATCHMAKERS
MECHANIC - HYDRAULIC & PNEUMATIC INDUSTRY
MEDICINE & MEDICAL SERVICES
MOTORING
MUSEUMS - ART GALLERIES & AUTION ROOMS
MUSIC - LITERARY - ARTISTIC & CULTURAL ACTIVITES
OFFICE SUPPLIERS & SERVICES
OPTICIANS & HEARING AIDS
PETS & VETERINARIANS
PHARMACY
PHOTOGRAPHY
PUBLISHING & PRINTING
REAL ESTATE & PROPERTY SERVICES
RESIDENTIAL HOMES & CARE SERVICES
SALES & SERVICES - MAIL ORDER & E-SHOPPING
SCIENCE - INVESTIGATION & DEVELOPMENT
SERVICES & AGENCIES
SPORTS & OUTDOOR PURSUITS
 


FRANCE

General Information
Capital: Paris
Area: 545,630 sq km (339,054 sq miles) (not including overseas territories).2
Population: 65,073,482
Electricity: 220 volts AC, 50Hz. Two-pin plugs are widely used
IDD: +33
Emergency number: 17
Timezone: GMT +1 Hr (+2 Hrs MAR-OCT)

Language
Language: French (official). Rapidly declining regional dialects and languages (Provencal, Breton, Alsatian, Corsican, Catalan, Basque, Flemish)

Government
Government: Republic.

Religion
Religion: 80% Catholic, Muslim and Protestant denominations

Health
Health: The following vaccinations are recommended: Tetanus.

Currency
Currency: Euro (EUR) 1.00 = 100 Cents

Exchange Rate
Exchange Rate: All 100.00 = USD = 66.8534 EUR GBP = 110.480 EUR CHF = 661543

Business Hours
Business Hours: Mon-Fri: 09.00-12.00 and 14.00-18.00

Speed Limit
Speed Limit: Cities: 50 km/h, Outside Cities: 90 km/h, Dual carriageways: 110 km/h, Motorways: 130 km/h

Traffic
Traffic: Traffic drives on the right. Minimum age 18 years. Wearing of seat belts is compulsory in front and back seats.

Driving License
Driving License: National license

National Holidays
National holidays: Jan 1 New Year"s Day, Easter (variable), 1 May Workers" Day, 8 May Victory Day, 25 May Ascensión, Jul 14 Bastille Day, Ago 15 Ascension Day, , Nov 1 All Saints" Day, Nov 11 Armistice Day, Dec 25 Christmas Day

Climate
Climate: The south of France has a warm Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Strong winds, known as la Mistral, can occur in the Cote d"Azur, Provence and in the Rhone valley particularly over the winter and spring. Northern France, including Paris, has a temperate climate with warm summers, cold winters and rainfall throughout the year. The western coast, is milder and summer days are generally very hot.

Temperatures
 
Temperatures:
JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
A3471014171919161174
P564635425754596455505150
S235678876422
A=Aver. Daily Temp. (°C)
P=Precipitation (mm)
S=Sunshine (Hrs/Month)

Mobile Network
Mobile Network: GSM 900 / 1800 3G 2100

GPS
GPS: 48 52 N, 2 19.59 E

Shopping Hours
Shopping Hours: Department stores are open 09.00-20.00. Most shops are closed between 12.00 and 14.30. Food shops are open 07.00-19.00/19.30. Some food shops (particulary bakers) are open Sunday mornings, in which case they will probably be closed on Monday. Many shops are closed all day or half-day Monday. Hypermarkets are normally open from 9.00 to 19.00/20.00, sometimes until 21.00 or 22.00.


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