Saint-Etienne is located in the Rhône-Alpes region in the East of France and has a population of about 250,000. The city is also one of the leading tourist destinations in Europe.
Industries that helped build Saint-Etienne are coal mining and ribbon, in addition, during the revolution firearm manufacturing became important and remains till now.
The city of Saint-Etienne dates from the 12th Century. It was fortified during the 15th Century, became wealthy during the 16th century, and industrialized during the 19th Century. The first railway in France was constructed in Saint-Etienne. The last mine closed approximately 25 years ago. Nowadays the city is a regional center for manufacturing and has become a renowned location for high-tech industries.
Saint-Etienne has an outstanding architectural heritage. The city received the label ‘Town of Art and History’ in 2000. It also has a lot of parks and beautiful gardens to offer: 700 hectares of open spaces in total where people can relax. Many festivals are held here all year round: theatre and cinema festivals, concerts, sport events, traditional festivals and others.
The town center is based around the Place Jean Jaures, a large square with wide grassy areas and the Cathedrale Saint-Charles; the Place de la Hotel de Ville, a large square surrounded by impressive buildings, and the Place du Peuple which has long been a favorite in the city.
Saint-Etienne also boasts three amazing museums : the Musée d’Art Moderne which has one of the largest collections of modern and contemporary art in France, Musée de la Mine and the Musée de l’Art et de l’Industrie.
Other places you should visit are the Astroneuf, St Etienne’s state-of-the-art planetarium, with its unique space simulator. The best way to visit this city is on foot with the tourist board offering free guided tours for individuals and groups.
The city is also famous for its football club called “les verts”(the greens) which received most of its honors in the 60s and 70s . They also won the French league 9 times between 1964 and 1981.
Although Saint-Etienne is an industrial city historically, it is one of the most famous tourist destinations now.
Location: Rhône-Alpes region
Sights: Cathedrale Saint-Charles, Place de la Hotel de Ville, Place du Peuple
Hotels: Hotel Continental, City Lofthotel Saint-Etienne, Kyriad Saint Etienne Centre