EDEN 2017 destination finalist: Moulins, town of art and history

Nestled at the heart of France, Moulins is a recognised ‘Ville d’Art et d’Histoire’ (Town of Art and History) and former capital of the Duchy of Bourbon, today home to 20,000 residents.

Moulins’ cultural heritage has been significantly moulded by the legacy left by the Bourbons, whether in the historic town centre, in nearby Souvigny and other surrounding villages, or in the region’s chateaux and Romanesque churches. The area is traversed by the River Allier, known as the last wild river in Europe and a classified nature reserve.

In addition to the 2006 opening of the National Centre for Stage Costume and Scenography, several other local projects have collectively made Moulins and its environs a multi-faceted cultural mecca for tourists. These have included the Museum of Youth Illustration, the Maison Mantin, the Musée de la Visitation and ‘Espace Visitation’ at the Demoret Hotel… and, just last year, Street Art City.

This new hub of urban cultural expression is unique in its kind: 13 concrete buildings, totalling an area of 7,000 square metres, were abandoned in 1993 and have now been dedicated entirely to street art. Artists have free reign of the walls and facades, and use varied techniques from freehand graffiti to mosaics. Come and see it for yourself… Moulins is easily accessible from the UK via several major French cities including Paris, Lyon, Orléans and Clermont-Ferrand.