Thiers, the international capital of cutlery, is distinguished by its history deeply rooted in the art of cutlery. This town, clinging to the mountainous rock, is the heart of a cutlery tradition that goes back several centuries. 
Around 70% of French sharp objects are manufactured here, thanks to know-how passed down from generation to generation.

Thiers, international capital of cutlery

Cutlery in Thiers took root in the Durolle valley seven centuries ago. Knifemakers used the hydraulic power of this river to power spinning wheels, a type of water mill specifically used for sharpening knife blades. 

Today, the Rouets valley, home to the last spinning wheel still in operation, can be visited, offering an overview of this industrial history. The Cutlery Museum completes this experience by presenting a vast collection of knives and retracing the evolution of this know-how.
The old center of Thiers, with its medieval houses and sloping streets, offers a unique atmosphere. The covered passages, called “pedde”, add to its charm. As you walk around, you will discover historic cutlery shops and various craftsmen. This protected area of ​​Thiers very concretely reflects its rich industrial and artistic past.
Making a knife in Thiers is an unmissable experience to try. You can immerse yourself in this craft by attending workshops where you can assemble, polish and even engrave your name on the blade of a knife. It is a family activity that allows you to understand and appreciate the finesse of cutlery work.

Visits and activities to do in the town of Thiers, capital of knives

Head to the cutlery museum. Here you will discover an impressive collection of knives and watch knife-making demonstrations. This visit is an excellent opportunity to understand local crafts.

For a unique experience, take part in a knife-making workshop at Inserfac or the Robert David cutlery in Thiers. You will have the opportunity to assemble your own Le Thiers® knife, a memorable souvenir of your visit. Take the opportunity to visit the Saint-Genès collegiate church, known for its remarkable architectural elements and its tranquility.

For a breath of fresh air, we invite you to explore the Vallée des Rouets which winds along the Durolle River for two kilometers. You can get there by car in six minutes or opt for the more engaging option, with the 12-kilometer “From Hell to Spinning Wheels” hike. This walk allows you to follow in the footsteps of the grinders in a soothing natural setting.

Further upstream, take the Vallée des Usines interpretive trail. Also running along the Durolle River, this walking route reveals the secrets of the papermakers, tanners and cutlers who left their mark on the medieval city. Admire historic sites like the Saint-Jean district, the Pont de Seychalles, and the Creux de l’Enfer. Prepare yourself for a demanding hike with a steep climb, and don't forget good shoes.

For the enthusiasts among you, come to Thiers in May for the international festival of art and tradition knives:  Cutellia. This international festival, the largest dedicated to knives, brings together more than 230 art cutlers and manufacturers from various countries, as well as suppliers of raw materials and equipment. It occupies a space of 2m² and offers a professional show, a creation competition, as well as various activities for enthusiasts.

Getaways to take around Thiers, capital of knives

Want history and culture? 

The surroundings of Thiers offer you two options for visits. The Château de Vollore, in Vollore-ville, known in the history of Auvergne since the 6th century, has been owned by the same family for more than two centuries. Living residence of the descendants in Auvergne of General La Fayette, it is also a remarkable site and panorama.

In Sermentizon, the castle of'Aulteribe has the reputation of being one of the best furnished residences in France. It preserves high-quality objects and works of art and presents furniture stamped from the best Parisian workshops of the 17th and 18th centuries.
Discover the origin and history of La Maison de l’Aventure Industrielle, located in the Usine du May. This Interpretation Center, established within a historic factory, is located in the heart of the Factory Valley, a few kilometers away. Nearby, you can also explore the Contemporary Art Center known as “the Hollow of Hell”.

Want more nature?

For hiking enthusiasts, the Haute Forêt des Bois Noirs offers an ideal setting. This mountain range, a paradise for hikers and mountain bikers, promises magnificent landscapes. For the more experienced, the Grün de Chignore, starting from Vollore-Ville, offers a magnificent 360° view (which is worth it) of the region. To reach the summit, allow 5h30 for 15,8km and 664m of elevation gain. 

Near Celles-sur-Durolle, still in the Bois Noirs, the Puy de Montoncel hike of 4 hours over 30 km offers you a forest walk to reach the highest point (12 m) of the Bois Noirs. For a quieter experience, the Black Woods spa offers an aquasensory space with sauna, hammam, and massages. Before relaxing, enjoy a herbal tea while admiring the view of Lac des Prades.

And now, everyone in the water!

Enjoy three bathing places labeled “Blue Flag” around Thiers. 

Take a dip with family or friends at the body of water of Prades in Saint-Rémy-sur-Durolle. It is labeled a green resort, offers two equipped beaches and a fun swimming pool. Monitored in summer, the beach also offers various activities: tennis, electric mountain bikes, hiking, fishing, and more. A space is specially adapted for disabled people, with a launching chair.
La Iloa Leisure Center  is located 7 km from the cutlery town. It combines a leisure center and the Natura 2000 site, open all year round. Perfect for a day or a nature stay, it offers swimming, fishing, swimming pool, picnic areas, games for children, orienteering course, and summer activities. A snack is also available in summer.
Le Aubusson lake d’Auvergne is the largest leisure center in Livradois-Forez, which extends over more than 100 hectares of nature. Enjoy a multitude of activities: supervised swimming, children's play areas, pétanque courts, football, handball, ping-pong, basketball, orienteering course, hiking, and fishing. You will also find canoe, pedal boat and Segway rentals, as well as various activities and services.

In Livradois-Forez you can swim in the water but also taste it! Meet at Châteldon. On the edges of the Vauziron, the renovation of the facades of the winegrowers’ houses was accompanied by a development of the banks… promenade very pleasant! Walk into a café and order a bottle of Châteldon sparkling water and listen to its supposed benefits. 

Off the beaten track

The association The old blades offers guided tours of their workshop in La Monnerie-le-Montel and explains the life of its former peasant-cutlers who made or assembled thousands of knives in their homes. Knife assembly workshops are also organised.
The Pre Fleuri Farm, in Sermentizon, invites you to discover its ORGANIC products during a horse-drawn carriage ride-tasting, with the Comtois horses of the farm. 

Why not take the opportunity to stop off at the beekeepers of Livradois-Forez?  The City of Bees, located in Viscomtat, offers tours and honey tastings. She also set up workshops around beeswax. Note that from July 2024, La Casa dard d’art will open its doors. You can discover temporary exhibitions by local artists there.