Located in Central France, Moulins is in the region of the Auvergne and is approximately 2.5 hours south of Paris. The towers of the Cathedral and Eglise du Sacre-Coeur dominate the skyline. The eglise is home to a Black Madonna and child statue in wood and is from the 15th century.
Moulin grew up in the 10th century and takes its name from the many mills, which once lined the department (Allier).
Because Moulins was the capital of the duchy of Bourbonnais (c. 10th-16th century), and has noteworthy artistic and historic treasures. When I visited in 2006, the House of Bourbonn was wrapped in scaffolding and limited my photo options. I look forward to rectifying this and visiting this stunning city again. Naturally, I will post the next visit here.
While in Moulins, visit Grand Café. It has the notable first of having the first telephone and the first automobile in the area. The owner would proudly park his new motorcar outside and watch the tourists pour in.
Until the time of the French Revolution, Moulins served as capital for the province of Bourbonnais and the seat of the Dukes of Bourbon. Its existence can be documented as early as the year 990.
The town gained in prominence when Charles IV elevated Louis I de Clermont to Duke of Bourbon in 1327. Before establishing her career, the orphaned young Coco Chanel was educated here. Moulins was the birthplace of the great 19th century operatic baritone and art collector Jean-Baptiste Faure.