Documentation library Testimonies



« Volcanologist and university professor, I always enjoy visiting the Chaîne des Puys. I have hence frequently taken my students and foreign colleagues to this area which is famous amongst volcanologists. Hikers, who ride on these volcanoes, at any age, alone or with their family, turn at every step, a page from a wonderful geology book. The site is unique, magic but also fragile so it is imperative to protect it. I strongly back the World Heritage application of the tectono-volcanic ensemble of the Chaîne des Puys and the Limagne fault. »

University professor, Universities of Cergy-Pontoise and Paris-Sud Orsay

« It is a jewel, an open-air treasure …
For this reason I hope, along with so many other people, that UNESCO inscribes this marvellous chain of volcanoes onto the World Heritage List so that its worth can at last be recognised; as a valuable reference for temporal and spatial evolution in terms of the creation of the Earth, not just within France, but on a globally important scale. The site would thus become an example of sustainable development in the region, and of well-planned economic and tourist growth, following in the tradition in the heart of France of respecting the natural assets. It is a chain which would link mankind. »

Journalist and television presenter

« Perseverance and the desire to carry a project through to completion are at the root of the numerous successes which punctuate the history of Michelin. These virtues are shared by Auvergnats, whether natives, at heart or by adoption, who wish to give ‘our’ puys the recognition they deserve. They can count on Michelin’s drive to share this mission with them. »

Jean-Dominique SENARD
President of the Michelin company

« Our brand is intimately linked to the exceptional natural site of the Chaîne des Puys, which has contributed to our image on a global scale. This project serves as a uniting factor for the inhabitants of the Puy-de-Dôme and Auvergnats as a whole, and we are proud to back it ».

Director of Danone (Volvic)

« A human community is defined by its horizon. In the Auvergne there are people. On their horizon there are volcanoes. And, since we are able to share this treasure, it would only be fair to count it among our world heritage ».

Member of the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres, Institut de France

« What makes the Chaîne des Puys so beautiful, so unique? Are we faced with the inexpressible? Perhaps not if we take into account the divinity of its volcanic origins. So, what are we waiting for to inscribe it as a heritage site for humanity? In that way we can simultaneously give homage to nature, science and beauty ».

Member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques, Institut de France

« The inscription of this fine example of French heritage onto the World Heritage List is an excellent way to promote the region of the Massif Central and to encourage development. Thus my support can be counted on for the proposal for the protection and promotion of our heritage ».

President of France since May 2012

« With its string of 90 volcanoes, dominated by the high and proud bulk of the puy de Dôme, the Chaîne des Puys constitutes a unique landscape phenomenon and an ecological area of exceptional richness ».

Christian LEYRIT
Vice-president of the Conseil général for the Environment and Sustainable Development


« This volcanism provides visitors with a marvellous landscape on a human scale. The Chaîne des Puys defines a horizon which is both unusual and relaxing ».

Jacques BARROT
Member of the Constitutional Council


« The Chaîne des Puys inspire dreams in all those who look at and pass through them, while being dormant themselves. Far removed from the apocalypses which accompanied their birth, they now present tame, regular and sensual shapes, carpeted with the beautiful green of rich pasture ».

Jean-Robert PITTE
President of the French Geography Society


« Like a lighthouse, faith shines better from a summit; it’s effects travel further. This is why the Auvergne mountains are also sacred mountains ».



« The Auvergne volcanoes form a mysterious landscape between the sky and the valleys below. The curves of the profiles are austere, while yet still being feminine. The assemblage amply deserves the honour of a UNESCO classification: it makes up a rare and magical symphonic landscape ».

Writer, editor and journalist


« The pristine shapes of this ‘hilly desert’ carry us back to the eve of the world, and the lava flows which extend towards the Limagne and the Sioule become rivers of fire. The Chaîne des Puys must be preserved for tourists, geologists and researchers alike. It must also be preserved so that it can continue to nourish our imagination and great myths ».

Writer and geographer


« I give my backing for this proposal very willingly, and I hope that the project can be realised in the near future. It will be an honour for the Auvergne, for France and for UNESCO ».

President of France (1974 – 1981)


« Is it possible to imagine that this chain of volcanoes, which invokes the dawn of humanity, might not be inscribed onto the World Heritage List? It is one of the most inviolate landscapes in Europe, and carries the overall essence of existence within its fusion of nature. ».

Writer, journalist and producer


« Having trained in the Auvergne for three fruitful years, I support the Chaîne des Puys candidature to be inscribed onto UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and hope that it will be successful ».

European pole vault champion


« I strongly back the application for the classification of our magnificent Chaîne des Puys, which is so close to my birthplace in the Livradois. My support comes both from my attachment to the Auvergne and from an impartial view of this unique volcanic alignment ».

Françoise HÉRITIER
Anthropologist and Professor at the Collège de France


« I have had the opportunity to photograph the Puy de Dôme and its famous volcanic chain, and I retain very good memories of the experience. The Chaîne des Puys constitutes a volcanic alignment which is unique of its type, and it is our duty to do everything we can to ensure its effective and sustainable preservation ».

Film maker and photographer


« The Auvergne is my birthplace and you can understand why I am very attached to the landscape and the people. It is a magnificent site, with the exceptional volcanic assemblage in the heart of a Regional Natural Park. Its classification is of great importance, covering economic, human and historic issues ».


« The high quality of the Chaînes des Puys – Limagne fault application impressed the members of the National Committee for French World Heritage Sites.
However, the disappointment in having to resubmit must not make us give up! Quite the contrary, we must continue calling on people to cooperate on the project in order to be able to present an even better and more united proposal next year. The Puy-de-Dôme has always been a realm of resistance and combat; we will carry our project through to completion ».

President of the Local Council of the Puy-de-Dôme

« It is a blow and a big disappointment. Yet our application is extremely comprehensive, having taken four years to complete. Nothing had been left to chance, and the management plan for the site is particularly detailed.
So we must not let ourselves be beaten. It is well known that in the Auvergne we are not handed anything on a plate; we must work for what we want. I am confidant that the quality of the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault site which we are proposing is exceptional and is truly worthy of its inclusion on the World Heritage List ».

Olivier MERLE
Tectonic geologist at the Laboratory of Magmas and Volcanoes, University of Clermont

« We know that our application is very well perceived and that it is of very high quality. So we must not let ourselves be beaten.
Even if it is difficult, we are going to fight again, and we will be successful ».

President of the Regional Natural Park of the Auvergne Volcanoes

« All the team working on the proposal are immensely motivated. The project has already had very positive spin-offs in terms of research.
In order to develop our results we are going to present them at conferences and then publish in scientific journals. The work carried out by Schools Inspectors in secondary schools also has implications for scientists. We are going to make the teaching world aware of our project by presenting activities in school classes and organising activities and conferences for associations. We want to spread this knowledge ».

Volcanologist at the Laboratory for Magmas and Volcanoes, University of Clermont

« The ministers would like to highlight the quality of the Chaîne des Puys – Limagne fault proposal, submitted under the heading of natural sites, and it should be put forward for consideration as soon as possible ».

Communiqué from the Ministers of the Environment and Culture

« I am firmly convinced that the attribution of this classification will raise the profile of our region, and develop tourism and culture, which will have very positive economic consequences. I remain convinced of this, despite the initial setback.
We Auvergnats are used to tricky situations such as this. But look at the sporting scene, in particular rugby: one day we will win! ».

Jean-Pierre CAILLARD
Managing Director of the Centre France media group La Montagne