Issoire, a story of water!
The location of the city, at the confluence of the river Allier and the “Couze Pavin” and the presence of small streams was a unique environment to develop an irrigation network in the city.
This water, essential to Issoire’s heritage, has allowed meeting the human needs, organising crop irrigation and building mills. The various irrigation canals also served to protect the city. It was used as gap at the foot of the ramparts, now disappeared, and for the disposal of waste.
5 steps to discover canals
Nowadays, a large part of canals still exist in the city.
1. Courtyard of the city hall
Start your tour in front of the city hall. The “canal du centre” and the “canal de la Mouchette” merge to cross the courtyard and join the “Couze Pavin”. When you are in the courtyard of the city hall, turn right and go at the back of the courtyard. A door is opening on the canal.
2. Canal de la Mouchette
At 300 metres from the city hall, before joining the Canal du Centre, the Canal de la Mouchette crosses the street “Rue de la Berbiziale” at the corner with the street “Rue du faisan”.
3. Canal du centre
At 130 metres from the Street “Rue du faisan”, you can discover the “Canal du Centre”, in the street “Impasse du Palais”, behind the Association’s building.
4. The laundry
At 450 metres, join the street “Rue de Barrière”, which starts from the boulevards. Walk few metres. You discover the covered laundry that receives the waters of Guillard stream before the canal comes into town and splits. An excess returns some of the water towards the Couze and the rest feeds the 4 main canals: canal du Parguet, canal du Centre, canal de la Mouchette and canal du Foirail.
5. Canal du Parguet
Go down the street “Rue de Barrière” and join the street “Impasse du Parguet”, at 400 metres. The canal has been rehabilitated and promoted in the street “Rue du Parguet”. Nearby, the inexhaustible fountain of the street “Rue du Pont” was also fitted.