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Association life


Remarkable places

site lapalisse 1 chateau besbre

The Besbre river

The Besbre river stretches along 98 kilometres to the East of the Bourbonnais area.

It starts off in the massif du Montoncel (highest point in the Allier département) and flows into the Loire in the commune of Diou. There are two distinctive parts in the course of the Besbre.

From its source in Lapalisse, that is the first half of its course, there is the Haute Besbre which goes from an altitude of 1,200 m to 300 m. This is where the Besbre crosses different primary soils and goes through very often scarped gorges.

From Lapalisse to its confluence with the Loire, its middle course now runs over tertiary and quaternary sedimentary soil and gradually spreads out to a widening valley.

The Besbre goes through the heart of the town, prompting walks, relaxing moments and fishing. It is very popular among fishermen where they are bound to find many species of fish including trout and grayling. (A fishing school is open every Saturday afternoon from June to September at the Acacia lake)


Phone: 04 70 99 01 65
Website :

The Floral Park

With a gazebo in the middle and paths leading off it, the (3ha) park boasts a French-style and an English-style garden. It has over 95 different species and a collection of the emblematic flower of Lapalisse, the peony. It also has a great discovery trail of remarkable trees.

Free entrance.

  • Walk in the park
    Walk in the park
  • The peony
    The peony
    The symbolic flower of Lapalisse
  • Floral park
    Floral park
  • Floral park
    Floral park
  • Floral park
    Floral park
  • Floral park
    Floral park
  • Fountain of the park
    Fountain of the park
  • Floral park
    Floral park
  • The peony
    The peony
    The symbolic flower of Lapalisse

The Doriat Peony

site pivoine lapalisse lapalissetourisme 3

The Lapalisse-based Doriat establishment was founded in the early 20th century and always specialised in peonies.

In addition to their own creations, Doriat bought two major French collections (that of Félix Crousse from Nancy in 1905 and Dessert et Méchin from Chenonceaux, in 1922).

Edouard Doriat (1875-1953, an engineer who graduated from the higher school of horticulture in Versailles, created thriving nurseries that ended up housing 80,000 to 100,000 peonies of 600 different species. He has a street in Lapalisse named after him.

His son, Charles, continued his work up until 1967 when he sold his collections to the horticultural company Marionnet, based in Soignes, Sologne.



Historical circuit

There is a circuit designed to show off the historical part of the town its old narrow streets, the old timber-framed house at the corner of rue du Commerce and rue Notre-Dame, the old Hostellerie of Puits de l'Image and its square, the old hospital of Lapalisse, the salle de la Grenette (hall), the place du Champ de Foire and the esplanade Maréchal de la Palice (housing the old mill), etc.

You can ask for the "Circuit" from the Tourist Board. There are guided tours organised in the summer with the Tourist Board.


  • Salle de la Grenette
    Salle de la Grenette
  • Place du Puits de l'Image
    Place du Puits de l'Image
  • Place du Puits de l'Image
    Place du Puits de l'Image
  • Place Général Leclerc
    Place Général Leclerc
  • Place du Puits de l'Image
    Place du Puits de l'Image

Historical N7

RN7 historique Lapalisse 2site N7

The historical Route Nationale 7  and classic vehicles

This road is steeped in history - it was a key Roman road leading to Lyon, an important route of the Paris-Lyon kingdom, an imperial route,  a Bleue route in the fifties as well as the iconic holiday destination road.

The N7 has forged the life and development of Lapalisse. It is now part and parcel of its heritage as shown by the "Nationale 7 Historique" signs meant for all the enthusiasts and tourists taking the old Route Nationale 7, eager to explore particularly interesting areas. A special board game has also been released.

Find out more on:

Download brochure here.

Lapalisse traffic hold-up

Since the bypass of the N7 in 2006, every 2 years Lapalisse pays honour to the iconic route by re-enacting a giant traffic hold-up like in the fifties and sixties at the start of the holiday season. It has become a benchmark event of the old N7 growing in popularity and attracting lovers of old cars from all over France and Europe alike.

Website :

association Route Nationale 6, 7, 86 Historique

This association groups more than 50 waterside municipalities of the National 7 in the broad sense: the National 7 in its entirety, including the relegated portions, the former National 6 from Paris to Lyon, the former National 86 on the right bank of the Rhône and the Blue Road.
Lapalisse integrated this association from his creation in 2011.
The objectives of this association are to promote and to develop the tourism on these former roads from Paris to Côte d'Azur, to protect and to emphasize its heritage.
The National 7, it is 2000 years of history, but it is especially 30 years of legend, when the highway did not exist... It is important to remember it and to protect some striking vestiges.
Website :

Association des Véhicules Anciens Industriels et Agricole

Association des Véhicules Anciens Industriels and Agricole de St-Prix (AVAIA) and Club Automobile de Lapalisse (CAL) federate the enthusiasts of old mechanics.
Visits of the museum of the AVAIA to ST-Prix by appointment.

Phone: 06 07 28 29 48
Websites :  


site nuit chateau

La Palice castle (12th-15th and 16th century)

Surrounded by an outstanding garden, this feudal residence of the famous Marshal of France, Jacques II de Chabannes La Palice has undergone many changes over the centuries. The same family has lived in this castle since 1430. It has magnificent panelled ceilings and is furnished throughout.

And the truisms...

This famous Master of La Palice built the Renaissance part. He died during the battle of Pavia in 1525. His courage inspired his troops to compose this lament: "Alas, La Palice is dead, he died before Pavia. Alas, if he were not dead, he would still be envied".  in the 18th century, Bernard de la Monnoye changed the "would still be envied" to "would still be alive" and added his own verses, hence the famous truisms of La Palice or "lapalissades", wrongly attributed to the Marshal.

The historical part spreads out from the foot of the castle with the place du Puits de l'Image, a wonderful timber-framed house and the Tourist Board.

The castle is also host to a one-of-a-kind collection dedicated to flags of different nations.

This is a fine representation of peoples from across the continents and of all religions (tour included with the castle)

Guided tours every day from 1st April to 1st November, free entry to park.

  • View from the castle
    View from the castle
    from the Besbre
  • Lapalisse castle
    Lapalisse castle night view
  • The floral park
    The floral park
  • Theatrical tour
    Theatrical tour
  • Inside

Art en marche modern art museum

site ART EN MARCHE 4 credit photo Lacroix Remy CDT03The museum is a site of 2,600m² unparalleled in Europe. It showcases a turnover of over 350 works from 150 extraordinary French and foreign artists (painters, sculptors, visual artists).

This is a museum where creators are liberated from any constraints to indulge their creative freedom, boldness and authenticity.

Visits by appointment, events and training courses throughout the year.


Avenue du 8 mai 45
03120 Lapalisse

Phone: 06 16 28 50 92

Website :



site Art en marchesite Musee de l Art en Marche