"Visit Thiers, capital city of knives!" Thiers by kokoryko
Thiers Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 98 photos
A knife is a very common tool or utensil we know since childhood, use every day, is so common in our environment, we almost never think about how? Since when? From where? What for? Who? Etc. . etc. . . . In fact “The” knife has a history, has a social meaning, is used in thousands of ways, is manufactured with different techniques, has tens and tens of purposes, and even has a “Capital City”, and this city is Thiers which I propose you to discover in this little VT page.
First, we are aware there are many other cities of knives in the world, like Yangjiang, in Guangdong province, China, Wazirabad, in Pakistan, Toledo in Spain, and even in France, I know (I mean, I was there!) two other cities of knives (Nogent en Bassigny and Nontron) and there are certainly many more, but Thiers is a city where the knife, the work of steel, is really a part of the city life, and in France, it is still “the reference” for knives and some other fine steelworks.
In this page, it will be about knives, but not only, and a bit of history related (or not) to knives, a hike in a “mill valley”, walks in the old city, beautiful houses, local customs, mountain landscapes. . . . making short, about a small city of deep central France, but with something special, a matter of half timbered houses and knives. . . . .
Thiers is located on the Eastern border of Auvergne and Massif central, in France, at the northern tip of the Forez mountains; built on the western slopes of the Forez Mountains, Thiers is since the Middle Age a city dedicated to ironmongery, and as the old houses and mansions show, it was once a rich city of workers, salespeople, entrepreneurs. . . most living for, from, with. . . . iron and knives. Today, many shops have closed, the city is much more quiet than in the past and the shops remaining are more and more turned to tourism and souvenirs, but there are still lots of “real” knives and items to buy here; if you want a real good and beautiful (both qualities are possible on the same item!) for yourself or as a gift, here is the place where you can find it, and as you see on the picture, some shop keepers are quite imaginative in displaying what they sell. . . :)))! If you don’t buy a knife, you are very good at resisting all those tempting things. . . . .
In the Durolle Valley are numerous abandoned factories, showing that the industry has moved far away from the valley and from artisanal or small scale work; higher in the valley was the mill valley, where numerous mills were working less than a century ago and it is possible to visit some old workshops, mills, and have an insight on how workers worked and lived here to make very common knives, but also some pieces of art. . .
Much of history is still visible in the streets and the museum of cutlery (Musée de la coutellerie) tells a lot about history, but also about manufacturing techniques, types of knives, explains how and for what knives were produced. . . . You will leave the museum, with the feeling you learned something. . . . . and you may look at some common steel objects with a different eye!
- In a nutshell:Knives. . . . . .
Next to St Symphorien (on he other side of the street) is an abbatial house (Logis Abbatial du Moutier), which look... more travel advice
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