QR Veyre-Monton – Hameaux 1
Saint-Alyre, the former parish church
A former Benedictine priory
The history of this hamlet has been documented since before the year 1000. It was called Cardonetum in the 10th century and had mills, vineyards, fields and a church dedicated to Saint Hilaire. The Sauxillanges cartulary tells us that these assets were donated by a certain Arbertus to the Saint-Pierre de Sauxillanges abbey, one of the five « daughters » of Cluny. In the 11th century, the monks established a modest priory at Saint-Alyre.
Under the Ancien Régime, Saint-Alyre (a deformation of Saint-Hilaire) was the seat of a parish that included Monton and the villages of Veyre and Soulasse.
During the French Revolution, the Saint-Alyre priory was sold off as national property, after which its cemetery fell into disuse. The new owners of the church and priory buildings converted them into dwellings and farm buildings.
Only the Chemin de l’Abbaye, which runs through the hamlet, still recalls the religious history of this place.
An enthusiastic poet
At the beginning of the 19th century, Jacques Bernard retired to Monton at the end of his military career.
The beauty of the place inspired him to write a collection of verses, which was published in 1816, describing the countryside around the Puy de Monton. In it, he evoked Saint-Alyre (Saint-Hilaire).
« …Eh ! Who doesn’t know the shadows of Veyre,
And the dark orchards of rich Saint-Hilaire?
Dreaming of joy, how many nights,
I have walked the paths of this enchanting site!
The curving bends of this charming shore!
The gurgling waves as they rush evermore;
The route a moving scene,
Dreamers in meadows, the sounds of the stream;
Soft the sound of nature’s smile,
In these places, adorned in style,
With flowers laced and knots untied
Sowing the seeds of nature’s guise. »
The Chemin de Saint-Alyre
The Saint-Alyre path, which climbs from Saint-Alyre to Monton, used to wind its way through vineyards, orchards and vegetable gardens. Flanked by dry stone walls, this old path of beaten earth made for a pleasant stroll and a gradually revealing of the hilltop village of Monton and beautiful panoramas of the Limagne hills, oft-captured by postcard photographers in the early 20th century.