Jaude Square


May 20, 2022

Place de Jaude (plaça de Jauda in Occitan) is the most important and best-known square in Clermont-Ferrand.

Location and access

Place de Jaude is bordered by: to the east by the Opéra-Théâtre and the Galeries de Jaude, now the Galeries Lafayette; to the south by the Center Jaude shopping center designed by the architect Jean-Loup Roubert; to the west by the Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes church; to the north by civilian buildings.

Origin of the name

Its name is of very ancient origin. Some authors attribute the name Jaude to Jau, a word meaning "rooster" in Occitan (North-Occitan) (bird emblem of the god Mars or poultry sold on the square?) but this is certainly a false etymology, typical of humanist erudition: indeed, two missals of the diocese of Clermont from 1492 and 1527 name the place platea Galli (the place of the Rooster). On the other hand, there is no doubt, from the point of view of historical phonetics, that the name of Jaude is derived from the name borne by the neighboring Gallo-Roman building, the temple of Vasso Galate which was located in the district named Galate. The phonetic evolution was as follows: Galate > Galde > Jalde > Jaude. From this same evolution derives its name in the Occitan language: plaça de Jauda.


A commercial suburb of Roman times

As proven by the excavations carried out during the development of the Fond de Jaude (1978), Carré Jaude I (1995) and Carré Jaude II (2009-2010), the plain of Jaude, almost devoid of construction in the Middle Ages, is on the contrary a densely urbanized sector in Roman times. Archaeological research currently shows that the Place de Jaude was a public district, a place of passage and merchant. This proto-square was parallel to the hill of Clermont, which houses the forum under the current Place de la Victoire and the cathedral.

In the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, the square was a vast unsuitable marshy area (it was in fact an old crater lake), bordered to the west by the arm branching off from the Tiretaine du Sud developed to supply tanneries and mills, to the north and east by the limit of the urbanized sector; the only building in elevation in the depression is then the chapel of Jaude, to the south-west of the square.

Modern Age

The Saint-Pierre-des-Minimes church was built in 1630. In 1663, a fountain and a basin were installed. In 1750, the square was transformed into a fairground in order to sell horses and firewood.

Urbanization of the square in the 19th and 20th centuries

In the 19th century, the square became a popular place to walk for the inhabitants. On the east side of the square, the canvas hall, built in 1812, was transformed to accommodate a large theater in 1894. Two monuments were erected: the statue of General Desaix in 1848 and the equestrian statue of Vercingetorix in 1903. The Café de Paris (1839), the Café Riche, the Grand Café Lyonnais, the Café de l'Univers open their terraces on the square. The commercial orientation of the square was confirmed in the 20th century, with the opening of the Paris-Clermont store (the current Crédit commercial de France building) built in 1900, then that of the Galeries de Jaude in 1907 (which became Galeries Lafayette in April 1997) which quickly supplanted their competitor. In the 1960s and 1970s, the square was renovated to the south: the Fond de Jaude district was razed to make way, in 1980, for a large shopping center, the Center Jaude.

The place during the 1980s

A car park is dug under the northern part of the square. Above, a bus station and a T2C shop are located. Almost all of the city's buses pass through the square. Two jet pools were created in 1985 in the center of the square, which is bordered by green spaces and magnolia trees. Near