Saint-Etienne has green areas in abundance, with over 700 hectares of public parks and gardens.
For instance, you can stroll through the Parc Montaud, the Parc de l’Europe or the Jardin des Plantes.
There is also the Pilat regional natural park, which was designated as such in 1974 and is among the many natural parks in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. It hosts a large proportion of the flora and fauna to be found in this mountainous region.
The Association Sportive de Saint-Etienne, which goes by its acronym ASSE, is one of France’s most popular football clubs. “The Greens” dominated French football in the 1960s and 1970s, peaking in 1976 when they reached the finals of the European Cup in Glasgow, which they lost.
The ASSE has won France’s Ligue 1 championship ten times, the French Cup six times and the League Cup once.
Jean-Louis Gasset has coached the first-team squad since December 2017.
For a long time Saint-Etienne was known as a coal mining hub, but these days it is expanding in the digital economy and design sectors. It has become the second-biggest city in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region and is developing further thanks to its network of innovative SMEs, some of which have become leading players in their respective fields; Thales-Angénieux, for example, is the no.1 in zoom lenses for cinematography applications.
The Cité du Design has successfully transformed its Biennale into one of the world’s biggest events in the field and enabled Saint-Étienne to join the likes of Berlin, Montréal and Shanghai in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network.
In 2000 Saint Etienne was awarded France’s Ville d’Art et d’Histoire label for its architectural heritage spanning the 14th century to the 20th century.
Meanwhile, lovers of museums and industrial history can visit the Musée de la Mine set up in 1991. The museum keeps the legacy of the Loire area’s old coal mines alive.