Pontgibaud is built at the junction of two lava flows from the puy de Louchadière and the puy de Côme. From its 15th century fortifications, a gate flanked by two round towers remains, just opposite the castle. It was a major mining centre specialising in silver lead mining from the 16th century. This activity ceased at the end of the 19th century, the only evidence still visible being a chimney at the exit of the village. It is also a favourite meeting place for fishermen.

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