Auxerre and its prestigious monuments
A rich and glorious heritage
Auxerre owns a conservation area of 67 hectares, the second in Burgundy after Dijon which is the capital of Burgundy. As the city received a label "City of Art and History" in 1995, its heritage and its architectural and historical treasures are highlighted. Tours, museums and monuments are open all year round!
Superb and majestic are two words that can be used to describe this Abbey, a real jewel of the Heritage of Auxerre that you really must explore in person.
Saint Germain Abbey, an almost intact monastic complex, has been existing for more than 1000 years. The crypts are the defining moment of the visit and date back to 9th century. They contain the oldest wall paintings ever seen in France.
Since June 1999, the front nave of the abbey church was open to the public. Archaeological investigation revealed some remains (masonry and sarcophagus) from 6th, 7th and 9th century.
Do not miss the chapter room (12th century), storeroom (14th century), the cloister (17th century) then leaving the Abbey to admire St.-Jean Tower (12th century) and its stone spire of eight convex sides.
Saint Germain Abbey is located in Saint Germain Square in Auxerre. It is partly accessible to disabled people with a wheelchair (cloister, church, chapter hall, medieval hall, and toilets)
Tel: 33 3 86 18 02 90 (weekdays) or 33 3 86 18 02 98 (week-end)
Model of elegant gothic style, the cathedral owns a remarkable portal with bas reliefs. The façade is worth a few minutes of your time to have a look at the various sculptures that depict the life of the time. The 15th and 16th century stained glass windows are also worthy of a close look.
Do not miss the crypts of the 11th century, remains of the Cathedral, which is famous for its painting "Christ on horseback". The treasure, which is constituted by precious cult objects (enamels from 13th century, ancient miniatures and manuscript), is worth a visit.
Practical Information :
Tel : 33 3 86 51 29 20
The clock Tower was built in the 15th century, on the foundation of a tower from the ancient Gallo-Roman barrack. It was first used as an earl’s prison, and converted to a clock and belfry in 1483. It was ravaged by flames in 1825, but restored after then, and much of it was reconstructed identically to the original building between 1891 and 1893. The dial of the Clock Tower is very special; it indicates the hour with two hands. In fact, it does not only have a lunar dial but also a solar dial; they show the movements of the moon and the sun.
A chamber contains the mechanism of the clock installed by citizens of Auxerre in the 15th century.
The home of the bailiff Guillaume Roussel was located near the tower : he was an eccentric character who inspired the nursery rhyme “Cadet Roussel”, sang in all the schools of France.
Saint-Eusèbe Church has been reconstructed for centuries. Look at the place, the edifice offers a heterogeneous profile: a Roman church tower with remarkable scenery towers over a Gothic nave (13th century) and Renaissance choir (16th century).
The interior, which was recently restored, is worth a look. Visitors can admire the paintings decorating the vaults. A beautiful set of windows illuminates the Renaissance choir.
Saint Eusebe church is situated in Saint Eusebe Square in Auxerre. It is open to the public everyday, all year round from 9am to 6pm. Free entrance.
The church is isolated now but was part of the monastic complex. The winemakers, established in Saint-Pierre district, financed the construction of the Gothic tower (XVI century) then a part of the current church (XVII century).
The classic facade, whose decorations were built in memory of the local saints and patron saints of butchers and wine-makers, masks the Gothic architecture. A remarkable portal, inspired by the Italian Renaissance (16th century) could be an adaptation of the entrance portal of Castelnuovo in Naples.
You can admire the typical scenery of that era, including the meeting of an ancient god, Ceres, goddess of abundance, and a biblical story, Noah's drunkenness.
The church is open all the year from monday to saturday from 10 am to 7 pm and on sundays from 10 am to 1 pm.
It is located on place Saint-Pierre in Auxerre.