Unavoidable districts in the city
Auxerre is a medieval city and protected area which invites you to discover districts steeped in history: their houses, their architecture and their streets are open books on the past and the present.
The Marine district
It was isolated from the city-centre for a long time and was built along Yonne River. All its inhabitants, people from the river, lived from a trade using the river’s resources: tanners, boatmen, merchants and water common carriers used to live there, gathered around Saint Nicolas, the holy defender of bargemen. The bargemen Brotherhood had a statue installed on the 18th century on the place Saint-Nicolas, representing their defender made up of polychrome wood.
The barge’s place preserves the memory of the craft that linked Auxerre to Paris, enabling the shift of passengers and goods. One house grabs the visitor’s attention: a beautiful house made of stone and wood dating back to the 16th century, with sandpit, anchor and ship decorations, remind us that the sleeping partner was a water merchant.
Saint Peter district
Until the phylloxera crisis that destroyed Auxerre vineyards, Saint-Peter district was the winemakers’ area. Even if it was reduced during World War 2, the district still has great vestige from its past activity and especially the Church of Saint-Peter, amazing combination of architectural styles and decorations. This building which was a former abbey church combines the use of different architectural styles (Gothic, Renaissance and Classic) and displays on its facade the holy defenders of the Brotherhoods living in the district: butchers and winemakers, for whom this church was the parish.
The Clock District
Located in the old Gallo-Roman citadel near the old castle which was the earl’s seat, and near the shops, this quarter is still marked by the civilian power. The streets conserved their old aspect and the half-timbered or wooden buildings remind of the old construction methods.
The Clock Tower is dating back to the 15th century and symbolizes the middle-class persons’ power in the city as the earl allowed them to put their Clock upon one of the doors of the old castrum and to build a common house (place of the City Hall).
Half-timbered houses, Renaissance houses, private mansions from the 18th century, covered passage from the 19th century, art deco buildings or statues of famous figures (Restif de la Bretonne, Marie Noël…) contribute to the charm of this district that you have to discover!