Landmarks and cities of art
It was under the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 B.C/14 B.C) that was founded the city of Autun .It was then called Augustodunum .Autun is a great historical city which has preserved many traces of ancient or medieval. It is classified City of Art and History..
Monuments and places of interest:
• The St-Lazare cathedral Roman era, is known for its sculptures, particularly those of the tympanum
• The tower des Ursulines The tower, surrounded by Roman walls, is surmounted by a statue of the Holy Virgin 3 meter high
• Place du Champ de Mars is the heart of the city. There, are the City Hall and Proscenium. The market is held on Wednesdays and Fridays
• The Roman Theatre where the Augustodunum show takes place every summer.
• The roman arches of Saint-André and of ‘Arroux.
• The Janus temple 2km outside the city is a very impressive roman temple and should not be missed.
• The Couhard stone, ancient pyramid-shaped funerary monument carries many legends .
• The walls, which encircle the old city.
• The Autun military high school is a former seminary built in the seventeenth century with beautiful glazed tiles. Construction of new buildings has recently led to the discovery of important Roman remains.
• The Balthus Passage : Ancient market built from 1742 to 1746, transformed into a ceilinged walkway in 1848.
•The former prison was built in 1854 and decommissioned in 1955. It is now a protected historical monuments and is particularly notable for its circular shape.
• The megalithic alignments of the ‘Field of Justice’.
• The “picturesque Brisecou waterfall”, romantic spot.
• The “Cross of the Liberation” towers over Autun.
Nevers , known as the ‘city of the dukes’ and belongs to the federation Cluniac sites, crossroad of a religious and monastic important trend.
Monuments and places of interest:
• The ducal palace is considered one of the first castle of the Loire. With its large Renaissance façade, flanked by polygonal turrets , it offers many aquariums with fish from the Loire river and various exhibitions.
•The Cathedral Saint-Cyr-et-Sainte-Juliette of gothic style, has the particularity of owning two chevets. This roman/gothic assemblage results of a reconstruction of the building after a severe blaze at the end of the medieval period .
•The Saint-Étienne church is a roman church achieved in 1192.
• The Sainte-Marie Chapel was a part of the ancient ‘Visitandines’ monastery .
• The Sainte-Bernadette church is also worthy of interest.
• The Porte du Croux (XIVe century) and the Goguin tower are remains of ancient fortifications.
• The Porte de Paris (XVIIIe century) is a triumphal arch erected to celebrate the victory of Fontenoy in 1745, it bears an epitaph of Voltaire.
•The Abbey of Saint-Martin de Nevers is a Benedictine abbey .
• The Municipal Museum Frédéric Blandin hosts a collection of enamelled glass, also called “spun glass”, the most beautiful of its kind, and a unique set of earthenware.
• The gardens of la Baratte: Centuries old , this site offers various types of gardens, long ditches where the ‘agrion de mercure’ (protected specy of dragonfly) lives , fountains,old wash-houses, gardening longhouses…
Created in 1974, this place ,beautifully located in the countryside, surrounded by wooded hills and its Temple whose architecture recalls the Himalayan temples with its unique and beautiful frescos, is dedicated to the teaching and practice of meditation and the study of the Dharma
Moulins, city of art and history, is located at the northern tip of Auvergne, on the banks of the Allier, one of the last untamed rivers of Europe. Once the capital of the largest dukedom of France, the city has retained a rich historical heritage.
Castle of the Dukes, the Anne de Beaujeu Pavilion, the ‘Jacquemart’ , the ‘Mal-Coiffée’ , the ‘triptyque du Maître de Moulins’ … the Dukes of Bourbon left on the cobbled streets a fabulous legacy.
The Basilica of St. Mary Magdalene at Vézelay is a hotbed of Christianity in the Middle Ages, an important pilgrimage site on the way to Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle.The tympanum narthex of the basilica is one of the masterpieces of Romanesque sculpture. The Basilica is a historic monument and is listed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.
The Abbey of Cluny was founded on 909 or 910 by the Duke of Aquitaine and count of Auvergne, William I. Cluny is the symbol of the monastic revival in occident, the abbey was a hotbed of reform of the Benedictine rule and a leading intellectual center in the Middle Ages. There remains today a significative part of the building, subject to protection by the Historical Monuments .
The construction of the Canal du Nivernais, during the eighteenth century, required major adjustments. It had to go through the mountain of La Collancelle and the only way was to drill under it. The tour will take you through the succession of three tunnels (Collancelle tunnel -758 m- tunnel Mouas -268 m- and Breuilles tunnel -212 m-), and you will retrace your steps at the hamlet of Port Brûlé: In between each tunnel are the “trenches” deep uncovered parts of the channel
Originally built to facilitate floating the wood from Clamecy to Paris, the Canal du Nivernais was an important line of communication that contributed to the economic development of the vales of the Yonne and its region until the arrival of the railway in the nineteenth century. It is now exclusively dedicated to boating, boating and many consider it to be one of the most beautiful canals of Europe, whose appeal is enhanced by the presence of remarkable works of art (vaults, tunnels, locks, drawbridges)..
Mount Beuvray which culminates at 821m is part of the Morvan massif. On its summit lies the old Gallic oppidum of Bibracte, capital of the Aedui.
On its slopes is the museum of Celtic civilization, a local must (see our ‘Museum’ section). The site of Mount Beuvray is a natural classified site with stunning views over the Morvan mounts
The Hospices de Beaune or Hôtel-Dieu de Beaune is a former hospital from the fifteenth century, now a museum. Its founding by Chancellor Nicolas Rolin dates back to 1443, it was completed in 1457. Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of the Duke of Burgundy, Philip III of Burgundy (Philip the Good) succeeded in creating in 1459 the creation of the Order of the Sisters ‘Hospitalieres’ of Beaune whose rule combined a monastic life and helping the poor. For centuries they provided care and remained the driving force of the Hôtel-Dieu. It is famous both for its architecture and its prestigious Burgundy vineyards whose production is sold at the yearly Hospices de Beaune world-famous auctions.
Classified prehistoric Site: Prehistoric Caves – underground River – archeological Museum special Relics of bear among which several complete skeletons; one of ten lions of caverns known in France. Archeological museum, numerous examples of strata, faults, sedimentary, fossil stores and calcareous concretions