The Tourist Office of Auxerre have put together a fantastic walking tour of their beautiful town. For €1.50 you get a guide pamphlet and you follow the brass triangles inserted around the streets taking in 67 sights. There’s a lot to see here but I have only posted a selection. Hope you enjoy it.
Ancient steam rooms built before the XVII century, used for bathing and hygiene. And also prostitution for the wealthy youth.
XVII century hostelry, facing the river, with polychrome wood statue of St Nicholas. The brotherhood of St Nicholas begged from travellers who took the passenger barges to Paris.
Before the Revolution this was the passenger barge offices with stables on the ground floor (now Le Quai restaurant) for the horses that hauled the barges.
Maison Defert, an individual mansion from around XVIIc with a large roof overlapping the timber. Restored recently it is now a master glassmaker’s workshop.
These crenelated walls and tower dated 1320 form part of the St Germain abbey. A windmill was built in the tower during the XVth century.
This was the home of the notorious “Le Cuisinier du Diable” (The Devil’s Cook) who, while considered to be the “doctor to the poor” actually became an assassin for the Nazis. He even joined the Resistance to cover his tracks while murdering at least 63 Resistance fighters, Jews and other dispossessed. He was executed in 1946.
Chapel of the Sisters of the Order of the Visitation. Built between 1660 and 1714.
Palais de Justice built 1862-5 It’s inner structure has two large courtyards with gardens.
Hôtel de Crôle, built XVIth, is a great example of Renaissance architecture with its gate lodge, and facade with plenty of embellishments including fluted pilasters, bays and superimposed orders.
Hotel du Cerf-Volant is the oldest civil building made of stone in Auxerre, built XIVth century
Hôtel Deschamps de Charmelieu is a private mansion built 1755-1760 on the site of the ancient priory Saint Eusèbe’s granges for the lord of Saint-Bris and Auxerre county tax collector, a very malevolent character whom everyone despised. (Who likes a tax collector?). The architecture is Classical.
Passage Soufflot, created in 1903 by drilling through the ground floor of a XVIIth century private mansion. It’s style is Louis XIIIth.
Saint Eusèbe’s basilica, founded in the VIIth century has had many incarnations over the centuries and is now used as the church for a men’s monastery, and has been recently restored.
Cadet Roussel is famous in Auxerre. Born 1743 he started working life as a servant, a footman, then a bailiff and was a quirky character. During the Revolution he became a Jacobian. There’s a famous song making fun of him written by the Knight Chenu du Souchet and it was adapted as a marching song for soldiers during the Revolution even though it had nothing to do with war!
The Post Office built 1909 on the site of the ancient grain market is the first attempt at Art Nouveau and has a rare sunflower decoration.
Sculpture of writer Rétif de la Bretonne by Francois Brochet, a local artist.
The clock tower was built during the XVth century on the foundation of a tower from the ancient Gallo-roman castrum (fort). It was first used as a count’s prison and converted to a clock and bell tower in 1493. It was ravaged by flames in 1825 but restored in 1891-3 by famous French architect Paul Boeswillwald.
This is the Town Hall or Hotel de Ville built 1733.
One of the many streets in Auxerre with houses made with timber framing. They are stunning as is the handsome man in front studying his map 🙂
These are just some of the spectacular sights to be seen in Auxerre. If you are in Burgundy I highly recommend a visit!
As for us, we will be leaving our boat here on Thursday, October 8 and taking the train to Geneva, Switzerland for a couple of days. Then we head to Italy for a week where we will rent a car and have a quick look at the Northern Lakes and the Ligurian Coast. Hopefully I’ll be able to post from there as well. Then it’s home for us, back to Christchurch, New Zealand, and moving into our apartment.