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Autun France Autun

Autun France

Augustodunum, as Autun was known in Roman times, was a vital stronghold in Roman Gaul and had the amphitheatres, aqueducts and 6km of ramparts to prove it. Several important Roman constructions remain today as testimony to Autun's place in history, but the town is now much quieter.

Porte St André and Porte d'Arroux are the two remaining Roman gates of the four that once marked the entrances to Autun. The remains of the 15,000 capacity theatre are on avenue du 2ème Dragon on the east side of town. Autun has not spread much further than the medieval walls and original Roman fortifications, making it quite plausible to wander round the town in a day.

 


Autun

A thousand years after the Romans left, the Cathédrale St Lazare was built in the Burgundian Romanesque style. It is known for the tympanum of the Last Judgement above the west door, sculpted by Gislebertus, which shows the blessed on the left and the damned on the right (one woman's breasts are being eaten by snakes!). Next door to the cathedral on rue des Bancs is the Musée Rolin (€4), which is housed in another building by Nicolas Rolin who built the Hotel Dieu in Beaune. The Renaissance hotel is home to a collection of Gallo Roman objects, some sculptures by Gislebertus including a rather naughty one of Eve, and a luminous Nativity by the Maitre de Moulins.

Map of Autun

There is a wider variety of accommodation in Autun than in Beaune, with the cheaper selection near the station on avenue de la République.

If you want to try the regional dishes, head to Le Chalet Bleu at 3 rue Jeannin (03 85 86 27 30) behind the Hotel de Ville which has interesting menus from €14, or further along at number 14 is Le Chateaubriant (03 85 52 21 58) with more traditional menus from €12.