2,000 years of History

Built amidst woods and surrounded by fields, Autun is the town of historical and artistic interest par excellence. The Gallo-Roman origins and powerful Romanesque art of this timeless town make it a very attractive 'gateway to the Morvan'.

Two prosperous periods

A key staging post on the route from Lyon to Boulogne-sur-Mer, the Gallic town of Augustodunum flourished under the influence of Emperor Augustus. In the Middles Ages Autun enjoyed a significant spiritual and economic boom.

Autun has retained many outstanding remains and monuments from the Gallo-Roman period. Its 20,000 seat amphitheatre was the largest in the Roman world! The temple of Janus is another magnificent testament to that era.

In the 12th century the cathedral of Saint Lazarus was built along with a number of townhouses. The cathedral tympanum is a veritable masterpiece of Romanesque art.

In the 19th century Viollet-le-Duc imposed his own style on the arcades of the Saint-André gate, by adding vaults to this 3rd century building.

A centre for Burgundian culture

Nicolas Rolin (1376-1452), chancellor of the Dukes of Burgundy, was largely responsible for the influence enjoyed by Autun during the Renaissance.

Collections in the Rolin museum cover every period, including decorative arts from the 17th to 20th centuries. The famous "Temptation of Eve", sculpted by Gislebertus, was originally part of the great door of the cathedral.

Flea markets and night-time shows are also amongst the unmissable attractions of Autun.

"Sister and emulator of Rome"

Autun's motto, "Roma celtica, soror et aemula Romae" is inscribed on the pediment of its Town Hall. The impressive Augustodunum son et lumière show, held in the amphitheatre, traces the history of the town....

Labels :

  • Ville d'Art et d'Histoire
Office de Tourisme du Grand Autunois Morvan
13, rue du Général Demetz - 71400 - AUTUN -
03 85 86 80 38

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