Sens and its Synodal palace

Gateway to Burgundy

On the edge of the Orléanais, Champagne and Île-de-France, Sens is the northern gateway to Burgundy. This old Gallic town, once capital of Christendom, stands in the shadow of France's first Gothic cathedral. Its boulevards and parks are perfect for a walk.

In the time of the Archbishops

Sens owes its name to the Gallic Senone people who captured Rome well before the Romans invaded Gaul.

In the Middle Ages Sens was the major town of a vast province including the dioceses of Chartres, Paris, Auxerre, Meaux, Orléans....

The Wars of Religion and the creation of an archdiocese in Paris in 1622 forced Sens into the background.

A cathedral and its treasure

The cathedral was built in the 12th century. The town was visited by Pope Alexander III and Thomas a Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury. King Louis IX and Marguerite of Provence were married at the cathedral. This splendid period left a remarkable heritage.

The cathedral of St Etienne has 13th and 17th century stained glass windows. Built at the time of King Philippe Auguste, it is the first Gothic cathedral.

The old archbishop's palace now houses the town's museums. The cathedral's treasure, displayed in what was the archbishops' private chapel, is one of the richest in France.

The synodal palace, built in the reign of Louis IX, was restored in the 19th century by Viollet-le-Duc. Its old dungeons have medieval graffiti on their walls.

Sens - parks and gardens

The old ramparts around Sens now provide some pleasant walks. Between town and country, the Moulin à Tan arboretum has tropical greenhouses, rose gardens and animal enclosures.

At "La Madeleine", Patrick Gauthier creates gourmet bouquets of fresh produce from Sens market. This 2 Michelin star restaurant could be your first delicious taste of Burgundian cuisine!

Office de Tourisme de Sens et du Sénonais
Place Jean Jaurès - 89100 - SENS -
03 86 65 19 49
Horaires d'ouverture de l'Office de tourisme de Sens
  • Du Moyen-âge à la IIIème République, l'office du tourisme de Sens vous propose des circuits de visite couvrant toutes les périodes historiques.

    L'office de tourisme de Sens est ouvert :
    - De septembre à juin, de 9 h 30 à 12 h 30 et de 14 h à 18 h
    - En juillet et en août, de 9 h 30 à 13 h et de 14 h à 18 h 30
    Les dimanches et jours fériés :
    - De mai à octobre, de 10 h 30 à 13 h et de 14 h à 16 h 30

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