Auxerre is a commune in the Bourgogne region of central France, between Paris and Dijon. It is the Prefecture (capital) of the Yonne department.
It is a commercial and industrial centre, with industries including food production, woodworking and batteries. It is also famous for the wine produced in the neighbourhood, including the renowned Chablis.
Auxerre was a flourishing Gallo-Roman centre, Antissiodorum through which passed one of the main roads of the area, the Via Agrippa (1st century AD) which crossed the Yonne River (Gallo-Roman Icauna) here. In the third century it became the seat of a bishop and a provincial capital of the Roman Empire. In the 5th century it received a Cathedral. In the late 11th-early 12th century the existing communities were included inside a new line of walls built by the feudal Counts of Auxerre.
Bourgeois activities accompanied the traditional land and wine cultivations starting from the 12th century, and Auxerre developed into a commune with a Town Hall of its own. The Burgundian city, which became part of France under King Louis XI, suffered during the Hundred Years’ War and the Wars of Religion. In 1567 it was captured by the Huguenots, and many of the Catholic edifices were damaged. The medieval ramparts were demolished in the 18th century.
In the 19th century numerous heavy infrastructures were built, including a railway station, a psychiatric hospital and the courts, and new quarters were developed on the right bank of the Yonne.
In 1995 it was named Town of Art and History.
* Cathedral of St. Etienne (11th-16th centuries). In Gothic style, it is renowned for its three doorways with remarkable bas-reliefs. The stained glass windows in the choir and the apsidal chapel are among the finest in France. The 11th century crypt houses the remains of the former Romanesque cathedral.
* Abbey of Saint-Germain, existing from the 9th century. The crypt has some of the most ancient mural paintings in France, and houses the tomb of the bishops of Auxerre. Also interesting are the chapter room (12th century), the cellar (14th century) and the cloister (17th century).
* The Clock tower, located in the Old Town
* The church of St. Pierre en Valle (17th-18th centuries), established over a 6th century abbey. In the style of late Gothic architecture, it has a tower similar to that of the cathedral. Portions of the decorations and inner chapels were financed by local winegrowers.
* Church of St. Eusebe, founded in the 7th century. The nave was rebuilt in the 13th century, while the tower is in Romanesque style.
* Museum of Natural History.