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Coordinates: 46°57′06″N 4°17′58″E / 46.9516666667°N 4.29944444444°E / 46.9516666667; 4.29944444444

Commune of Autun

Autun is located in France
Country France
Region Bourgogne
Department Saône-et-Loire
Arrondissement Autun
Canton Autun
Intercommunality Autunois
Mayor Rémi Rebeyrotte
Land area1 61.52 km2 (23.75 sq mi)
Population2 16,082  (2006)
 - Density 261 /km2 (680 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 710014/ 71400
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.
Roman theatre

Autun is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in Burgundy in eastern France.

The history of Autun dates back to Roman times.

Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe.



Autun was founded during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus (Autun derives from its Latin name Augustodunum), and was famous for having schools of rhetoric. Several elements of Roman architecture such as walls, gates, and a Roman theatre are still visible in the town. The city was noteworthy for displaying a large world map in the portico of the school of rhetoric, which may have survived until early modern times.[1]

The area lies in the area of Burgundy, and in the Middle Ages, it was a Count of Autun who became the first Duke of Burgundy.

In 725, the Umayyad general ‘Anbassa ibn Suhaym al-Kalbi (عنبسة بن سحيم الكلبي) marched up the Saône valley to Autun. On 22 August 725 he captured the town after defeating forces led by the local bishop, Emilian D’Autun, who was slain during the course of the battle. Autun would be the easternmost point of expansion of Umayyad forces into Europe.[2] Just seven years later in 732, the Umayyads would be forced to begin their withdrawal to al-Andalus after facing defeat at the Battle of Tours.

Main sights

The city boasts two ancient Roman gates (the Porte St.-André and Porte d'Arroux) and other ruins dating to the time of Augustus (Augustodonum). One of the most impressive remains is that of the ancient theatre, which was one of the largest in the western part of the empire with a 17,000 seat capacity. To the northwest of the city is the so-called Temple of Janus, only two walls (faces) of which remain. To the southeast is the mysterious Pierre de Couhard, a rock pyramid of uncertain function which may date to Roman times.

Autun has a major Romanesque cathedral dating from the early twelfth century, which was formerly the chapel of the Dukes of Burgundy; their palace was the actual episcopal residence. St. Lazare was originally built as a pilgrimage church for the veneration of the relics of Lazarus, whom Christ raised from the dead. Autun's 12th-century bishop, Étienne de Bâgé, probably built the church in response to the construction of Ste. Madeleine at nearby Vézelay, home to the French cult of Mary Magdalene, Lazarus's sister. St. Lazare was only later elevated to the rank of cathedral, replacing the former cathedral dedicated to St. Nazaire.

St. Lazare's cathedral is famous for its incredible architectural sculpture, particularly the tympanum of The Last Judgment above the west portal, surviving fragments from the lost portal of the north transept, and the capitals in the nave and choir. All of these are traditionally considered the work of Gislebertus, whose name is on the west tympanum. It is uncertain whether Gislebertus is the name of the sculptor or of a patron. If Gislebertus is in fact the artist, he is one of very few medieval artists whose name is known.

Other notable connections

Sister cities

Autun has sister city relationships with:

See also


  1. ^ John Brian Harley, David Woodward, The History of Cartography Vol I p290
  2. ^
  3. ^ Laherrère, Jean (2005) (PDF). Review on oil shale data. Hubbert Peak. Retrieved 2007-06-17.  

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Patitiri port
Patitiri port

Autun is a small walled hill city in Burgundy, France.


Steeped in Roman history, complete with a spectacular gothic spire standing proud against the Morvan hills, Autun, formerly Augustinium, was a garrison town during the Roman Empire.

Although the lower parts of this city are fairly modern with bowling alleys, McDonalds and lots of students milling around, stroll further into the heart of the centre and you find yourself wandering through numerous winding streets lined with fantastic architecture, quaint shops, cafes and restaurants before reaching the rather impressive cathedral.

It’s small enough to access everything on foot; but large enough to hold your interest for quite some time. It also has a beautiful French atmosphere that is just waiting for you to soak up!

Get in

Autun is accessible by bus or car, via secondary roads.

You can fly to Lyon, about 2 hours away by car.

  • The very well-preserved Roman walls which still surround most of the city.
  • The extraordinary Romanesque cathedral in the center of town.
  • The excellent museum.


The countryside in this area is truly breathtaking; from the Parc Regional du Morvan with its forest-clad hills and cascading streams, to authentic French villages where you can sit by the river with a freshly-made croissant and simply soak up the atmosphere.


There are numerous shops to peruse in Autun, but most alluring are the chocolate shops and patisseries.


Try something other than a hotel; maison d'hotes / chambres d'hotes (bed and breakfasts), there are a few in or near the town.

  • Maison Saint Barbe, 7 Place Sainte Barbe, +33 (0)3 85 86 24 77, [1].  edit
  • Moulin Renaudiots, chemin du Vieux Moulin, (00)33 385 86 97 10 / (00)33 6 16 97 47 80, [2]. e-mail:, 4 star accommodation  edit
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

AUTUN, a town of east-central France, capital of an arrondissement in the department of Saone-et-Loire, 62 m. S.W. of Dijon on the Paris-Lyon railway to Nevers. Pop. (1906) 11,927. Autun is pleasantly situated on the slope of a hill at the foot of which runs the Arroux. Its former greatness is attested by many Roman remains, the chief of which are two well-preserved stone gateways, the Porte d'Arroux and the Porte St Andre, both pierced with four archways and surmounted by arcades. There are also remains of the old ramparts and aqueducts, of a square tower called the Temple of Janus, of a theatre and of an amphitheatre. A pyramid in the neighbouring village of Couhard was probably a sepulchral monument. The chapel of St Nicolas (12th century) contains many of the remains discovered at Autun. The cathedral of St Lazare, once the chapel attached to the residence of the dukes of Burgundy, is in the highest part of the town. It belongs mainly to the 12th century, but the Gothic central tower and the chapels were added in the 15th century by Nicolas Rolin, chancellor of Burgundy, born at Autun. The chief artistic features of the church are the group of the Last Judgment sculptured on the tympanum above the west door, and the painting by Ingres representing the martyrdom of St Symphorien, which took place at Autun in 179. In the cathedral square stands the fountain of St Lazare, a work of the Renaissance. The hotel Rolin, a house of the 15th century, contains the collections of the "Aeduan literary and scientific society." The hotel de Tulle, containing a museum of paintings, the law-court and the theatre are modern buildings. Autun is the seat of a bishopric, of tribunals of first instance and of commerce, and has an ecclesiastical seminary, a communal college and a cavalry school. Among the industries of the town are the extraction of oil from the bituminous schist obtained in the neighbourhood, leather manufacture, metal-founding, marble-working, and the manufacture of machinery and furniture. Autun is the commercial centre for a large part of the Morvan, and has considerable trade in timber and cattle.

Autun (Augustodunum) succeeded Bibracte as capital of the Aedui when Gaul was reorganized by Augustus. Under the Romans, it was a flourishing town, covering double its present extent and renowned for its schools of rhetoric. In the succeeding centuries its prosperity drew upon it the attacks of the barbarians, the Saracens and the Normans. The counts of Autun in 880 became dukes of Burgundy, and the town was the residence of the latter till 1276. It was ravaged by the English in 1379, and, in 1591, owing to its support of the League, had to sustain a siege conducted by Marshal Jean d'Aumont, general of Henry IV.

See H. de Fontenay, Autun et ses monuments (Autun, 1889).

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