Autun-Augustodunum, Roman city
Autun, charming city in the heart of Burgundy, has numerous Roman monuments. The city has a wall of approximately 6 km long, with numerous towers. It had four gates (two of which remain) at the ends of the two main streets. Autun also has a Roman theater with a capacity of up to 20,000 people, the largest in capacity in the western part of the Roman Empire. The amphitheater, originally located next to the theater, has unfortunately disappeared. The old name Augustodunum means the fortress of Augustus. Augustus wanted to create a big city in Gaul that would show Roman power. Augustodunum has since been endowed with beautiful monuments that it still brings to prominence today.
Places of Interest
- The gates of Saint-André and Arroux, two of the four stand entrances from the city walls.
- The “Janus” temple, outside the ramparts.
- School for Roman rhetoric: already in 107 years ago this school of philosophy and rhetoric in Autun attracted students from all over the empire.
- In the Middle Ages, the city became an important place of pilgrimage and was given a new cathedral alongside the Saint-Nazaire d’Autun cathedral: the Saint-Lazare cathedral (1120), a Clunisian Romanesque church. Especially known for her tympanum, sculpted and signed with great detail by the artist Gislebert. The masterly portal has been exceptionally well preserved.
- Autun Natural History Museum (zoology, mineralogy, paleontology, botany);
- Rolin Museum (archeology, medieval art, history and visual arts);
- Saint-Nicolas Lapidair Museum (archeology);
- National Museum of former troop children;
- Mini museum of vines and wine, a small private museum within the walls of a wine merchant;
- Verger-Tarin museum, a small bourgeois cottage with furniture from the last three centuries, can unfortunately not be visited anymore due to major damage, Ethnology (art of living in the 18th and 19th centuries).
- Book festival in April;
- Morvan music festival;
- The trade fair from 1 March and 1 September, where the entire city center becomes a pedestrian zone with numerous stands.
- Carnival is celebrated for 15 days;
- The nights of the gargoyle in July and August;
- The Gallo-Roman epic, when Autun becomes Augustodunum again in May and August;
- “Tuyaux et vieilles dentelles” festival in July;
- International Biennial for Contemporary Sacred Arts “Les 7 Chemins”.
- Motor rally: since 1966 the ASA (Association sportive automobile) du Morvan has been organizing the Autun – Sud Morvan Rally every year.