Monday, November 2, 2015


 The town of Auxerre and the surrounding countryside served as the primary location for Adventure 08: The Black Riders. Manor de Trebouchard is located near the town of Auxerre.

The Provincial Governor of Burgundy (Bourgogne), who is usually a Peer of France, is served by a lieutenant-general and six Lieutenant Governors. The town of Auxerre is ruled by one of the six Lieutenant Governors who reports directly to the Governor of Burgundy.

Auxerre, a navigable port on the Yonne River, is also the capital of lower Burgundy, a valley region whose plateaux are made up of fields and forests, with slopes lined with vines and fruit trees; this area is particularly famous for its orchards of apple and cherry trees. The town originally became prosperous as an active port on the wine route. Auxerre has a remarkable cathedral and the jewel in the crown, the prestigious abbaye Saint-Germain, home to some of France's oldest frescoes.

In 1567 Auxerre was captured by the Huguenots, and many of the Catholic edifices were damaged.

The inhabitants of Auxerre and the surrounding region are called Auxerrois.


  • Abbaye de Saint-Germain d'Auxerre
  • Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre
  • Église Saint-Eusèbee
  • La Saulse (Hospitaller Commandery)
  • Monastery of Les Cordeliers
  • Pontigny Abbey

Points of Interest

  • Blue Bottle Inn
  • Clock Tower
  • College of Auxerre
  • Marina Quarter
    • Sign of the Dog’s Head Tavern
  • Market Square
  • Town Hall
  • Local Vineyards and Orchards
  • Ruined Abbey
  • Wolves


Abbaye de Saint-Germain d'Auxerre

The Abbey of Saint-Germain d'Auxerre is a Benedictine monastery dedicated to its founder Saint Germain of Auxerre, the bishop of Auxerre, who died in 448. In the Romanesque crypt, the old, faded frescos from the Carolingian era have been recently replaced with brand new frescoed plaster walls.

Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre

Auxerre Cathedral (Cathédrale Saint-Étienne d'Auxerre) is known for its expansive stained glass windows. A Gothic building constructed between the 13C and 16C with a beautiful Flamboyant façade. Around the ambulatory is a magnificent ensemble of stained-glass medallion windows in which blues and reds predominate. The Romanesque crypt contains some of France’s oldest frescos. The narrative sculptural program of the portals on the west end are noted for their extent and variety.

The current Bishop of Auxerre is François de Donadieu who was installed in 1599.

Most of the Burgundian Gothic cathedral was built between 1215 and 1233 above an 11th-century crypt. Construction continued until the 1540s when the cupola, in Renaissance style that takes the place of one pinnacle on the completed tower, was completed. The first building campaign erected the chevet (a more elaborate apse) at the liturgical east end, followed later in the century by a new façade and the bases of new towers at the west end (still linked to the apse end by the nave of the old cathedral). Construction on the nave and transepts proceeded slowly throughout the 14th and 15th centuries.

Église Saint-Eusèbee

This old priory has a beautiful 12C tower decorated with multi-foil arches. The original church, dedicated to Saint Eusèbe, bishop of Verceil, was destroyed during the period of Viking attacks; it was reestablished in the eleventh century. The old chevet collapsed in 1530: the new chevet constitutes a wonderful conflation of Late Gothic design with "Renaissance" articulation.

La Saulse (Hospitaller Commandery)

Called the Commanders of the Saulse and Auxerre, this was formerly a Templar commandery, but in the fourteenth century the Hospitallers (Hospitallers of St. John of Jerusalem Orders Hospital of Rhodes and of Malta) took possession of the Auxerre house, nearby lands and fields, and the old houses of the Temple of Vallan, Serene, Vermenton. Picture of the Chapel of the Commandery of Saulce.

Monastery of Les Cordeliers

The monastery of les Cordeliers (the cord wearers) are the religious order of the Frères Mineurs (Friars Minor), also known as Franciscans of the Strict Observance, because of their knotted rope worn around the waist.

Pontigny Abbey

Pontigny Abbey, founded in 1114 as the second of the four great daughter houses of Cîteaux Abbey, was a Cistercian monastery situated near the village of Pontigny, on the River Serein about 12 miles north east of Auxerre.

Over the centuries, however, the original strict discipline was relaxed. In 1569 it was pillaged and burnt by the Huguenots, only the relics of Saint Edmund being saved, it has been partly restored as it is a stopping-point on one of the pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela.

The monks of Pontigny established the original vineyard from which the present Chablis wine traces its descent.

Points of Interest

The Blue Bottle Inn

In the old bridge district, this coaching inn offers a range of surprises for those passing through, a superb interior garden with a fine terrace for taking lunch or dinner in good weather. The inn’s traditional Auxerrois cuisine includes:: snails, eggs in red wine sauce, boeuf bourguignon, coq au vin, veal brawn, and pears in red wine.

Clock Tower

This fine tower is one of the most famous sights in the center of Auxerre. It was built in 1483 as one of the main towers that made up the fortifications of the medieval city. The clock itself was added in the 17th Century and is one of the more interesting examples of its type. One hand indicates the time and the other hand indicates which day of the lunar month it is, taking over twenty nine days to circulate every month.

College of Auxerre

Auxerre's college was founded in the second half of the 16th century by Jacques Amyot the bishop of Auxerre. He donated the college to the city which allowed the Jesuits to take over the teaching at the college. Father Alfred Duchesne, a Jesuit priest, is the Rector in charge of the College.

Marina Quarter

The Marina quarter - the old sea-fearers' quarter – is filled with sinuous lanes, bordered by wood-paneled houses. Its main areas are Saint Nicolas square, Coche-d'Eau square, and lastly, the rue de la marine, with its remnants of a tower of the old Gallo-Roman perimeter wall. The adjacent quay is the point of embarkation for the wine shipped out of this region.

Sign of the Dog’s Head Tavern

Located in the Marina Quarter a few steps from the docks, the Sign of the Dog’s Head Tavern is a dive with an unsavory reputation. In the past the tavern was linked to the infamous Black Riders and lone guests were said to be drugged, kidnapped, and sold into slavery. Despite this, the Dog’s Head is popular with local barge crews.

Market Square

Town Hall borders the Market Square, which is the central location for town business both commercial and bureaucratic. The square has a central fountain and large markets are held each Tuesday and Friday.

Town Hall

The Town Hall of Auxerre is the l'Hôtel-de-Ville. Unlike most of the towns timber framed buildings, the town hall is built of stone. The Town Hall is the residence for Maurice Benoit, the town governor of Auxerre. One of the Provincial Lieutenant Governors, Noel Meunier Baron de Fressain, has an office here as well.

Local Vineyards and Orchards

The slopes of the surrounding countryside are lined with vines and fruit trees; this area is particularly famous for its orchards of apple and cherry trees and for the eponymously named Burgundy grapes and wine.

Ruined Abbaye Pour Votre Santé

Abbaye Pour Votre Santé (To your health or essentially Cheers! abbey) is a ruined Franciscan abbey about six miles (an hour to an hour and a half by barge) downstream of Auxerre on the Yonne River. The abbey was pillaged and burnt by the Huguenots in 1569. Afterward it was abandoned and the surviving Franciscans moved to the Monastery of Les Cordeliers in Auxerre. A rural road from Auxerre runs past the ruins.

For a time the ruins were used as a camp and way station by Black Riders who kidnapped people to ship south and sell into slavery. [The Abbaye is fictional.]


Wolves are a recurring problem in this region. In the tenth century the packs of wolves were so large and vicious, that they forced the Dukes of Burgundy from their capital in Auxerre to the safer regions of Dijon. When faced with starvation, the wolves would also eat the grapes. During the Religious Wars, a pack of starving wolves had eaten the grapes, and had become intoxicated. The drunken wolf pack ran into the center of the town, where they lay down in a drunken stupor. “The wolves were all intoxicated… they were too drunk to remember they were wolves.” At that point, the frightened townspeople Auxerre came out with their kitchen knives and dispatched the wolves.

City Map Key

1.        L’Euesche
2.        Cathedral of St. Etienne
3.        Abbey of St. Germaine
4.        Notre Dame la de hors
5.        St. Esuebe
6.        Le Saulse (Commandery)
7.        Grand Cemetary de Montmartre
8.        St. Mamert
9.        Les Iacobins
10.     St. Pere
11.     St. Pelerin
12.     Les Cordeliers (monastery)
13.     St. Loup
14.     Clock Tower (L’orloge)
15.     Porte de Gligny
16.     Porte du Temple
17.     Porte Chante-pinot

18.     Porte du Pont
19.     Porte St. Simon
20.     The Quay (Le Pillory)
21.     Les grands fontaines
22.     Le grand rue (re) St. Germain
23.     Rue St. Simeon
24.     Le marche du bled
25.     L’hospital St. Pere
26.     Le Chasteau
27.     St. Renobert
28.     Maison de Gerbault
29.     St. Marien
30.     St. Gervais
31.     Fauxbourg St. Gervais
32.     St. Julien
33.     St. Amatre
34.     The Yonne River
35.     Town Hall (L’hotel de Ville)

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