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The names of streets and squares, like Place Saint-Nicolas, patron saint of sailors and merchants, are redolent of the activity that would have filled this quarter centuries ago.
An eye-opener on a tour of Auxerre’s pedestrian centre is the 15th-century clock tower, which has delicate Gothic ornamentation.
The subject of the enduring children’s song “Cadet Rousselle”, Guillaume Rousselle was Auxerre’s eccentric 18th-century town crier who became a figure of mild derision during the Revolution.
The song spread far and wide in the 1790s when men from Auxerre who had joined the National Volunteers shared it with people from other regions of France.
For all of this time there was only ever one man in charge: Guy Roux’s longevity as head coach is almost unheard of in the sport.
Auxerre Cathedral rivals any in northern France for the splendour of its portal sculptures and stained glass windows.There’s enough history in the centre of Auxerre to designate it a protected zone, and you’ll have a dizzying amount of medieval buildings to ponder, some with corbels that project the upper storeys over the street.The tourist office will give you an itinerary of all the sights to keep your eyes peeled for.The statue in the Old Town was designed by François Brochet, and there are brass arrows embedded in the ground guiding you to where Rousselle lived and worked in Auxerre.The local football team’s glory days are behind it, but something remarkable happened at the Stade de l’Abbé-Deschamps between the 1960s and 2005.