10 largest cities in France




Auxerre is a French commune located in the north-west of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, in the department of Yonne, of which it is the capital. Also centralizing office of four cantons and seat of the agglomeration community of Auxerrois, it had 34,634 inhabitants at the last census in 2017 (legal population in force on January 1, 2018), which makes it the first municipality in Icaun and the fifth commune of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in terms of number of inhabitants. Its urban area totaled nearly 93,000 inhabitants the same year. The urban unit of Auxerre is the 146th most populous urban unit in France with 43,000 inhabitants.

Auxerre is a cultural and tourist capital, in the heart of Burgundy, in the Yonne valley. The city has a medieval and Renaissance historical heritage. City of art and history since 1995, Auxerre has thirty-five listed or listed historical monuments, and three museums in France.

Auxerre is the main employment area in the department. The Auxerre vineyard, the AOC Chablis vineyards, are a few kilometers from the city. She is also known for her football club, the Auxerroise Youth Association (AJA).



Local culture and heritage
Places and monuments
The city received the City of Art and History label in 1995. Its historic center is classified as an almost entirely protected area (67 hectares). It has a large number of houses from the Middle Ages - especially in the neighborhoods closest to the Yonne, which are the oldest, from the Renaissance, as well as a large number of remarkable mansions from the 17th and 18th centuries (around the Saint-Eusèbe church). According to the tourist office, the impact of AJA’s European football matches is notable. Many foreign tourists said they stopped in Auxerre because they had heard about the soccer team.

Since 2013, Auxerre has been the seat of the Maison de la Francophonie de Bourgogne.

The town center is dotted with wooden sculptures painted by the artist François Brochet. One of them represents the Auxerre poet Marie Noël. Others depict scenes inspired by works by the writer Restif de la Bretonne, originally from the surrounding area. These works are regularly damaged and the originals had to be replaced. Note also the presence of a fountain surmounted by a statue of Cadet Roussel, a character from Auxerre. A large number of houses preserved in this part of the city are half-timbered.

The Clock Tower features a 15th-century two-sided model (one of which is an after-original copy) in pink and gold colors.

The statue of Paul Bert by sculptor Émile Peynot, inaugurated on July 7, 1889, on the bridge of the same name almost disappeared during the Second World War. Indeed, the latter had been requisitioned by the Germans with the aim of melting it in order to provide additional material for the armament of the Wehrmacht. However, the mayor of Auxerre at the time succeeded in making the occupants believe that the said statue was hollow and therefore not very profitable if melted, which made it possible to preserve it until the liberation of Auxerre, August 24, 1944.

The old suburbs also include some beautiful buildings, such as the Hôtel de Sparre in the Saint-Gervais district (avenue Gambetta), built in 1769 at a place called at the time Fleure-Boudin by Joseph Magnus count of Sparre, marshal of camp of the royal armies, on the plans of the Parisian architect Philippe Dullin protected by the Duke of Aiguillon.

The Saint-Germain Museum, housed in the former abbey of the same name, houses the prehistoric, Gallo-Roman and medieval collections of the city of Auxerre, as well as temporary exhibitions.

The Leblanc-Duvernoy Museum, a family house rehabilitated into a museum, presents Beauvais tapestries as well as a large collection of Puisaye sandstone and regional and national earthenware.

The Museum presents collections of local paleontology and temporary exhibitions. The museum is dedicated to Paul Bert.

The Maison de l'Eau et de l'Environnement, housed in a former water lifting plant built in 1882 and remodeled in 1914, is dedicated to raising public awareness of the preservation of the environment.


Getting here

By plane
Auxerre - Branches Airport (IATA: AUF, ICAO: LFLA) in the communes of Branches, Charbuy and Appoigny (8.5 km northwest of Auxerre)