No need to go far to discover exceptional places! In the Côte-d’Or, Semur-en-Auxois is a medieval town that stands on a granite promontory. An important place for a beautiful day between city and country.
La marseillaise à pétanque 2022, 61st edition of the world
Arriving in Semur-en-Auxois, we find Céline for a heritage visit to the town, “medieval city” as Semurois likes to remember.
Céline warns us about that the city has preserved its fortified spaces, traces of its history. In particular, the streets are always linked to the location of the city gates. “We travel in time through all these fortifications” according to Celine.
The entrance to the heart of the city is through the Barbican, the front defensive gate. We then arrive at Porte Sauvigny. She kept the city’s coat of arms. Semur also had an important place with the Duchy of Burgundy.
“I will show you Semur’s rascality” Céline warns us. Can’t wait to find out what these” rascality we follow her to the entrance to the village of Notre-Dame. As in Dijon, a small sculpture is hung against a wall. But it is a sculpture specifically for the female body and male characteristics. Unlike the owl, we hesitated to lay our hands on it to make a wish…
At the entrance to this village we can also read the motto of the town: “Semuroix is very happy to meet foreigners”. Céline explains to us that the phrase originates from the beginning of the 16th century and accompanied a text presenting the city… The first tourist guide?
Céline takes us through the entire town of Semur, past the rue Buffon, where architectural inspirations from several eras mix: the Middle Ages, the 17th, the 18th. We discover the Notre-Dame church in the center of the town. She is very tall, very tall. From a distance, on the roads, you can see it.
Semur is a bit like a city with two faces. On one side the cars, on the other the birds… As we walk in the middle of the city, Céline asks us to follow her on a very small path… We go down the stairs and suddenly the noise of the cars disappears at give way to the songs of the birds. Nature takes back its rights here with the planting of gardens, the grapes that grow along the way and the small stream that awaits us at the end. It is another Semur we discover, between the greenery and the stones.
Like good tourists, we go near the Pinard bridge to take a selfie. Céline then takes us to enjoy all the vantage points of the city. Appointment in particular next to the Gehenna tower, to discover the development carried out in the 18th century to open up the city. The walk along the rampart gives us a complete panorama of the medieval city.
To finish this walk, we knock on the door of a mansion, the Hôtel de Chassey, which allows visits during the holidays. In the garden, together with trees that are over 200 years old, we have a view of Semur-en-Auxois.
video length: 02min 55
Côte-d’Or: Take time for a walk in the green to discover the ancient stones of Semur-en-Auxois
©Nathalie Zanzola / Antoine Marquet
Report prepared in August 2020
Tourist office: Terres d’Auxois