Autun (French pronunciation: [otœ̃]) is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department, France. Located in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, it was founded during the Principate era of the early Roman Empire by Emperor Augustus as Augustodunum to give a Roman capital to the Gallic people Aedui, who had Bibracte as their political centre. In Roman times the city may have been home to 30,000 to 100,000 people, according to different estimates. Nowadays, Autun has a population of about 15,000.
From top down, left to right: panoramic view, city hall, Autun Cathedral and lycée militaire
Location of Autun
|Intercommunality||Communauté de communes du Grand Autunois Morvan|
|• Mayor (2017–2020)||Vincent Chauvet (REM)|
|61.52 km2 (23.75 sq mi)|
|• Density||230/km2 (590/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||280–642 m (919–2,106 ft)|
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries. 2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.|
Augustodunum was founded during the reign of the first Roman emperor, Augustus, after whom it was named. It was the civitas "tribal capital" of the Aedui, Continental Celts who had been allies and "brothers" (fratres) of Rome since before Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars. Augustodunum was a planned foundation replacing the original oppidum Bibracte, located some 25 km (16 mi) away. Several elements of Roman architecture such as walls, gates, and a Roman theater are still visible in the town.
In AD 356, a force of Alemanni brought the siege of Autun. The disrepair of the walls left the city in danger of falling. Autun was saved by the arrival of the Emperor Julian in one of his early military successes. In Late Antiquity, Autun became famous for its schools of rhetoric. A world map based on the Geography of Ptolemy was famous for its size and was displayed in the portico of one of the schools. It may have survived until early modern times.
In 725, the Umayyad general Anbasa ibn Suhaym Al-Kalbi (عنبسة بن سحيم الكلبي) marched up the Saône valley to Autun. On 22 August 725 he captured the town after defeating forces led by the local bishop, Émilien of Nantes, who was slain during the course of the battle.
Autun marks the easternmost extent of the Umayyad campaign in Europe. However, the position was never retained, and Anbasa died soon after. The Umayyads are known to have raided the lower Rhone during the next decade, but Uzès was their northernmost stronghold and possibly Marseille the easternmost coastal stronghold. In 880, Count Richard of Autun was made the first duke of Burgundy.
The High School plays an important role in the history of the city and even France since Napoleon, who gave it its current name and whose brothers Joseph and Lucien studied there. This school continues to operate today. The decorated wrought iron gates were erected in 1772; the subjects taught in the school are indicated by various representations of objects along the top of these grids.
The city boasts two ancient Roman gates (Porte Saint-André and Porte d'Arroux) and other ruins dating to the time of Augustus. One of the most impressive remains is that of the ancient theatre, which was one of the largest in the western part of the empire with a 17,000 seat capacity. To the northwest of the city is the so-called Temple of Janus, only two walls (faces) of which remain. To the southeast is the mysterious Pierre de Couhard, a rock pyramid of uncertain function which may date to Roman times.
The Autun Cathedral, also known as Saint Lazare's Cathedral, dates from the early twelfth century and is a major example of Romanesque architecture. It was formerly the chapel of the Dukes of Burgundy; their palace was the actual episcopal residence. The cathedral was originally built as a pilgrimage church for the veneration of the relic Saint Lazarus, mentioned in the Gospels, and considered the first bishop of Marseille, and who, always according to tradition, arrived in Provence with Mary Magdalen.
Autun's 12th-century bishop, Étienne de Bâgé, probably built the church in response to the construction of Ste. Madeleine at nearby Vézelay, home to the French cult of Mary Magdalene. St. Lazare was only later elevated to the rank of cathedral, replacing the former cathedral dedicated to St. Nazaire.
The Autun Cathedral is famous for its architectural sculpture, particularly the tympanum of The Last Judgment above the west portal, surviving fragments from the lost portal of the north transept, and the capitals in the nave and choir. All of these are traditionally considered the work of Gislebertus, whose name is on the west tympanum. It is uncertain whether Gislebertus is the name of the sculptor or of a patron. If Gislebertus is in fact the artist, he is one of very few medieval artists whose name is known.
Autun's best known museum is the Musée Rolin. It houses historical artistic collections.
Near Autun, tourists can also see:
Autun has sister city relationships with the following municipalities.
|Ingelheim am Rhein||Germany|
The arrondissement of Autun is an arrondissement of France in the Saône-et-Loire department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Saône-et-Loire, it has 89 communes.Autun Cathedral
The Cathedral of Saint Lazarus of Autun (French: Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun), commonly known as Autun Cathedral, is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Autun and a national monument of France. Famous for its Cluniac inspiration and its Romanesque sculptures by Gislebertus it is a highlight in Romanesque art in Burgundy and it is the seat of the Bishop of Autun. The Bishop of Autun set forth the construction of St. Lazarus Cathedral as a result of the large movement of pilgrims travelling to Vezelay as they progressed on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela.Due to social practices that involved pilgrims venerating the relics of saints in this period, the Bishop of Autun ordered the creation of a larger cathedral to house the relics and accommodate the influx of pilgrims into Autun. The column capitals and main façade of the church are embellished with realistic sculptures carved by Gislebertus. The artwork is a means of teaching the masses of Christian ethics with dramatic scenes of heaven and hell. Other features include a rare tympanum signed by Giselbertus of Autun.The Autun Cathedral is a magnificent display of Romanesque Art and Architecture. The sculptures created by Gislebertus successfully integrate biblical iconography relating to the new and old testament's with ease and amazing artistic ability. The size and quality of the tympanum of the Last Judgment, and the lintel of the Temptation of Eve are impressive and exquisitely detailed pieces of art. The Autun Cathedral remains on the highest elevation in Autun, France and is considered a fine example of the French Romanesque.Cordesse
Cordesse is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. It is located north of Autun.Germain of Paris
Saint Germain (Latin: Germanus; c. 496 – 28 May 576 AD) was the bishop of Paris and a saint of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church. According to an early biography, he was known as Germain d'Autun, rendered in modern times as the "Father of the Poor".Honorius Augustodunensis
Honorius Augustodunensis (c. 1080–1154?), commonly known as Honorius of Autun, was a very popular 12th-century Christian theologian who wrote prolifically on many subjects. He wrote in a non-scholastic manner, with a lively style, and his works were approachable for the lay community in general. He was, therefore, something of a popularizer of clerical learning.Leodegar
Leodegar of Poitiers (Latin: Leodegarius; French: Léger; c. 615 – October 2, 679 AD) was a martyred Burgundian Bishop of Autun. He was the son of Saint Sigrada and the brother of Saint Warinus.
Leodegar was an opponent of Ebroin, the Frankish Mayor of the Palace of Neustria and the leader of the faction of Austrasian nobles in the struggle for hegemony over the waning Merovingian dynasty. His torture and death made him a martyr and saint.Louis Renault (jurist)
Louis Renault (21 May 1843 – 8 February 1918) was a French jurist and educator, the co-winner in 1907 (with Ernesto Teodoro Moneta) of the Nobel Prize for Peace.
Renault was born at Autun. From 1868 to 1873 Renault was professor of Roman and commercial law at the University of Dijon. From 1873 until his death he was professor in the faculty of law at the University of Paris, where in 1881 he became professor of international law. In 1890 he was appointed jurisconsult of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a post created for him in which he scrutinized French foreign policy in the light of international law. He served at numerous conferences in this capacity, notably at the two Hague Conventions (1899 and 1907) and the London Naval Conference of 1908-09.
Renault was prominent as an arbitrator, his more famous cases including the Japanese House Tax case of 1905, the Casa Blanca Case of 1909, the Sarvarkar Case of 1911, the Carthage case of 1913, and the Manouba case of 1913. Among his writings are articles and monographs on the specialized topics of international law. Together with his friend and colleague C. Lyon-Caen, he produced several works on commercial law, including a compendium in two volumes, a treatise in eight volumes, and a manual that ran to many editions.
In 1879 Renault published his Introduction to the Study of International Law and in 1917 First Violations of International Law by Germany, concerning the invasion of Belgium and of Luxembourg in breach of Germany's treaty obligations.Pierre Jeannin
Pierre Jeannin (1542–1623) was a French statesman, otherwise known as a surintendant des finances (Finance Superintendent). In 1873 he married to Anne Gueniot and had one daughter, Charlotte Jeannin.Reclesne
Reclesne is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. It is located northwest of Autun.Regina (martyr)
Saint Regina (Regnia, French: Sainte Reine) (3rd century) was a virgin martyr and saint of the Catholic Church. Regina was born in Autun, France, to a pagan named Clement. Her mother died at her birth and her father repudiated her. She then went to live with a Christian nurse who baptized her. Regina helped out by tending the sheep. She communed with God in prayer and meditated on the lives of the saints. She was betrothed to the proconsul Olybrius, but refused to renounce her faith to marry him, for which she was tortured and was beheaded at Alesia in the diocese of Autun, called Alise-Sainte-Reine after her.
Her martyrdom is considered to have occurred either during the persecution of Decius, in 251, or under Maximian in 286.Richard, Duke of Burgundy
Richard, Duke of Burgundy (858–921), also known as Richard of Autun or Richard the Justiciar, was Count of Autun from 880 and the first Margrave and Duke of Burgundy. He eventually attained suzerainty over all the counties of Burgundy save Mâcon and by 890 he was referred to as dux (duke) and by 900 as marchio (margrave). By 918 he was being called dux Burgundionem or dux Burgundiae, which probably signified less the existence of a unified Burgundian dukedom than feudal suzerainty over a multiplicity of counties in a specific region.Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Autun (–Chalon-sur-Saône–Mâcon–Cluny) (Latin: Dioecesis Augustodunensis (–Cabillonensis–Matisconensis–Cluniacensis); French: Diocèse d'Autun (–Chalon-sur-Saône–Mâcon–Cluny)), more simply known as the Diocese of Autun, is a diocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France. The diocese comprises the entire Department of Saone et Loire, in the Region of Bourgogne.
The diocese was suffragan to the Archdiocese of Lyon under the Ancien Régime, and the Bishop of Autun held the post of Vicar of the Archbishop. The bishopric of Chalon-sur-Saône (since Roman times) and (early medieval) bishopric of Mâcon, also suffragans of Lyon, were united to Autun after the French Revolution by the Concordat signed by First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte, and Pope Pius VII. For a short time, from 1802 to 1822, the enlarged diocese of Autun was suffragan to the Archbishop of Besançon. In 1822, however, Autun was again subject to the Archbishop of Lyon. The diocese of Autun is now, since 8 December 2002, suffragan to the Archbishop of Dijon. The current bishop of Autun is Benoit Rivière.Saint-Forgeot
Saint-Forgeot is a commune in the Saône-et-Loire department in the region of Bourgogne in eastern France. It is located north of Autun.Saône-et-Loire
Saône-et-Loire (French pronunciation: [sonelwaʁ]; Arpitan: Sona-et-Lêre) is a French department, named after the Saône and the Loire rivers between which it lies.Siege of Autun
The Siege of Autun was a conflict fought between the Roman Empire and the invading barbarian tribe of Alemans, who were ravaging Gaul, in A.D. 356. The Romans successfully defended the city, and the barbarians retreated on the approach of reinforcements.Symphorian and Timotheus
Symphorian is also the name of one of the Four Crowned Martyrs. For various places in France and Belgium, see Saint-Symphorien.Symphorian (Symphorianus, Symphorien), Timotheus (Timothy), and Hippolytus of Rome are three Christian martyrs who though they were unrelated and were killed in different places and at different times, shared a common feast day in the General Roman Calendar from at least the 1568 Tridentine Calendar to the Mysterii Paschalis.