Auxonne is one of the sites of the defensive structures of Vauban, clearly seen from the train bridge as it enters the Auxonne SNCF train station on the Dijon–Besançon train line. It also was home to the Artillery School where Napoleon received his first training.
The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.
The ramparts on the banks of the Saône
Location of Auxonne
|Intercommunality||CC Auxonne Pontailler Val Saône|
|• Mayor (2014–2020)||Raoul Langlois|
|40.65 km2 (15.70 sq mi)|
|• Density||190/km2 (500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||181–211 m (594–692 ft) |
(avg. 184 m or 604 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.|
Due to an exception in the French language, the name is pronounced [osɔn] (In Aussonne the "x" is pronounced "ss"). The current spelling of the name comes from a habit of copyists of the Middle Ages who replaced the double "s" by a cross which does not change the pronunciation. This cross, equated with "x" in ancient Greek, was pronounced "ks" in French only from the 18th century but this modification does not change the usage. In practice, however, the pronunciation of Auxonne is debatable, the inhabitants themselves being divided between a pronunciation of "ks" and "ss": local elected officials as well as SNCF announcements retain the pronunciation "ks". This pronunciation has the merit of avoiding a homophone with the Upper Garonne commune of Aussonne.
The city of Auxonne is located at the edge of Côte-d'Or department along the boundary between Burgundy and Franche-Comté some 30 km south-east of Dijon and 45 km west by south-west of Besancon. Access to the commune is by road D905 from Genlis in the north-west which passes through the town and continues south-east to Sampans. The D24 road goes south from the town to Labergement-lès-Auxonne, the D110A goes south-east to Rainans, the D208 goes east to Peintre, and the D20 goes north-east to Flammerans. There are very large forests along the western side of the commune and Auxonne town has a large urban area with the rest of the commune farmland.
The western border of the commune is the Saône river as it flows south to eventually join the Rhône at Lyon. The commune is at an altitude ranging between 181 m and 211 m which makes it virtually immune to floods that envelop the region during major floods.
Auxonne belongs to a region called the plain of Saône. The plain, with Bresse, is a geo-morphological unit of the Bressan depression: an extensive collapsed formation dating from the Miocene extending from the Upper Rhine Plain and the Rhone basin. The plain of Saône is limited in the north by the Upper Saône plateau, to the west by the Burgundian limestone ridge, to the east by the plateaux of the Jura then by the Bresse, and finally to the south by the Beaujolais vineyards. The plain of Saône drops from 250 m altitude in the north to 175 m in the south-east is traversed by the river from north to south for over 150 km.
The city of Auxonne is specifically in the alluvial ribbon called the Val de Saône – a band a few kilometres wide that follows the river. Its immediate limit in the Auxonne area is ten kilometres to the east where there is a rise of the Massif de la Serre to an altitude of about 400 metres.
The climate of the Val de Saône has several conflicting influences but is still a dominant continental climate. It is marked, however, by an oceanic influence that is strongly attenuated by the hills of Morvan which acts as a barrier. There is also a meridional influence in summer which allows the Saône valley, an extension of the Rhone valley, to enjoy good sunshine which is which is also seen in late spring and early autumn thereby lengthening the summer. Finally there is the continental influence on the Saône valley climate with cold winters and sometimes late frosts. Fog is common from October to March (65 to 70 days per year). The summers are hot enough. Rainfall is well distributed throughout the year with summer and winter relatively less than autumn and spring.
Modern historians agree on doubting the veracity of the assertions contained in the Chronicle of Saint-Pierre de Bèze (the name of the monastery founded by Amalgaire who is referred to as Amauger in the History of Burgundy) in the first half of the 7th century concerning the term Assona to refer to Auxonne in the first half of the 7th century.
The first three authentic instruments where the name Auxonne appears date from 1172, 1173 and 1178.
The first two are associated with Count Stephen II of Auxonne (died 1173) and the third is in a bull of Pope Alexander III. The act of 1173 was a donation made by the Count to the monastery of Saint-Vivant de Vergy. The pontifical act of 1178 was a confirmation of all the possessions of the priory of Saint-Vivant which included the town of Auxonne.
Religious rights of Auxonne date back to around 870, the date of establishment of their monastery in the pagus (County) of Amous (or Amaous) in the Jura of Burgundy (later called the County of Burgundy then Franche-Comté), six miles from the Saône on land belonging to Agilmar, bishop of Clermont. The place took the name which it still has today: Saint-Vivant-en-Amous (between Auxonne and Dole). The monks remained in Amous for more than twenty years; the Normans from Hastings destroyed the monastery when they invaded Burgundy. Count Manassès built them a new monastery (circa 895–896) in Frankish Burgundy in the County of Beaune on the slopes of Mount Vergy. While they were in Amous they cleared the area and installed fishermen's huts along the Saône. According to a hypothesis by some historians, these huts became the germ of the future town of Auxonne. Installed in their remote region of Vergy, far from their difficult to defend lands, the monks of Saint-Vivant felt the need to subordinate (undoubtedly to William IV, Count of Vienne and Mâcon (died 1155)) their lands in Amous to remove the covetousness and retain their rights and properties. According to a second hypothesis, the feudal lord established a new town along Saône which took the name of Auxonne. Auxonne therefore was in the pagus of Amous.
The division of the Treaty of Verdun of 843 placed Amous in the prize of Lothair I and, despite the complicated divisions that followed, this county was Holy Roman Empire land and fell within the sphere of influence of the Count of Burgundy – i.e. the future Franche-Comté.
In 1172 the city had grown in importance: Count Stephen I of Auxonne, the younger branch of Burgundy County and son of William (died 1157), had settled there. His successor Stephen II, Count of Auxonne (died 1241) and son of the previous head of the younger branch of Burgundy County, was master of rich domains, ambitious, powerful, and supported by the premier families of the country, nourished some pretensions to supplant the elder branch. He worked conspicuously. In 1197, taking advantage of unrest in Germany, Stephen III, renounced loyalty to Otto I (died 14 January 1201), and took the Auxonne tribute to the Duke of Burgundy, Odo III, while guaranteeing the rights of Saint-Vivant de Vergy. In return, Odo III promised to help him in his fight against the Palatinate. Auxonne escaped the county movement.
In 1237 the head of the County was Otto III (died 19 June 1248), son and successor of Otto I, Duke of Merania (died 6 May 1234). On June 15 of that year, under an exchange agreement concluded at Saint-Jean-de-Losne between John, Count of Chalon (1190-30 September 1267) (the main character of the agreement and son of Stephen III, long associated with his father's business and heir of Beatrice de Chalon (1170-7 April 1227) his mother and Stephen III himself) and Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy, the town of Auxonne and all the possessions of Stephen III in the basin of the Saône were transferred to the Duke of Burgundy in exchange for the Barony of Salins and ten strategic positions of the first importance in the County. In coming under the rule of the Dukes of Burgundy, Auxonne became a bridgehead of the duchy on the eastern bank of the Saône, on Holy Roman Empire soil, and escaped the Germanic influence.
The attachment of Auxonne to the Duchy of Burgundy gave it the status as of a border town between the Duchy of Burgundy and the County of Burgundy, between French and Germanic influence that would determine the fate of the town in the following centuries.
Sheltered behind its ramparts that it continued to fortify, the fortress was a major base for launching military operations: it was from Auxonne that Odo IV in 1336 dismissed the threat of dissenting county barons entering as he was their lawful sovereign since his marriage with Jeanne de France (1308–1349), heir to the County. Between 1364 and 1369 there was fighting at the castle of Philip the Bold from Auxonne against the county barons and free companies. At the beginning of the 15th century, with the civil war that ravaged France, war was constant around the walls which forced the city to remain constantly alert. Between 1434 and 1444 there was a new threat: bands of idle soldiers called Écorcheurs because they took all. The people of Auxonne kept watch on the ramparts while the formidable soldiery ravaged the countryside. As if their misfortune were not enough there were two fires five years apart on 7 March 1419 and 15 September 1424 which devastated the city.
It was not until 1444 that there was a period of peace that lasted until the advent of Charles the Bold in 1467.
In 1468, following the Treaty of Peronne, tension revived between the king of France and the Duke of Burgundy – Charles the Bold. The town soon looked to put its defences in order. In 1471 it made a contribution to the fight against the army of the Dauphiné which was sent by Louis XI and which penetrated the duchy. The adventurous policy of the fiery Duke finally led his dynasty to ruin. On the death of the Duke on 5 January 1477 Louis XI seized the duchy without delay with virtually no resistance. The royal army returned to Dijon on 1 February 1477.
The special status of Outer Saône lands, which were not a domain of the crown given prerogatives, did not stop Louis XI from his conquest. But the Comtois people revolted followed by those from Auxonne. After two years of resistance to the invader and after the carnage of Dole at the Chateau of Dole on 25 May 1479 they were left without support by Mary of Burgundy. Auxonne held out for 12 days in the siege by the royal army commanded by Charles d'Amboise before opening its doors on 4 June 1477 to the French invader. The town, attached to the crown of France, would share the fate of the monarchy.
The Duchy of Burgundy and the County of Burgundy were always united but this time under the crown of France had changed masters and for another 14 years had a common destiny.
For political ends Louis XI, while he solemnly confirmed the maintenance of all the privileges of the town to ensure the loyalty of his new subjects, hastened to build a mighty fortress, the Chateau d'Auxonne, at Auxonne at the province's expense, which still dominates Iliote square, to guard against any attempt of rebellion.
Charles VIII challenged Louis XI as, while he was engaged to Marguerite, daughter of Mary of Burgundy and Maximilian I of Habsburg, heiress of the Duchy of Burgundy, and after the dowry of his future wife arrived in the County, he preferred to marry Anne, heiress of Brittany, and thus took the important Duchy of Brittany from the kingdom of France.
The Treaty of Senlis (23 May 1493), signed between Charles VIII and Maximilian again separated the two Burgundies. Auxonne again became a French bridgehead on the Imperial Bank and its walls had to protect the kingdom of France against attempts by Habsburg to resolve by force the "question of Burgundy" and the Habsburg claims on Burgundy.
There were soon tensions on the Empire side. From 1494 the Italian wars were rekindled. Again the walls were consolidated and the County door was built in 1503.
On 14 January 1526 the Treaty of Madrid was signed, after the Battle of Pavia, between François I and Charles V. The King of France was forced to abandon Burgundy and the County of Auxonne, among other territories. The States of Burgundy combined on 8 June 1526 and refused to separate from the crown of France. In response the Emperor tried to conquer the County of Auxonne. In front of the walls of the city Lannoy, commander of the imperial armies, found such strong resistance on the part of all the people he had to give up.
In 1574 Charles of Lorraine, the younger brother of Henri I of Guise and Charles, Duke of Mayenne, whom history remembers simply under the name Mayenne, became Duke and governor of Burgundy. A champion of the Catholic cause, he extended the religious wars to political wars. He worked to establish his own government and attached the neighbouring land of Lorraine under the Guise government to the Burgundian province. The death of the Duke of Anjou, brother of Henry III, in 1584 made Henry of Navarre, a Protestant, the presumptive heir to the crown gave the Catholic League a new activity. Civil war began again. Mayenne sought to retain the strongholds of Burgundy for his County. On 2 April 1585 the people of Auxonne received a letter from King Henry III recommending them to ensure the safety of their town and especially "in not receiving the Duke of Mayenne".
The people of Auxonne, loyal to the king, hastened to execute orders. Jean de Saulx-Tavannes, governor of the city and the Chateau of Auxonne at first took the measures imposed then secretly strengthened the garrison of the castle as he suspected that the inhabitants of conspiring with Mayenne to deliver it to him instead. Counselled by Joachim de Rochefort, Baron of Pluvault, the magistrates decided to seize the governor. They arrested him on Saints' Day in 1585 when it was making his devotions in the church. The Count of Charny, a close relative of Jean de Saulx, Lieutenant General in Burgundy, approved this act of loyalty to the Crown by the people of Auxonne. When the King was informed he praised the people for their loyalty but concessions to Leaguers which were formalised by the signing of the Treaty of Nemours on 7 July 1585 forced Henry III to equivocate. He asked the people to deliver Tavannes into the hands of Charny and named Claude de Bauffremont, Baron of Sennecey known for his Mayenne sympathies, as governor of the town and Chateau of Auxonne.
In complete defiance and sniffing betrayal, the people of Auxonne handed Tavannes to the County of Charny who shut him up in his castle at Pagny, refused Sennecey as governor, and continued to claim in his place the Baron of Pluvault. In January 1586 new orders from the king expressed his dissatisfaction with these repeated refusals. The situation was difficult for the people but they received encouragement in their resistance from the future Henri IV who was at Montauban and sent them a letter of encouragement on 25 January 1586. Meanwhile, Tavannes had escaped from his prison at Pagny. The first use he made of his new-found freedom was an attempt to retake Auxonne by surprise. On 10 February 1586 he appeared before the walls with two hundred men at arms. His attempt was unsuccessful.
Despite orders and injunctions that the people receive Sennecey as governor, they still held to Pluvault. His patience tired, Henry III, by letters patent of 1 May 1586, declared the Auxonne people guilty of Lèse-majesté and ordered action by force so arrangements were made accordingly. The Auxonne people were obstinate in their refusal, but loyal to the crown, and were ready for a showdown. They refused to open the gates of the city to the Count of Charny who was obliged to find housing in Tillenay. They did consent to open the gate for President Jeannin who came to mediate with the Squire of Pluvault to save Auxonne from ruin. Jean Delacroix (or John of the Cross), a countryman of Auxonnais and private secretary to Catherine de Medici arrived with his deputation to the king with Letters of credence for Sir Charny giving him full powers to deal with the people .
The negotiations resulted in an accord reached and signed on 15 August 1586 at Tillenay. The Treaty revoked letters that declared the people of Auxonne guilty of lese majeste, exempted them from contribution for nine years, and granted a gratuity of 90,000 francs to the Baron of Pluvault. This treaty was approved by letters patent of 19 August 1586 and on the 25th of the same month the Baron of Sennecey was received and installed as governor of the town and Chateau of Auxonne. Received by the people with the greatest distrust, Sennecey showed himself as the man for the job.
The town finally lost its designation as a border town with the conquest of the County by Louis XIV but it still remained an important place as indicated by the stationing there of the 511th logistics regiment.
The city of Auxonne remained famous because of two visits that were made by a young second lieutenant in the regiment of La Fere named Napoleon Bonaparte who was later to make his name known across Europe. The Bonaparte district preserves the room he occupied during one of his stays. There is also a small museum in a tower of the Chateau of Auxonne, his set square, his fencing foil, and objects he offered during his stay, as well as one of his hats.
List of Successive Mayors
|1935||1944||L. C. Personne|
(Not all data is known)
Auxonne is the capital of its canton and is the commune with the highest population in the canton.
|Communes of the Canton of Auxonne|
Auxonne | Athée | Billey | Champdôtre | Flagey-lès-Auxonne | Flammerans | Labergement-lès-Auxonne | Magny-Montarlot | Les Maillys | Poncey-lès-Athée | Pont | Soirans | Tillenay | Tréclun | Villers-les-Pots | Villers-Rotin |
In 2010 the commune had 7,741 inhabitants. The evolution of the number of inhabitants is known from the population censuses conducted in the commune since 1793. From the 21st century, a census of communes with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants is held every five years, unlike larger communes that have a sample survey every year.[Note 1]
The town has a branch of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Dijon.
The commune has a number of buildings and structures that are registered as historical monuments:
The commune has one religious building that is registered as an historical monument:
The Church of Notre-Dame (13th century). The construction of the main part lasted all through the 13th century, first the nave in 1200, then the choir, apse, and the chapels between 1200 and 1250. The construction of the door started in the 14th century. The side chapels were raised in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1516, under the direction of Master Loys – the architect of the church of Saint-Michel de Dijon – the construction of the portal surmounted by two towers of unequal heights began. In 1525 the Jacquemart (now disappeared) was installed in the tower. In 1858 a campaign of rehabilitation was organized under the auspices of the municipality and executed by Phal Blando, an architect in the town. This campaign included two side portals, implementation of a slender, octagonal, pyramidal, and slightly twisted tower called a Crooked spire. Its spire. which is made from slate, rises 33 metres above its platform – 11 metres higher than the previous one. The church is also noteworthy for the gargoyles and statues (including prophets) that adorn the outside. The Church contains many items that are registered as historical objects:
The 'Church of the Nativity contains many items that are registered as historical objects:
There are several military structures that are registered as historical monuments:
Military units that have been garrisoned at Auxonne:
The arrondissement of Dijon is an arrondissement of France in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region. Since the January 2017 reorganization of the arrondissements of Côte-d'Or, it has 228 communes.Athée, Côte-d'Or
Athée is a French commune in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region of eastern France.
The inhabitants of the commune are known as Athéens or Athéennes.Beatrice of Albon
Béatrice, Countess of Albon and Dauphine of Viennois (1161–1228) was ruling countess and dauphine in 1162-1228, in succession upon the death of her father Guigues V.
She married Hugh III, Duke of Burgundy in 1183 and had three children:
André Guigues VI (1184–1237), Dauphin of Viennois
Mahaut (1190–1242), married in 1214 John I, Count of Châlon and Auxonne (1190–1267)
Marguerite (1192–1243), married c 1217 Amadeus IV, Count of Savoy (1197–1253), Count of SavoyChassey
Chassey is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.Chorey-les-Beaune
Chorey-les-Beaune is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.
It lies northeast of the city of Beaune on the plain of the Saône just to the east of the A31 autoroute.Communes of the Côte-d'Or department
The following is a list of the 704 communes of the Côte-d'Or department of France.
The communes cooperate in the following intercommunalities (as of 2017):
Communauté d'agglomération Beaune, Côte et Sud (partly)
Communauté de communes Auxonne Pontailler Val de Saône
Communauté de communes Forêts, Seine et Suzon
Communauté de communes de Gevrey-Chambertin et de Nuits-Saint-Georges
Communauté de communes Mirebellois et Fontenois
Communauté de communes du Montbardois
Communauté de communes Norge et Tille
Communauté de communes Ouche et Montagne
Communauté de communes du Pays Arnay Liernais
Communauté de communes du Pays Châtillonnais
Communauté de communes du Pays d'Alésia et de la Seine
Communauté de communes de la Plaine Dijonnaise
Communauté de communes de Pouilly-en-Auxois et Bligny-sur-Ouche
Communauté de communes Rives de Saône
Communauté de communes de Saulieu
Communauté de communes des Terres d'Auxois
Communauté de communes Tille et Venelle
Communauté de communes des Vallées de la Tille et de l'IgnonDaix
Daix is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.Fixin
Fixin is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in the Bourgogne region on the Grand Crus route in eastern France. The French archaeologist Roland Martin (1912–1997) died in Fixin.Flagey-lès-Auxonne
Flagey-lès-Auxonne is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.John, Count of Chalon
John (1190 – September 30, 1267), called the Old (l'Antique), was a French nobleman, the Count of Auxonne and Chalon-sur-Saône in his own right and regent in right of his son, Hugh III, Count of Burgundy. In contemporary documents, he was sometimes called "Count of Burgundy", as by King William of Germany in 1251.He was the son of Stephen III of Auxonne and Beatrice, Countess of Châlon.On June 5, 1237, he exchanged his inherited patrimony of Auxonne and Chalon with Hugh IV, Duke of Burgundy for the following territories: Salins
(which was at the time the second city of the County of Burgundy), Belvoir, Vuillafans, Ornans, Montfaucon, Arlay, the castle of Clées in Vaud, Chaussin, and Orgelet. He thus became one of the most powerful nobles in the county.
Although he gave charters to the towns in his territory, he also welcomed the Dominican friars as inquisitors.
The possession of Salins, with its salt production, gave John the fortune necessary to extend his territories. To protect the trade routes, he built the following fortresses: Le Pin, Montmahoux, Saint-Anne, Arguel, and Nozeroy, where he normally resided.
To avoid the customs imposed by the Count of Pontarlier, he bought the forests in the region around Pontarlier and Jougne, which he logged, creating new roads. He founded the towns of Châtelblanc, Chaux-Neuve, and Rochejean, the last of which contains his name.Labergement-lès-Auxonne
Labergement-lès-Auxonne is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.Meursault
Meursault is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department and region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in eastern France.Plombières-lès-Dijon
Plombières-lès-Dijon is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.Renève
Renève is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.
The town was the site of Queen Brunhilda of Austrasia's torture and execution in 613, the aged monarch being racked for three days, and then torn apart by horses.Selongey
Selongey is a commune in the Côte-d'Or department in eastern France.Stephen III of Auxonne
Stephen (or Étienne) III (died 1241) was count of Auxonne. He was from the House of Ivrea, son of Stephen II, count of Auxonne (died after 1173) and Judith of Lorraine (c. 1140 – 1173). He was Stephen III in his House and Stephen II as count of Auxonne.
His father Stephen II of Auxonne was son of William III, count of Mâcon and his wife Poncette/Alice, lady of Traves. His mother Judith was daughter of Matthias I, Duke of Lorraine and Bertha Hohenstaufen (daughter of Frederick II, Duke of Swabia).
Stephen III married firstly (c.1186) to Beatrix, countess of Châlon (daughter of Guillaume, count of Chalon & Beatrix a daughter of Frederick Barbarossa, Holy Roman Emperor) but they divorced 1197/1200. He married secondly (before 1212) to Agnes of Dreux (1195–1258), daughter of Robert II, Count of Dreux by his second wife Yolande de Coucy.Stephen had issue only from his first marriage to Beatrix, countess of Châlon:
John I count of Burgundy, Chalon and lord of Salins. He married three times. His great-granddaughter is Joan II, Countess of Burgundy, the wife of Philip V of France.
Agnes (died 1223). Married to Richard III lord de Montfaucon, son of Amadeus II of Montfaucon.
Clementia (died after 1235). Married to Berthold V, Duke of Zähringen.
Bearix (died 1260). Married to Simon de Joinville and had issue: Geoffrey de Geneville, 1st Baron Geneville.He had also an illegitimate child: Stephen (Etienne), baron d' Oiselet (1208 - after 1267).William III of Mâcon
William III of Mâcon (1088–1156), also known as William IV of Burgundy, was count of Mâcon (1102–1156), count of Auxonne (1127–1156), count of Vienne (1148–1156) and regent of the county of Burgundy (1148–1156). He was a younger son of Stephen I, Count of Burgundy, and of Beatrice of Lorraine. After the death of his brother, Renaud III, he took control of the county of Burgundy in the name of his niece Beatrice. He was recognized as count by the emperor Frederick Barbarossa by 1152. He died in 1156 while on Crusade in the Holy Land, and Frederick married Beatrice and took over the county.William married Adelaide-Pontia (Poncette), heiress of Lord Theobald of Traves, and had the following issue:
Stephen II, who succeeded to Auxonne, Trier and the title Count of Burgundy. His son was:
Stephen III of Auxonne
Girard I, who succeeded to Mâcon, Vien. Among his children were:
Beatrice of Viennois (died 8.4.1230) married c. 1175 to Umberto III, Count of Savoy (born 1136 - died 1189).
Malaspina, possibly illegitimate.