The castle is found in the south-east of the town and is one of the castles that was build under Louis XI. It dates from the late 15th century. The inner court had not been interesting in my view, but the tower Notre Dame (Tour Notre Dame) looks impressing. It has a diameter of 29 meters and is 22 meters high. Inside you'll find the Musée Bonaparte which shows personal objects from Napoleon.
The museum is open May 2 to Sep 30, 10:00 - 12:00 and 15:00 - 18:00.
The Porte Comté dates from 1503 and is the eastern gate of the town, leading in direction Dole. The side facing the centre looks very nice, the other side is more simple. There's also a little park next to the gate.
The artillery arsenal is situated near the church and was build between 1689 and 1693 by Vauban, who had fortified many places, among them the citadel of Besançon. The arsenal was once used for military purposes, and now is parts of it are used at market halls.
In the centre of the town at the square of the church you'll find several interesting sights.
One is the bronze statue of the young Napoleon, who had attended the artillery school in Auxonne and stayed there from 1788 to 1791. The statue is from 1857 and shows Napoleon in his lieutenant uniform.
Also at that place you'll find the Hôtel de Ville, build with bricks in the 15th century. It used to be the house of the Dukes of Burgundy. The facade was rebuild in the late 19th century in the neogothic style. A nice building!
Then there's a half-timbered house, from the 16th century, at the crossing with the Rue du Bourg. Another nice building!
The church Notre Dame is situated in the centre of the town. The oldest part was build in the 12th century, the other parts are from the 13th and 14th cenutry. It looks pretty interesting, having two towers, that are completly different, with the western one not being finished.
This attractive portal is dated from 1503 and was (still is actually) the eastern gate of the town , leading in the direction of Dole though today's route doesn't take you through it. The side facing the centre looks very nice, the other side is more simple. There's also a small park beside the gate.
The city of Auxonne (8,000 inhabitants; 4,165 hectares, including the forest of Crochères, 1,412 hectares) is the main city of the Val de Saône (the upper valley of river Saône, upstream from its confluency with river Doubs). Auxonne is located 40 km south-west of Dijon, on the border of Burgundy and Franche-Comté. It was a former border town between France and the German Empire; Auxonne was also famous for its Artillery College, whose most renowned student was Napoléon Bonaparte.
In the Middle-Ages, there were two rival feudal states called Burgundy, a Duchy and a County, later transformed into Burgundy and Franche-Comté, respectively.
In the IXth century, Aussona (Auxonne) was purchased by Duke of Burgundy Hughes IV from the County of Burgundy. Auxonne was then a bridgehead of the Duchy into the County, called Terres d'Outre-Saône (Lands beyond the Saône). The city was protected by ramparts made of compacted earth surmonted by a stockade, and by marshes and the river Saône.
Auxonne ceased to be a border town when the County of Burgundy was incorporated into the Duchy of Burgundy in 1384. After the Hundred Years' War, which did not damage Auxonne, a big city wall with 23 towers and four gates was built around the small city.
In 1840-1841, a needle barrier (200 m) was built on the Saône in Auxonne. The barrier allows the regulation of the flow on the river in order to maintain navigation nearly all the year. However, these days the needle barriers are obsolete and not easy to handle; ten of them were recently replaced on the Saône with modern valve barriers. The Auxonne barrier has been kept as an element of technical and cultural heritage.
Also, a new harbour that can house 150 boats has been opened on the upstream side of the town.
Captain Claude Noisot (1787-1861), born in Auxonne, was the "most faithful of the faithful" soldiers of Napoléon. After his retirement, he set up a Napoleonic Museum in his estate in Fixin, near Dijon. In 1847, he asked the famous sculptor Francois Rude to make a memorial called Le Réveil de Napoléon à l'Immortalité. Hundred stairs were cut in the hill above the memorial to recall the Cent-Jours.
Count Claude-Antoine Prieur-Duvernois (1763-1832) was born in Auxonne. Before the French Revolution, he served in the army at officer rank and pushed the application of physics to agriculture, arts and industry. He was elected Deputy of the department of Côte-d'Or in 1791, and was later known as Prieur de la Côte-d'Or. He proposed the unification of the weights and measures, a forerunner to the adoption of the metric system. He was also involved in the creation of Ecole Polytechnique, the Télégraphe, the Bureau des Longitudes and the Conservatoire National des Arts et Metiers.
Gaston Roussel (1877-1947) left his birth city of Auxonne in 1903 for Paris. He discovered Hemostyl, a medicine that aids against anaemia and hemostasy, extracted from horse serum. He founded the Institut de Sérothérapie Hémopoiétique, which was the first step towards the Roussel-UCLAF group, founded in 1920.
The thing that caught my eye was actually the roundabout which was one of the most attractive I came across and that's saying something because some of the roundabouts in France were wonderful. More power to whoever thinks them up I say.
I walked the street that leads to the bridge but it was fairly uninspiring. It's like tourism has decided to pass Auxone by and the locals don't really care.