The statue of Vauban in the centre of Avallon is the work of the sculptor Bartholdi.
The French military engineer Sebastien Le Prestre, Seigneur de Vauban [1633-1707], was among the most esteemed of King Louis XIV's subjects. He is best remembered as Le Maréchal de Vauban, a rank & title to which he was elevated in 1703. He was honoured thus in recognition of more than fifty years tireless service to King & Country.
One of France's greatest soldiers, dearly loved by his men and revered by peers & successors alike, he is without question history's greatest builder and conqueror of fortified places.
After the death of Vauban his heart placed within a grand monument erected under the dome of the Invalides church in Paris. In 1867, in accordance with an Imperial Decree signed by Napoleon III [Great-nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte], Saint-Léger-de-Foucheret (Bourgogne), the town in which Vauban was born, was renamed Saint-Léger-Vauban in his honour.
The Belltower built on the site of the old castle-gate in 1456. The Belltower from where the view extends for miles, was used for keeping watch from 1467 onwards. A look-out would appeared in time of war and at all times whenever a fire broke out that threatened the thatched roofs.
Until 1772 the municipal magistrates of Avallon held their meetings in a first-floor room.
It is necessary to take a walk around the Remparts in order to understand what these medieval communities - who amassed so many illuminated stones - were really like. They lived in constant fear of war. Even though Duke Philip was the lord, in the heart of the 15th century, of seventeen dominations from Zuidersee to Jura, a "lost soldier" was enough to endanger his good towns. One of these soldiers, one of the cruellest, was Jacque d'Espailly, known as "Fortespice", who conquered Avallon by the "stairs".
Saint Lazare church was built in the 12th century. It is venerated here. A famous relic, brought to the town by Duke Henry of Burgundy, created such a great movement of piligrims that it was necessary to build a large church. On the main door you can admire figurines of angels, signs of the Zodiac and the old musicians of the Apocalypse.
Did you know that France has a unique "flower" rating system? The national competition of houses, villages and cities is organized by the National Committee for the Flowering of France (Comite National pour le Fleurissement de la France), hand in hand with the regions, departments and communities. The highest achievement is 4 flowers.
Burgundy is very popular by its greenery and one of its four departments is Yonne (where Avallon is situated)
Look at this list:
AILLANT SUR THOLON 1500 inhabitants
SAINT PRIVE 480
VAL DE MERCY 368
LICHERES PRES AIGREMONT 156
SAINT GEORGES SUR BAULCHE 3156
4 flowers (Grand Prix):
Avallon takes its name from the Gallio word "Aballo" (apple). The first fortifications of this rocky spur date back as far as the 9th and 10th centuries. Subject originally to the domination of the crown, then the kingdom of Austrasia and finally the Dukes of Burgundy, Avallon had for several centuries an important military role to play.
At the top of a steep hill, one of the most beautiful villages in France faces the mounts of Morvan. Vezelay is just 15 km far from Avallon.
Famous by 12th c church of St.Magdalene, Vezelay is in the list of UNESCO World Heritage.