Sunday, 12 February 2012


Audrey :  That's the Town Hall or Mairie in Auxerre - and street-scape is quite typical of many we saw. 
Lillian :  Yes, in this post let's go for a wander round the old town of Auxerre - just as we did last April ... 

Audrey : This is the famous clock tower,  Tour de l'Horloge - the tower itself was built in 1483, it looks like something from a fairy-tale.  
The clock was added in the 17th C. one hand has a sun and it showed the hour of the day - the other hand has a moon because it said which night of the lunar month it was.  I don't think the clock is working because this photo was actually taken at 3.15pm.

Another cute tower.

Lillian :  The steep cobbled lanes are really pretty but they do make your feet sore - it is nice to take a rest now and then.
Lillian :  I think this has been a clothes shop for a long time.
Audrey :  Marche isn't French for a military march with a brass band and fabulous uniforms - it means Market but there was no sign of a market under this wonderful old ceramic sign.
Lillian : Well, while we are looking at things on buildings ...  we found a handsome building with quite a lot of memorials on it and large bas-relief portraits of various gentlemen including Jehan Regnier.
AudreyWe've researched him - he was a poet, from Auxerre and he worked for the Duke of Burgundy during the Hundred Years War.  His dates are 1392 - 1468. 

Lillian :  There are a lot of half-timbered buildings in Auxerre - and we've so many photos of them that we'll save them for the next post.  However, there were also small carvings in wood on some of the buildings - mostly on the corners like this one showing putti playing a portable pipe organ - or portative. 
Audrey  :  People having lunch - that is either a very large jug or an alien. 

And I'm not going to say what this medieval man is doing - but perhaps he was having lunch with the others and he emptied that enormous jug!

Lillian :  In the town centre there were some lovely old bank buildings - appropriately decorated.

A farmer's wife and babies reaping the rewards of their hard work on the land?
Audrey  :  And this building was quite lovely, with a version of Benzoni's Flight from Pompeii above the clock and a very pretty cupola.

Here is a close-up of some of the SunFlowers beneath that balcony - quite Art Nouveau.

Lillian : Poppies and a dove, rather ironically sporting spikes to keep other birds off.

Audrey :  Nearer the River Yonne we saw this very large Saint-in-a Niche  -  a St Nicolas.  The plaque underneath says that this statue was "elevee en 1774".  St Nicolas is the basis for Santa Claus but the original St Nicolas was the patron saint of sailors which explains the ship there but what is that on the other side?
Lillian :  Ah - it has been broken but there would have been three children in a barrel.  St Nicolas is also patron saint of children - in France one of the traditional stories told about St Nicolas says that he rescued 3 little boys from a wicked butcher who had put them in a tub. 
Audrey : Oh dear - that sounds like a very scary story.  Let's not think about that and leave everyone with the cute photo of you eating ice-cream back in the town centre. 

Lillian : It was a warm day and quite tiring walking about all those cobbled streets.

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