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For the mythical island from the Arthurian legends, see Avalon.
Avallon-Tour de l'Horloge depuis la place de la Collégiale Saint-Lazare.jpg
Avallon is located in France
Coordinates: 47°29′27″N 3°54′33″E / 47.4908°N 3.9092°E / 47.4908; 3.9092Coordinates: 47°29′27″N 3°54′33″E / 47.4908°N 3.9092°E / 47.4908; 3.9092
Country France
Region Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Department Yonne
Arrondissement Avallon
Canton Avallon
 • Mayor (2001–2008) Jean-Yves Caullet
Area1 26.75 km2 (10.33 sq mi)
Population (2006)2 7,743
 • Density 290/km2 (750/sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 89025 / 89200
Elevation 163–369 m (535–1,211 ft)
(avg. 254 m or 833 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.

Avallon is a commune in the Yonne department in Burgundy in central-eastern France.


Avallon is located 50 km south-southeast of Auxerre, served by a branch of the Paris-Lyon railway and by exit 22 of the A6 motorway. The old town, with many winding cobblestone streets flanked by traditional stone and woodwork buildings, is situated on a flat promontory, the base of which is washed on the south by the Cousin, on the east and west by small streams.


Chance finds of coins and pottery fragments and a fine head of Minerva are reminders of the Roman settlement carrying the Celtic name Aballo,[1] a mutatio or post where fresh horses could be obtained.[2] Two pink marble columns in the church of St-Martin du Bourg have been reused from an unknown temple (Princeton Encyclopedia). The Roman citadel, on a rocky spur overlooking the Cousin valley, has been Christianized as Montmartre ("Mount of the Martyrs").

In the year 470, the Romano-British king, Riothamus, disappeared (and presumably died) in the neighborhood of Avallon after being defeated by the Goths,[3] against whom the Western Roman Emperor Anthemius had hired him to fight. This, and other aspects of his reign, has made him a candidate for the historical King Arthur, with Avallon becoming Arthurian Avalon.[4] Avallon (Aballo) was in the Middle Ages the seat of a viscounty dependent on the duchy of Burgundy; on the death of Charles the Bold in 1477, it passed under the royal authority. The castle, mentioned as early as the seventh century,[citation needed] has utterly disappeared.


Its chief building, the formerly collegiate church of Saint-Lazare, dates from the twelfth century, on an earlier foundation dedicated to Notre Dame.[5] Vestiges of the earlier church were revealed beneath the high altar in an excavation of 1861. The acquisition of a relic of Saint Lazare prompted its rededication: Saint Ladre is attested in the fourteenth century. It was the seat of an archdeaconate answering to the bishop of Autun.[citation needed] The two western portals are densely adorned with sculpture in the Romanesque style; the tower on the left of the facade was rebuilt in the seventeenth century. The Tour de l'Horloge, pierced by a gateway through which passes the Grande Rue, is an eleventh-century structure containing a museum on its second floor. Remains of the ancient fortifications, including seven of the flanking towers, are still to be seen.[5] Avallon has a statue of Vauban, the military engineer of Louis XIV.[citation needed]


The manufacture of biscuit and gingerbread, and the leather and farm implements supports the economy in Avallon, and there is considerable traffic on wood, wine, and the live-stock and agricultural produce in the surrounding country.[5][verification needed]


The public institutions include the subprefecture, a tribunal of first instance, and a départemental college.[5][verification needed]

Twin towns[edit]

Avallon is twinned with:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Celtic, "Apple-tree" ("FalileyevMap.pdf" (PDF). Cadair the Aberystwyth University online research repository. Retrieved November 2011.  )[verification needed]
  2. ^ Aballo appears on the Antonine Itinerary and in the Tabula Peutingeriana. ("Avallo = Aballo:aval0072". Society for Late Antiquity, University of South Carolina. Retrieved November 2011. ])
  3. ^ Jordanes, The Origin and Deeds of the Goths XLV.237, quoted at Riothamus.
  4. ^ Floyd,[page needed].
  5. ^ a b c d Chisholm 1911, p. 51.



Further reading[edit]

  • INSEE ([French] National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies)
  • Stillwell, Richard, ed. (1976). "Aballo (Avallon), Yonne, France". Princeton Encyclopaedia of Classical Sites.  (subscription required)

External links[edit]