The clock tower in Auxerre, France.

© Lucille Cottin/Shutterstock

Tour de l'Horloge


In the heart of Auxerre's partly medieval commercial precinct, the golden, spire-topped Tour de l'Horloge was built in 1483 as part of the city's fortifications. On the beautiful 17th-century clock faces (there's one on each side), the sun-hand indicates the time of day; the moon-hand shows the day of the lunar month.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Yonne attractions

1. Hôtel de Ville

0.03 MILES

Flanked by colourful half-timbered buildings, Auxerre's town hall forms the centrepiece of the medieval centre's most attractive square.

2. Église St-Eusèbe

0.14 MILES

Presided over by a 12th-century bell tower, this church is a convenient landmark in Auxerre's medieval centre.

3. Cathédrale St-Étienne


This vast Gothic cathedral and its stately 68m-high bell tower dominate Auxerre's skyline. The choir, ambulatory and some of the vivid stained-glass…

4. Église St-Pierre

0.24 MILES

Marked by Gothic architectural elements, this church between the river and the medieval centre is a prominent Auxerre landmark.

5. Tour des Prisons

0.31 MILES

The striking late-15th-century Tour des Prisons is the lone remaining tower from the original stone fortifications surrounding Auxerre's medieval Abbaye…

6. Abbaye St-Germain

0.34 MILES

This ancient abbey with its dramatic flying buttresses began as a basilica above the tomb of St Germain, the 5th-century bishop who made Auxerre an…

7. Abbaye de Pontigny

10.33 MILES

Founded in 1114, Abbaye de Pontigny rises from the lush mustard fields 15km north of Chablis. The spectacular abbatiale (abbey church) is one of the last…

8. Église St-Martin

10.79 MILES

The 12th- and 13th-century Gothic Église St-Martin, first founded in the 9th century by monks fleeing the Norman attacks on Tours, is two short blocks…