Inscribed in 1552 on an archway leading to the oldest part of the village, this statement emphasizes the attitude of the residents of Semur-en-Auxois (or just Semur for short). Friendly and helpful, the people are as welcoming as the town is charming.
Semur-en-Auxois: A Blend of Old-World Charm and 21st-Century Amenities
Semur-en-Auxois' status as one of the most picturesque towns in Burgundy remains uncontested. The majority of its medieval centre-ville (town center) remains intact after hundreds of years of use and activity: Semur is simultaneously a site rich in history and a thriving modern town.
Semur is among a group of towns in France with the title Stations Vertes de Vacances. To quote the official tourism website for Burgundy, "Stations Vertes de Vacances are picturesque towns or villages in France’s rural or mountain areas. They have all signed a Quality Charter pledging them to uphold the locality’s natural beauty and to offer reception and accommodation facilities in a protected environment." In the case of Semur, this means that the town has achieved a balance between offering the amenities and access that a modern town must have (including a hospital, full-sized grocery stores, a post office, and several banks) while preserving its quaint appearance and its relaxed, pleasant attitude.
In Semur, There's Always Something To See And Do
Semur-en-Auxois is nestled within a loop in the river Armançon, which winds its way casually through the town bordered by houses on either side (ours is one of them). The town's medieval wall and battlements remain a popular tourist attraction, and throughout the year its ramparts are lit at night in a breathtaking display.
Also popular are the museum and the collegiate church of Notre-Dame, which contains many beautiful works of art, including fantastically intricate stained-glass windows. Here in town there is a theatre which hosts many touring and local performances, and in the spring and summer Semur hosts a Music Festival (in May) and a Medieval Festival (in August) to complement the many other festivals of arts, crafts, music, and wines which occur year-round in the surrounding Cote d'Or region.
The Immediate Area: Full of Fascinating Sights
Nearby, too, are the towns of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (site of the filming of Chocolat and home of the famous aniseed mints), Fontenay (home of the best-preserved Cistern abbey in France), Epoisses (where the magnificent cheese of the same name is made), and also Alésia, the famous site where Julius Caesar earned his final conquest of Gaul by defeating the forces of Vercingetorix. One can fish, swim, or sail at the local Lac du Pont, a short drive, bicycle ride, or a pleasant walk from Semur's centre-ville. Or it is possible to rent a bicycle in town and simply explore the beautiful countryside with a picnic lunch.
Our rental house in Semur is located steps away from the centre-ville, within easy walking distance of all the bakeries, restaurants, and amenities the village has to offer. From here you can enjoy both the town of Semur and the Burgundy region without suffering the cramped space or temperamental facilities of a hotel. It is ideally situated for a memorable vacation.
David & Annemarie, Australia, and Stephen & Kate