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Concierge.com

Autun, Burgundy

France, Europe: handful of Roman monuments, including third-century gates, temples, and an amphitheater, still stand in Autun,
Autun Tourism Office
13 Rue Général Demetz
Autun
France 71400
Tel: 33 3 85 86 80 38
www.autun-tourisme.com
Concierge.com's insider take:

About ten miles south of Mont Beuvray, on the southern edge of the Morvan, is Autun, a walled city founded by Augustus Caesar. One of France's great cathedrals, St. Lazare, dominates the upper section of town, an area studded with landmark buildings on narrow, twisting streets. Below, you'll find a handful of Roman monuments: third-century gates, temples, and an amphitheater. Dedicated in the early 12th century, Romanesque St. Lazare Cathedral has fantastic stained-glass windows; the master French sculptor Gislebertus carved a Last Judgment above the western doorway, a nude Eve above the northern doorway, and 60 capitals. The 12,000-seat Roman amphitheater was once the largest in Gaul. Each August it hosts a kitschy, weeklong Gallo-Roman extravaganza, complete with gladiators wielding cardboard shields and plastic swords. Skip that, but don't miss the amphitheater itself, or walking along Autun's ramparts and through the lively outdoor market, held on the main square each Wednesday and Friday morning.—David Downie

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