Yonne

The department of Yonne was the shape of territories formerly entirely distinct, and that it is necessary to make known for the explanation of certain historical and archaeological facts. In Gallic times, Senones occupied the districts of Direction and Joigny, with Agendicum or Direction for capital; the people of Auxerre, connect confederation senonaise, were fixed in the district which received its name and extended to the Loire; Lingons occupied the district of Thunder and part of the cantons of Ligny and Windfallen wood; Eduens extended in Avallonnais.

These primitive divisions of the four countries of Direction, of Auxerre, of Thunder and Avallon persisterent under the Romans, and each one of these regions formed part respectively, after the establishment of Christianity, the two first of the dioceses of Direction and Auxerre, the two last of those of Langres and Autun.

The Middle Ages itself saw creating counts has Auxerre, has Sens, has Tonnerre and has Avallon, then has Joigny, which starts to be published Towards X E century. Direction was joined together with the crown under king Robert, and Auxerre was buys by the king in 1371. Avallon echut with the dukes of Burgundy; Joigny and Tonnerre had particular counts until the end of the xvme century.

The ecclesiastical organization was copied on ancient civil divisions, i.e. the dioceses of Direction and Auxerre adapterent with old the Gallic pays' same names; the archidiacone of Thunder echut to the diocese of Langres and that of Avallon to the diocese of Autun.

The religious orders of Saint-Beno4it cheese, Citeaux, of Cluny, of Grandmont and Premontre raised, in the countries of the department, of many monuments whose remains are scattered today on the ground or they have shines formerly of such an amount of splendour.

The monuments of the Gallic time are rather rare in the department of Yonne; the development of the culture made them disappear for the majority, and the climates or places known as of certain communes reveal of it only the old existence under the names of stone-opening, stone-fitte or stone which turn. The Roman period has leaves more imposing traces, in particular in the enclosures of the towns of Direction and Auxerre and in the many ways which furrow the country. The monumental Middle Ages start, to tell the truth, only to the IX E century, in the crypts of the churches of Auxerre; but starting from the XI E century Romance style produced there in important monuments which will succeed soon after, at the end of the XII E century and in the Course of the XIII E, the monasteries and the churches without number which give a high idea of these times. The XIV E century is sterile in monuments, if it is not in military fortifications: the English invasions then stop the culture and arts; but at the end of the XV E and in first half of the XVI E century a sharp impulse is given to work: everywhere one builds or one restores the religious and civil monuments. The district of Auxerre in particular, which has abundant easy oolitic limestone quarries has to exploit, sees to rise churches of ogival style everywhere blazing. The Rebirth provides also its quota of works of art, and particularly the castles of Ancy-the-Franc, Tanlay, Fleurigny, Arcy, etc

One notices, by traversing the department of Yonne, the distinct differences in nature and the importance of the monuments of the Middle Ages. The districts of Joigny and Direction, the canton of Toucy and that of Saint-Saver partly, who because of the geological nature of the ground are deprived of stones has to build, are, except for the cities or of the chief towns of large seigniories, low in monuments. On the contrary, in the districts of Avallon and Thunder and most of the district of Auxerre, or the Jurassic ground offered has all the times of so splendid careers, the religious and feudal monuments rise there very-many and very-beautiful.

The objets d'art which decorate the monuments consist especially of Beautiful stained glasses of the XIII E to the XVI E century, in tombs and in tumulary flagstones has effigies. The treasure of the cathedral of Direction has fortunately preserves a Great number of its works of goldsmithery, ivory and tapestry. The museums of the towns of Auxerre, Direction, Avallon and other places are rich in antiquities and collections of various kinds. There is also has Auxerre, has Avallon and in other cities of the particular collections which are true museums.

We made all our efforts to join together in the archaeological Repertory of the department of Yonne all the monuments that this country contains, by visiting by us, same all the communes of which it east composes.

Auxerre, December 20, 1866.

Source: Archaeological repertory of the department of Yonne writes under the auspices of the Company of historical and natural sciences of this department per Mr. Max. Quantin 1868.

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