The pretty town, located on a rocky outcrop high above the Cousin Valley, still has its old fortified town centre. Avallon is also the ideal starting point of excursions into the surrounding area and the Morvan region.
A powerful stronghold – Avallon was during the Middle Ages one of the key cities of Burgundy: anyone wanting to conquer the duchy had to take Avallon. In 1432, Jacques d’Espailly, known as Forte-Epice, and his band of adventurers from the nearby Nivernais region seized several castles of lower Burgundy. Protected by their fortifications, the people of Avallon did not feel threatened; however, Forte-Epice took the guard by surprise, climbed the walls and seized the town. Called to the rescue, the Duke of Burgundy hurried back, made a breach in the city walls with a bombard and launched an attack, but his troops were forced to withdraw.
Infuriated by this delay, he immediately called on knights and cross-bowmen whereupon Forte-Epice disappeared through one of the posterns opening onto the riverside, abandoning his men there and then. Content source: Michelin’s Burgundy/Jura The Green Guide. There is a food market every Saturday mornings.