26 February 2015

Noyers in Burgundy

I still haven't finished writing about our short trip to Burgundy last October. One of the most interesting towns we saw was called Noyers, an ancient settlement on the Serein River not far from Chablis and Avallon. Noyers (pop. 675) is pronounced [nwah-YEHR], I quickly learned. Across the Cher River from Saint-Aignan is another town called Noyers (meaning "walnut trees") but its name is pronounced [nwah-YAY]. You never know how proper names might be pronounced. For example, Beaufort in North Carolina is [BOH-furt] but Beaufort in South Carolina is [BYOO-furt].

I took a photo of this sign in Noyers. It is one of the official "most beautiful villages in France," of which there are about 150. You can read it if you click or tap on the image to enlarge it, or you can read my translation below.

Noyers-sur-Serein   One of the most beautiful villages in France

Noyers lies at the foot of Saint George Mountain, a high hill on which, according to ancient chroniclers, once stood one of the proudest castles in France.

Under the protection of powerful lords — the Miles dynasty — the town expanded in the 11th and 12th centuries within an oxbow loop of the Serein River, which along with walls and ramparts shielded the site from attack. Some of the ancient defensive towers and town gates remain today.

Within the walls of the village, you can stroll through old streets with picturesque names: Little Wine Route Road, Salt Storehouse Square, King’s Weight Street, Wheat Market Square.

At the end of the 15th century, construction of the church of Notre Dame gave Noyers a new look. Under the control of the Dukes of Condé in the 16th century and the Dukes of Luynes in the 18th, the village was graced by many beautiful new buildings, including the House of the Golden Fleece, the Kamato mansion, and the Renaissance-style city hall.

Thus does Noyers, through historical preservation, attract those who love the past, but also those who admire primitive art, of which the village museum possesses an impressive collection.

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We spent several hours in Noyers, including a long walk all around the town with the dog one afternoon. I have more photos, of course.


  1. A place just asking to be photgraphed...
    lots of nice archways to frame scenes!

  2. Everyone's image of Burgundy. Just the place to set one daydreaming....

  3. Kamato Mansion sounds more Japanese than French. A vote here for
    more photos.

  4. We've been there a couple of times. As the photos show, it really is "One of the Most Beautiful Villages in France."

  5. The Dukes of Luynes ... Could there be a connection with the Château de Luynes in the Loire Valley?

    1. Yes, it is in the family d'Albert de Luynes as well as the château de Dampierre in the vallée de Chevreuse.

      Ken took photos of Dampierre last year and posted them on 10 July 2011.

      Here is a link with more information on the d'Albert de Luynes family:

    2. Of course Imeant 10 July 2014! Sorry.

  6. Looking forward to seeing more beauty! I once had a book with photos of some of the most beautiful cities.

  7. Another village to put on my list! Loving those framed photos! More, more, more...! s'il vous plait!

    Mary in Oregon

  8. Now, I wonder...is there a "bon restaurant" in Noyers that lives up to the town's beautiful setting? That would definitely be worth the journey - even from the States.

  9. Now you have found my favorite place in France! I would love to send you two or three pictures that I love.

    Libbie in New Bern


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