Bed and Breakfast at the Maison Sainte Barbe
The Maison Sainte Barbe, nestling close to the apse of the cathedral church of St Lazare, lies in the very heart of Autun's historic quarter. In former times this important historic monument, which dates back to the 15th and 18th centuries, served as a residence for canons of Autun. Today, Marie-Luce Lequime warmly extends to her visitors the opportunity to stay in the guest rooms which she has stylishly created in this ancient and charming building. Each of the four rooms is designed to accommodate two or three guests, and is equipped with its own bathroom and w.c. A breakfast room and a sitting area with its own fireplace is available for the use of guests, and a wifi internet connection is provided free of charge. The garden is a haven of peace, offering sunny relaxation and shady retreats according to the season.
The house is ideally placed as regards the six or seven restaurants which surround the cathedral, providing both gastronomic and traditional cuisine, and including pizzerias and creperies. A few minutes' walk further down the hill, and the visitor will discover all the shops and businesses of a bustling market town. The Musée Rolin, whose treasures include the celebrated 'Eve of Autun', is also situated at a distance of about 100 yards. A public swimming pool, golf-course, tennis courts, bowling alley and equestrian centre are all to be found within ten minutes of the house; and also the forest with its numerous marked routes for walkers. Autun, moreover, boasts no less than six Roman monuments of the first importance, all of which lie within a mile of the Maison Sainte Barbe.
The Maison Sainte Barbe is open all the year.
A little history
The origins of the Maison Sainte Barbe are to be found in the establishment on this site of a dormitory for the cathedral chapter, begun by bishop Jonas in 858 and continued by bishop Augier in 877. In the second half of the C13th the communal use of the building was abandoned, and it underwent its first remodelling which transformed it into a residence for one or more canons. The house, which adjoins the cloister and the C9th cathedral of St Nazaire, includes an ancient chapel which is still intact.
At the end of the C17 the house was occupied by Canon Claude Saulnier - a dignitary of the cathedral chapter, a historian, and the author of a work devoted to Autun. It was he who established here a notable collection of portraits, in a gallery whose panelled walls were decorated with landscapes. It was at this period that the main body of the building was doubled by the addition on the garden side of the structure which surrounds the tower. At the Revolution the house was sold as 'national property' and it passed into private ownership. In about 1840 the house returned to the hands of the church, becoming the presbytery of the cathedral of St Lazare. The neoclassical facade which overlooks the Place Sainte Barbe was entirely remodelled in the 1840s, when it received its present picturesque appearance. The Maison Sainte Barbe enjoys a privileged position, under the shadow of the cathedral and at the very heart of Autun's historic quarter. On one side it adjoins the cloister of St Nazaire and the Bishops' Palace, whose tower of St Leger dates back to the C14th.
“I would not be what I am, neitherwould I have house, or nation, or town, or language, unless the other - my host - had not come and bestowed them upon me.” Jacques Derrida
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (He 13, 2)