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Avallon : +33 (0)3 86 34 14 19
Noyers-sur-Serein : +33 (0)3 86 82 66 06
Vézelay : +33 (0)3 86 33 23 69
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A medieval beauty

maison à pans de bois Noyers

Noyers, a proud medieval city, will delight and surprise you with its cobbled streets and alleyways.  Take a stroll along the Serein river, up the steps leading to the Old Castle overlooking the valley.  Hardly surprising that such  exceptional surroundings has attracted so many artists and craftsmen.

Wander through the streets and admire the small squares, finely sculpted pinnacles and brightly coloured timbered houses.  An ideal backdrop for any  photo enthusiast. And, as the locals say, you’ll never tire of the place!

In Noyers, you will find art in all its forms.  The museum has one of the most important collections of Naive Art of France.  It stimulates the imagination and is an invitation to travel!  In addition, lyrical and classical music come together each summer to the delight of music lovers everywhere, and truffle enthusiasts come from near and far every autumn to the Truffle Fair!

A little history

Noyers, listed amongst the  “Plus Beaux Villages de France” (most beautiful French villages), was called “Nucerio” in the 11th century, (from the latin “Nux-Nuces” meaning walnut), because of the large number of walnut trees which grew in the area.  It was not until the 16th century that the spelling changed to what it is today.

The city is split in two from north to south by a main thoroughfare linking the two gates, la Porte de Tonnerre and la Porte d’Avallon, which suggests it was a very important trading place at the time.

The very first lords of Noyers, the Lords Miles of Noyers, were keen builders,  who erected the impressive castle on Saint-Georges hill overlooking the village, of which only a few ruins remain today. An imposing enceinte wall surrounded the village in the 13th century, which included twenty three towers, nineteen of which are still standing today.

Aristocratic mansions, half timbered bourgeois homes,  winegrowers houses, old chapels, convents, arcaded squares and defensive towers have all survived the ravages of time.

Le Serein

What better after a lovely meal than to go for a stroll along the banks of the river Serein ‘(meaning peaceful in english) which borders the medieval city of Noyers.

What once offered a natural defense, today provides a green and “peaceful” setting,  just perfect for a stroll.

But don’t believe everything you read.  This river wasn’t always so peaceful.  Just take a walk up to the town hall.  You will see the heights flood waters reached over the past centuries carved in the stone.

The unmissable… Le Musée des Arts Naïfs et Populaires

A museum made of passion, culture, curiosities and surprises.   Whether they are made of iron, canvas or earth, all the exhibits are all in harmony with the museum’s benefactors spirit.

Noyers le serein

Summer walking tours

Each summer, the Tourist Information office organises commented walking tours around the village

Meet at the Tourist information office every Thursday and Friday at 10am

Groups can book visits year round via the link below

The old castle of Noyers

The castle of Noyers was built on the slopes and the top of a woodland spur, bordered on the East and the West by the Serein river.  During the 10th century, the reigning family of Noyers assert themselves with the rise of feudality.  At at the time, the castle of the first lords of Noyers consisted of nothing more than a square dungeon and a wooden palisade, in line with the building techniques of the time.  During the Holy League, Noyers and it’s castle went from catholics to protestants in turn.  The stronghold was pillaged several times.  In 1592, Duprat, the Baron of Vitteaux, a staunch League supporter, overpowered the castle and made the most of his position to obtain wealth.  In 1599, Henri IV had the Duprat castle destroyed. The remains of the castle were dispersed shortly before the Revolution, by order of the Duke of Luynes, the last Lord of Noyers.

400 years later…

In 1988, on the initiative of a few inhabitants of Noyers, the Association du Patrimoine Oublié (the association of forgotten heritage) was created, it’s main objective being to rehabilitate the site of the Old Castle.