La cité médiévale de Saint Gengoux le National


At the junction of 5 very busy routes linking among others: Autun, Cluny, Chalon, Tournus and Mâcon, the city of Saint-Gengoux occupied an important strategic position from the time of the Romans.

The city through the ages

In the 10th century, after the creation of Cluny abbey, just twenty or so kilometres away, the village was placed under the jurisdiction of the monks who named it Saint-Gengoux (in Latin: villa sancti gangulphi).

In the 12th century the abbey came into conflict with the Count of Chalon and the monks appealed for help to the king, Louis VII who, even though he was King of France, held no land in Burgundy. He took advantage of this to establish his influence on the region by negotiating a share of Saint-Gengoux with the monks (a feudal treaty) in exchange for his protection. He then established a châtellenie (royal judicial centre), had a château and ramparts built and authorised the first fairs.

The double guardianship of Cluny abbey and the King of France brought an increase in both wealth and population to the town. There can still be found today many traces of this rich past in the streets of the town centre.


For a more complete history, we suggest participating in a guided tour (details below).


Outside the guided tours, we offer a small brochure that allows you to discover the mediaeval city by yourself.

Discovering the medieval town of Saint Gengoux le National

  • Eglise Saint Gengoux, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Eglise Saint Gengoux, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Fresque de la gare, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Fresque de la gare, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Fontaine des Manants, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Fontaine des Manants, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Lavoir, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Lavoir, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Maison, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Maison, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Rue pavée d'andouilles, ©Rozenn Krebel

    Rue pavée d'andouilles, ©Rozenn Krebel

  • Eglise Saint Gengoux, ©Rozenn Krebel
  • Fresque de la gare, ©Rozenn Krebel
  • Fontaine des Manants, ©Rozenn Krebel
  • Lavoir, ©Rozenn Krebel
  • Maison, ©Rozenn Krebel
  • Rue pavée d'andouilles, ©Rozenn Krebel

Guided Tours :

Guided tours of the mediaeval city are led by the association "Animation Touristique Sud Côte Chalonnaise". Price : 4€/person. Free of charge for under 12s. Guided tours are available on request throughout the year for groups of 8 people minimum.



Guided tours for individuals during the summer season, every wednesday at 4pm, from the 13the of July until the 24th of August. Except the 27th of July. Price : 5€ per person with a welcome drink offered at the end of the visit. Free for children under 12 years old.

Visites guidées pour les individuels en saison estivale, tous les mercredis à 16h à l'Office de Tourisme.



Tarif : 5€/personne. Gratuit pour les moins de 12 ans.





Sur réservation auprès de l'office de tourisme Sud Côte Chalonnaise.

By yourself :

To discover the mediaeval town on your own, a guide brochure is available from the Tourist Information Office in Saint-Gengoux-le-National.

A “Cité de Caractère” :

In 2017, Saint-Gengoux-le-National was awarded the "Cité de Caractère Bourgogne-Franche-Comté" label which rewards small towns which have all the historical traces of an urban activity and have managed to preserve a first class urban, architectural and landscape heritage. The association of the same name that awards this label was set up in 1989 with the goal of valuing, preserving and promoting the heritage it wants to sustain.


Discover the other "Cité de caractères de Bourgogne et de Franche-Comté" by following this link.