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Montreal travel guide

Photo of Montreal

Visit Montreal (Burgundy-Franche-Comté, France)

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Montreal is a small medieval village situated in the Yonne department of Burgundy, a few kilometres to the north-east of Avallon. It doesn't take very long to explore Montreal, and facilities are limited, but it is well worth visiting.

Exploring Montreal

Note: the main village is pedestrianised (vehicle access to the village is for residents only) so park opposite the small cafe (Au Quinze) on the road that passes through the village. Parking is free.

The centre of historic Montreal village is entered through an imposing gateway with several arches through the fortified walls. This gateway is called the Porte d'en Bas (Lower Gate).

Lower gate into Montreal, Burgundy

Inside the walls there are several streets of old houses winding up the hill and many of the houses have small signposts explaining their original function in the village (post office, mattress maker etc.) which adds to the interest of the village and helps set it in a historical context.

To see the most interesting houses simply follow 'Grande Rue' through Montreal. Several of the houses in the village also have colourful gardens. Halfway through the village you pass from the 'lower town' to the 'upper town'. Originally another gateway stood here, which is no longer standing, but you can still see the walls of the defensive structure and the base of a tower set in the wall.

Towards the upper end of Montreal there is a second gate through the ramparts called the Porte d'en Haut (Upper Gate). At the top of the hill beyond this gate is a picturesque church and cemetery, next to a belvedere (viewpoint) with views across the countryside.

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The church is the Collegiale Notre-Dame, built in the 12th century and in a style combining both roman and gothic elements. Note in particular the decorative stonework around the entrance then go into the church to see the intricately carved 16th century stalls.

The church was renovated in the 19th century under the guidance of the architect Viollet-le-Duc, a renowned French architect well known for his controversial renovations of historical monuments, such as the town of Carcassonne.

A medieval castle originally stood next to the church but has long since disappeared. From here there is also a walk that follows around the 14th century fortifications that surround Montreal, as well as a number of paths that set off into the countryside.

Entrance to church in Montreal

Attractions nearby

There are several very attractive towns and villages in the region. The two highlights I would consider unmissable if you are in this part of Burgundy are the village at Noyers-sur-Serein, which is a 'classified most beautiful village' to the north of Montreal, and Fontenay Abbey to the east, and one of the loveliest abbeys in France.

You can find more travel ideas in the Yonne guide and the Burgundy guide.

See also: 

Photos of Montreal

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Map of Montreal and places nearby

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Visit near Montreal with France This Way reviews

Avallon

Avallon

Avallon is a very pleasant town to explore with some very imposing medieval buildings, and the countryside of the Morvan Regional Park is very close by

Avallon guide
Noyers-sur-Serein

Noyers-sur-Serein

The half-timbered houses and riverside setting make Noyers-sur-Serein one of our favourite small towns in this region

Noyers-sur-Serein guide
Semur-en-Auxois

Semur-en-Auxois

One of the prettiest of the Burgundy villages, Semur-en-Auxois has a very lively and extensive historic centre and a pretty riverside setting

Semur-en-Auxois guide
Vezelay

Vezelay

Even if it didn't have one of the most famous abbeys in France, Vezelay village would attract a great deal of visitors

Vezelay guide
Montbard

Montbard

A typical regional town, we suggest you take a stroll around the Parc Buffon in Montbard

Montbard guide
Fontenay Abbey

Fontenay Abbey

The complex of buildings at the Abbey de Fontenay, and the surrounding gardens and woodlands, make this one of our favourite French abbeys

Fontenay Abbey guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Yonne

Address: Montréal, Guillon, Avallon, Burgundy, 89420, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.5431, longitude 4.03667

Plan your visit to Montreal, Yonne

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin du moulin de Athie: remarkable garden (17 km)
  • Noyers-sur-Serein: most beautiful village (17 km)
  • Asquins église St Jacques (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (22 km)
  • Vézelay basilica St Madeleine (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (23 km)
  • Vezelay: heritage site (23 km)
  • Abbaye de Fontenay (Montbard): religious monument (24 km)
  • Potager du château de Lantilly: remarkable garden (26 km)
  • Abbaye de Fontenay: remarkable garden (29 km)
  • Fontenay Abbey: heritage site (29 km)
  • Morvan: regional natural parc (30 km)
  • Parc de Saint-Léger: remarkable garden (31 km)
  • Basilique de Saint Andoche (Saulieu): religious monument (33 km)

The French version of this page is at Montreal (Francais)

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