Avallon is a commune in Burgundy, France. It was originally called Aballo.
Chance finds the coins and pottery fragments and a fine head of Minerva are reminders of the Roman settlement carrying the Celtic name Aballo, a mutatio or post where fresh horses could be obtained. Two pink marble columns in the church of St-Martin du Bourg have been reused from an unknown temple. The Roman citadel, on a rocky spur overlooking the Cousin valley, has been Christianized as Montmartre (“Mount of the Martyrs”).
In the year 470, the Romano-British king, Riothamus, disappeared (and presumably died) in the neighborhood of Avallon after being defeated by the Goths, against whom the Western Roman Emperor Anthemius had hired him to fight. This, and other aspects of his reign, has made him a candidate for the historical King Arthur, with Avallon becoming Arthurian Avalon. Avallon was in the Middle Ages the seat of a viscounty dependent on the duchy of Burgundy. on the death of Charles the Bold in 1477, it passed under the royal authority. The castle, mentioned as early as the seventh century, has utterly disappeared.