The small, charming town of Sens lies on the banks of the River Yonne, within the region of Burgundy. The open countryside that surrounds Sens is known as 'Burgundy's Granary' - with mostly cereal crops and orchards, rather than the vineyards that produce the region's famous wines. The town has a compact centre that surrounds the imposing Gothic cathedral - the Cathédrale Saint-Étienne.
The cathedral was the first of the great Gothic cathedrals in France, and it has been inspirational in layout and design for many others, including Canterbury Cathedral in England. Work began around 1135, initiated by Archbishop Henri Sanglier, and up until 1622, this diocese had pre-eminence over Chartres, Auxerre, Meaux, Paris, Orléans, Nevers and Troyes. The cathedral itself has magnificent stained glass windows that date from the 13th-19th centuries.