Bourgogne

General Info

Regional Map
Conseil Régional
Tourism: Comité Régional de Tourisme
Capital: Dijon
Departments: Côte d'Or, Nièvre, Saône-et-Loire, & Yonne
Arrondissements-15, Cantons-174, Communes-2,045
Population: 1,621,305 (2008 est.)
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France Bourgogne Region Map

Overview

Beaune Hotel-Dieu
Bourgogne or Burgundy is an historically unusual region of France and was inhabited in turn by Celts (Gauls), Romans (Gallo-Romans), and various Germanic peoples, most specifically the Burgundians and the Franks. The region was divided between the Duchy (Duke) of western Bourgogne and the Free County (Franche-Comté) of eastern Bourgogne. Later, the Duchy of Bourgogne became the French region of Burgundy while the county of Bourgogne became the region Franche-Comté.

Bourgogne considers itself the heart of France and is a prosperous region with world-renowned wine and excellent cuisine. The vineyards of the Côte d'Or, Côte de Beaune, and Châblis yield some of the world's most respected wines. The Côte d'Or (Hills of Golden) is a 25 mile (42 m) limestone escarpment and its east-facing slope is the terroir of some of the greatest names of Bourgogne wine, such as Gevrey-Chambertin, Clos de Vougeot, Meursault, and Montrachet. The popular Route des Grands Crus (Route Nationale 74) runs along the foot of the ridge and meanders in and out of small medieval villages, past ancient châteaux, and through prolific vineyards. Important rivers such as the Saône and Yonne allow access to the Rhone and Seine and have provided the region with important transport via canals and rivers.

Bourgogne Departmental Information

Notable Towns and Sights in Bourgogne

Abbaye de Fontenay (Côte d'Or) is a tranquil Cistercian abbey near the commune of Montbard. It was founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux and is located in a small wooded area northwest of Dijon. It retains almost all of its original buildings including the church, dormitory, cloister, chapter house, heating room, dovecote and forge. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. France Burgundy Abbaye de Fontenay
Autun Saône-et-Loire) was founded during the reign of the Roman emperor Augustus and was one of the most important cities in Gaul because of its two theatres, amphitheatre, and aqueducts. It has several existing elements of Roman architecture such as walls and gates (Porte d'Arroux and Porte Saint André). The 79 ft. (24m) high Temple de Janus was thought to have been built for Celtic worship. The Mus&ecute;e Rolin is worth a visit with Gallo-Roman artifacts, Romanesque sculpture, and 15-16th century French and Flemish paintings. The 12th century Romanesque Cathedrale Saint Lazare has an impressive tympanum by Gislebertus (1130's) showing the last Judgement. Autun has easy access to the Parc Naturel Régional. France Burgundy Autun
Auxerre (Yonne) is one of the oldest Gallo-Roman towns in this department and has Roman ruins, Gothic churches, wooden medieval houses, and a skyline of spires and steep roofs (photo). It has easy access to North Burgundy and its boat port provides canal boat rentals. The Gothic Cathedral Saint Étienne (photo) dominates the town with its 223 ft. (68 m) bell tower and satined glass from the 1200's. The 9th-century Abbaye Saint-Germain has interesting crypts with surviving examples of Carolingian architecture. Other churches include 17th century Saint-Pierre en Vallée built over a 6th-century abbey and the 13th-century Church of Saint-Eusebe which has a Romanesque tower. France Burgundy Auxerre Saint Etienne
Avallon (Yonne) is a walled hilltop town overlooking the River Cousin and its main sight is the church St Lazare. It has good access to the Parc Naturel Régional. Mairie Ville-Avallon. France Burgundy Auxerre
Beaune (Côte d'Or) is the center for wine making in Burgundy. It has a distinctive Flemish flavor with its polychromed terra cotta roofs of gold and other colors in a checkerboard pattern. The duchy of Burgundy once included much of Holland and Belgium so the Flemish influence is apparent in the architecture of the city's Hôtel-Dieu (Hospices). Every November, the Trois Glorieuses wine auction sells wines to raise money for charity which accordingly sets prices for the year's vintage. Office de Tourisme. France Burgundy Beaune Hôtel Dieu
Burgundy Canal (Yonne and Côte d'Or) or Le Canal de Bourgogne is more than 150 miles (242km) long and has 209 locks. It crosses Burgundy from the north to the south and connects the river Seine to the Rhône. The purpose of the canal is to connect the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea via the rivers Yonne and Seine to the rivers Saône and Rhône. France Burgundy Canal
Chablis (Yonne) is synonymous with white wine made fom Chardonnay grapes, but is only one of many towns where Burgundy white wines are created. The wine's character is derived from the clay & limestone soil which contains an abundance of fossilized oyster shells. It is a quiet town, but is a good place to observe the wine industry in operation during the summer, especially at harvest time. France Burgundy Chardonnay grapes
Charolles (Sa˘ne-et-Loire) Charolles is an attractive commune of about 3000 residents located at the confluence of the Semence and the Arconce rivers in the south of the Bourgogne region between Moulins & Macôn. The city is nicknamed la Venise du Charolais because of the lively canals which cross the rivers (photo). Charolles is one of the oldest divisions of France & exchanged possession between Austria, Spain, & France from the early 14th-c until 1771 when it was united with the French crown. Sights here include the Tower of Charles le Téméraire, (photo), Diamond Tower, Convent of Poor Clares (photo), & the Priory of Madeleine. Charolles is also well-known for its fa´ence (pottery) begun in 1844 by Hippolyte Prost. This very attractive market town is surrounded by lush green pastures and is well known for the quality beef produced by the cream-colored & stocky Charollais breed of cattle. The main church Sacre Coeur (photo), was built in 1868 in neo-Romanesque style & has just been restored. It will have a new organ to be built in early 17th-c French style & will be completed in 2015. Website for the new organ. France Burgundy Charolles
Château d'Ancy-le-Franc (Côte d'Or) is located in a beautiful park which includes outbuildings, stables, a farm, and an orangery. The Northern grounds have examples of the symmetrical French gardens of the 16th century and the southern grounds an English landscaped garden with a little folly- a pavilion from the 18th century constructed on a romantic island in the middle of a pond. The château is open to the public and is available for receptions, weddings, galas and corporate events. France Burgundy Château d'Ancy-le-Franc
Châteauneuf-en-Auxois (Côte d'Or), also known as Château de Châteauneuf, is a 12th-century castle in the commune of Châteauneuf near Dijon. It was built in 1132 by Jean de Chaudenay for his second son, Jean de Châteauneuf. After nine generations in the castle, the reign of the Châteauneufs ended in tragedy when in 1456, the last heiress, Catherine de Châteauneuf, was burnt alive for poisoning her second husband. France Burgundy Châteauneuf-en-Auxois
Châtillon-sur-Seine (Côte d'Or) has a modern feel due to being rebuilt after being ruined by WWII. The Musée Archéologique has the Treasure of Vix which contains the sixth-century b.c. tomb of a Celtic princess buried in a four-wheeled chariot as well as beautiful jewelery, Greek vases, and Etruscan bowls. Also noteworthy is the Romanesque church of Saint Vorles which houses beautiful sculpture from 1527 of the entombment of Christ. Alternate website: Pays-Chatillonnais . France Burgundy Chatillon-Sur-Seine
Cluny (Saône-et-Loire) Saint Pierre-Saint Paul Abbey Ancienne Abbaye) was once the most powerful monastic reform movement in the Middle Ages, but declined in the 14th century. It was the largest church in Christendom until Saint Peter's in Rome was built. Today, one transept of the 12th-century abbey church remains, along with 15th-century abbots' residences and 18th-century convent buildings. The site also includes pleasant gardens and a museum with Romanesque artifacts from the Ancienne Abbaye. France Burgundy Cluny

Dijon (Côte d'Or) is the capital of the Burgundy region and has an unusually large number of churches and cathedrals. Notable are Saint Bégnine (photo), Notre-Dame, Saint Etienne, and Saint Michel (photo). The crypt of Cathédrale Saint Bégnine dates from 1000 years ago. There are many museums including one dedicated to mustard- Moutarde de Dijon designates a method of production for this famous mustard known for its strong taste. Also, the Musée Magnin is not to be missed here. France Burgundy Dijon
Flavigny-sur-Ozerain (Côte d'Or) is a small hilltop village west of Dijon and is known for its anis de Flavigny (aniseed candy). The popular movie "Chocolat" (2000) starring Juliet Binoche was filmed here. Flavigny has a Benedictine Abbey from the early Middle Ages which was re-occupied by monks in the 1979's. It is one of Le Plus Beaux Villages. France Burgundy Flavigny-sur-Ozerain
Le Creusot (Saône-et-Loire) is an industrial town and is home to the Schneider iron and steelworks, makers of the first french locomotive (1838), first steamship (1839), military guns, and the beautiful Pont Alexandre-III (photo) and the Gare d'Austerlitz in Paris. Two main attractions in Creusot are the Écomusée le Creusot-Montceau aand the Parc Touristique des Combes. France Pont Alexander III
Mâcon (Saône-et-Loire) is located on the Saône River and is an industrial town which produces motorcycles, electrical equipment, and clothing. More importantly, it is a wine center and produces Pouilly-Fuissé. The Tour-de-France usually passes through here after leaving the Alps. France Burgundy Macon
Nevers (Nièvre) is on the Loire River and has two important churches. The Cathédrale of Saint Cyr-Sainte Juliette from the 10th-15th centuries is a combination of two buildings with two apses. The church of Saint Etienne is in the Romanesque style of Auvergne with an apse of three radiating chapels. It was consecrated at the close of the 9th-century and belonged to a priory affiliated to Cluny. Also here is the Ducal Palace (photo) which is now occupied by the Courts of Justice and a ceramics museum. It was built in the 15th and 16th centuries and is one of the principal feudal edifices in central France. Also in Nevers is the body of Sainte Bernadette (Bernadette Soubirous of Lourdes) whom was placed in a gold and glass reliquary in the Chapel of Saint Bernadette at the motherhouse. France Burgundy Nevers
Noyers-sur-Serein (Yonne) is a well-preserved fortified medieval village southeast of Auxerre. Its 15th-century half-timbered houses and cobblestone streets still dominate the town. It is one of Les Plus Beaux Villages. France Burgundy Noyers-sur-Serein
Paray-le-Monial (Saône-et-Loire) is mainly known for its Romanesque Basilica Sacré-Coeur (photo) and as a place of pilgrimage. The Hôtel de Ville in Renaissance style has a fašade of which is adorned with a large statue of the Blessed Virgin is a significant historical monument here. France Burgundy Paray-le-Monial
Parc Naturel Régional du Morvan (Nièvre) was established in 1970 and is on a granite plateau surrounded by the towns of Vezelay, Avallon, Saulieu, Auton, and Chateau Chinon. It includes heavily wooded areas known as the Black Mountain, lakes, and farmland. The centre for the park is the Saint-Brisson visitors center. Alternate website France Parc Naturel Regional du Morvan
Pontigny   (Yonne) has a 13th-century Gothic Abbey with 23 chapels and it is one of the last surviving examples of Cistercian architecture. Monks from this Abbey were the first to refine the production of Chablis wine. France Burgundy Pontigny Abbey
Saulieu (Côte-d'Or) is the capital of the Morvan and is in the Morvan Regional Park. Notable here is the 12th-century Saint Andoche Basilica (photo) and Saint Saturnin Church (photo) (pictured right). Alternate website: saulieu.chez-alice France Burgundy Saulieu
Semur-en-Auxois (Côte d'Or) is small village built on a pink granite bluff overlooking the River Armancon. The river formerly provided power for tanneries and mills, but its flow has been reduced by the Lac de Pont due to a dam built upstream in the 19th-century to provide water for the Canal de Bourgogne. France Burgundy Semur-en-Auxois
Sens (Yonne) is a small town, but has one of the oldest Gothic cathedrals built in the 1100's with stained glass windows from the 12th-16th centuries. It was also where King Louis IX was married in 1234. France Burgundy Saint Etienne
Tonnerre (Yonne) has a somewhat mystical gushing blue-green spring called Fosse Dion. Also notable is the Hôtel Dieu from 1293 which was founded to care for the poor. France Tonnerre Fosse Dion Spring
Tournus (Saône-et-Loire) has Saint Philibert Abbey which is one of the oldest and greatest Romanesque buildings in Burgundy. It is in the Burgundian Romanesque style and the fašade lacks one of the two flanking towers originally designed for it. There are vineyards in the surrounding area and the town and its port have considerable commerce in wine and stone from neighboring quarries. Chairmaking is an important industry here. France Burgundy Tournus
Vézelay (Yonne) is a lovely hilltop village surrounded by countryside vineyards and sunflower fields. Its majestic sight, the Romanesque Basilique Sainte-Madeleine (photo) from the 880's, is home to Mary Magadalene's relics and was one of the starting points for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. It is listed with UNESCO as a world heritage sight. France Burgundy Vezelay
Volnay (Côte d'Or) was previously the residence of the Dukes of Burgundy and is a typical wine village of the Côte de Beaune. Situated half way up the slopes, the Premier Cru vineyards surrounding the village benefit from their ideal position. The hillside provides iron-rich limestone covered by red-brown silt. Volnay produces a Village Appellation and its Premier Crus from 34 named localities. France Burgundy Volnay

Les Plus Beaux Villages in the Bourgogne Region

Natural Parks in the Bourgogne Region

Additional Resources for the Bourgogne Region

Average Monthly Temperatures in the Bourgogne Region

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