Dijon and Beaune

After the tour through some Burgundy vineyards in the preceding post, let’s have a look on the cities they surround, Dijon and Beaune.



Dijon is today the capital of the Burgundy Region and was the capital of the Province of Burgundy, the home of the Dukes of Burgundy (and Valois-Burgundy) between the 11th and 15th centuries. What was to become the Duchy of Burgundy was in 1032 given as compensation to a brother of the French king, who disputed the throne. After a lot of disputes and fighting, the Duchy of Burgundy was finally again annexed by France in 1477. The Ducal Palace as it looks today dates partly from the 14th century, but has been remodeled over the years, more especially during the 17th century.

Dijon has been a very wealthy city and is quite well spared from destructions; it's full of old buildings and churches. Some of the half-timbered houses date from as early as the 12th century. One should also note the special roofs made of tiles glazed in different colours – however perhaps even more visible in Beaune.

The city is of course also known for its mustard, wine houses… and the “Kir” (the drink composed by "crème de cassis" and the white wine "Bourgogne Aligoté" and invented by the catholic priest Félix Kir who was the mayor of the city 1945-68).

Beaune is a beautiful little city with a lot of charm and some nice places for eating and drinking (wine tasting). Like Dijon, it has very old origins and is still partly surrounded by remainders of a wall and a moat. It’s of course also a centre for wine commerce and gourmet food.

The most remarkable buildings are obviously the "Hospices de Beaune", founded in 1443. Although the original building, "Hôtel Dieu", now is a museum, the hospital, a charitable institution created for “poor and needy” and living on old donations including large vineyards, is still in operation in other modern buildings. There is a famous charity wine auction end November each year (now organized by Christie’s and held in the market hall in front of the hospital), which also serves as a good indicator of the Burgundy wine prices in general.

I wish you a nice weekend!


Jeanie said...

Thanks so much, Peter, for taking me to beautiful places I long to experience first hand. I have to say your photography always gives me a little shiver! It's just so darned good and tells the story so well. You really don't need a lot of words! And by the way, I love how you include the maps!

krystyna said...

Hi Peter!
Quite a long time I visited your beautiful Paris... .
But always with pleasure I spend my time here.
Your wonderful photos say more than the best words.

Take care
and have a nice weekend!

Anonymous said...

MFK Fisher wrote that the streets of Dijon smelled of gingerbread. Of course, that was a long time ago.

Rakesh Vanamali said...

Wonderful pictures! I believe the architecture of this place is very unique when compared to that of the rest of the region? Maybe it's my eyes which seem to see it different!

Virginia said...

I see one of my dear California blog friends Altadena Hiker has paid you a visit. You'll want to read her wonderful blog. We had a grand time together last week, which is why I'm very far behind on all of your travels. You are hard to keep up with! I 'll spend some time this weekend touring your last posts. I look forward to that.


joanna said...


There is so much to take in -- so many fantastic details, the tiles, the hand craved painted beams, I will have to take it frame by frame to look closer and spend more time on this and the previous post. I am amazed at the beauty of it all. Really lost for descriptive words to describe what I am seeing here.

Have a wonderful week end. Looking forward to your return and the next post.


claude said...

Effectivement Dijon a l'air d'être une belle ville. J'ai entendu dire que notre bonne moutarde française a été rachetée par un groupe Heerlandais qui la ferait faire fabriquer en Chine. Incroyable non ! Quand j'entends des trucs comme ça, la moutarde me monte au nez ! Heureusement il reste de Kir !
De Beaune, je n'ai visité que les hospices, le reste de la ville a l'air beau aussi.

Olivier said...

Dijon est une très belle ville que j'aime beaucoup. Belles photos et promenade dans Dijon

hpy said...

Je parie que tu ne sais pas que, il n'y a pas si longtemps que ça, la moutarde de Dijon était principalement fabriquée à Yvetot en Seine-Maritime!
Qui l'eut cru?
Belle série de photos!

alice said...

J'ai toujours trouvé curieux ces mélanges religion/boissons alcoolisées...
Sinon, petit clin d'oeil à Claude et à Hpy: il n'y a plus de champs de cornichons autour de Dijon, maintenant Maille se fournit...au Sri Lanka!

arabesque said...

hi peter, a wonderful series, must admit, haven;t got a clue about these places, this is a nice insight.
i think its architecture are quite old but certainly unique and intricate.
esp. like the detailed roof tiling and those pointed spires!
have a happy weekend! ^0^

Bagman and Butler said...

I've been away from Blogspot more than I would like and great to come back see your continued work. Ironic that you would be in Dijon. Last night my wife and I were enjoying a public tv broadcast about Dijon and I was telling her about you and your coverage of Paris. Then today I find your shots and remember some of the places from the television. Except the professionals were not half as good as you.

Karin B (Looking for Ballast) said...

You absolutely amaze me with your photos and level of detail and research yet again. I've been scrolling through posts from the last time I was at your blog (which has been a little while! :)) and I have been enjoying myself so much this afternoon, reading and looking at all the wonderful photography. I always learn something new!

I hope your travels have been going well and thank you so much for the continued postings in your absence! Like I wrote, you work is amazing.

Take care and bon weekend to you as well!


Thérèse said...

Quelles belles villes que je revisite par blog interposé. Je retiens de ton poste la beauté des toits et le kir!
Bon week-end!

Starman said...

Peter, are you driving around France?

Trotter said...

Come on Peter, this is not fair... ;) My first time through the region and the only one in Beaune was on August 28, 1969, when a Portuguese emigrant, driving from the north of Portugal to Basel, Switzerland, took me (hitch-hiker) in Hendaya, Spain, and drove me to Basel in some thirty hours, with stops on the side of the road to sleep... ;)
Beaune looks much better now than on those times... ;))

Catherine said...

On délocalise la moutarde, mais pas les touristes....et les touristes qui rendent leur copie de façon aussi détaillée que tu le fais sont un trésor pour la région.
T'avais le guide vert (verre) avec toi ?

Une jeune touriste à Beaune said...

- J'veux aller au manège !!! Je veux aller au manège !!!

- Tais toi et bois !

from cali said...

My, but France is beautiful as are these photos! (Nice to see the various clocks also)

Mona said...

Can't believe that some of those buildings are as old as 12th century!
I love the tiled roof!

Gothic architecture is so fascinating!

Parisbreakfasts said...

Two places I love very much and with all these pictures here, I won't have to visit again.
just come here instead!

Shammickite said...

What a marvellous area to visit. Your photos and narrative make me feel like I know the place! I'd love to spend more time exploring in France. But I shall have to rely on your travels, Peter.
The decorated tile roof is amazing. And the windows are so french!

Ruth said...

I think that wine must taste better when it is surrounded by warm stone and colorful tiles, and blue skies.

PeterParis said...

Hope you can make it there! :-)

You are always welcome, whenever! :-)

Welcome here ... and yes, you can still smell the gingerbread sometimes! :-)

PeterParis said...

V Rakesh:
I think it's typical for the this part of the Burgundy! :-)

Nice that you can bring your friends here! :-)

Yes, there is a lot to see! Take your time, if you have it! :-)

PeterParis said...

Je sais que quelques grands (Amora...) ont délocalisé, mais il reste encore une production locale! :-)

Beaune n'est pas mal non plus! :-)

Les grains de moutarde viennent principalement de Canada... Pas facile tout ça! :-)

PeterParis said...

... et les escargots, les écrivisses... viennent de? :-)

Do now you know a little more! ^0^ :-)

Coincidence!! :-)

PeterParis said...

To make posts takes a lot of time (especially in your case!) and you can't stay 24 hours a day behind your PC. You are welcome whenever you can! :-)

L'essentiel, peut-être? :-)

I did, but only a small part! :-)

PeterParis said...

That was a nice ride, lucky for you, except that you may have missed a few stops! So, still to be really seen ... with some wine-tasting! :-)

Oui, j'avais le guide vert; ça aide! :-)

Une jeune touriste...:

PeterParis said...

From Cali:
Yes, France is beautiful! :-)

A lot of nice architecture around! :-)

NYC is tempting! :-)

PeterParis said...

Maybe one day, after all? :-)

Wine is ALWAYS nice! :-)