Dijon ( ) is a city in eastern France, the capital
of the CĂ´te-d'Or dĂ©partement
and of the Bourgogne region.
Dijon is the historical capital of the province
. Population (2005): 150,800 for
the commune; 236,953 for the greater Dijon area.
began as a Roman settlement called
Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris.
, the city's
, is said to have
to the area
before being martyred. This province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy
from the early eleventh
until the late 1400s and
Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the
great European centers of art, learning and science. It was occupied by
Nazi Germany between June 1940 and
early 1945, when it was liberated by joint French/UK/U.S. forces.
The city itself was liberated on 11
Arc de triomphe known as the Porte
, on Place Darcy in the centre of Dijon.
Dijon boasts a large number of churches and cathedrals, including
St. BĂ©nigne, Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Ă‰tienne, and St. Michel.
crypt of Dijon Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Benignus, dates from 1,000
years ago, and the city has retained many architectural styles from many of the
main periods from the past millennium, including Gothic, Renaissance and Capetian.
Many of the still-inhabited houses in the city's central district
date from before the 18th century.
Dijon was spared the destruction of various wars such as the 1870
, despite the
fact that the Prussian army invaded the city. Therefore, many of
the old buildings such as the half-timbered
houses dating from the 12th to
the 15th century (found mainly in the city's core district) are
undamaged, at least by organized violence.
There are many museums in the city, including one dedicated to
mustard and steak. Another is the MusĂ©e des Beaux Arts in the old
part of the Ducal Palace (see below). It contains, among other
things, ducal kitchens that date back to the mid-1400s, and a
collection of European paintings from the early Renaissance to the
more interesting of Dijon's sights is the Ducal
Palace, the Palais des Ducs et des Ă‰tats de
Bourgogne or "Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy"
( ), which is one of only a few remaining examples of the Capetian
period in the region.
Another is a curious carving of a
little owl, la chouette
, on the church of Notre Dame on
the rue de la PrĂ©fecture. It is reported that this has become
regarded as a good-luck charm: people touch it with their left hand
and make a wish. The current carving is a copy as the original was
destroyed the night of January 5 or 6 2001 by vandals. The current
version is now protected by video surveillance
located approximately one hour and 40 minutes southeast of Paris by the
train (LGV Sud-Est) via Gare de
By car, it is about three hours from Paris.
For comparison, Lyon is away and two hours distant - although there
is no high-speed train link between both cities. Nice takes about
six hours by TGV and Strasbourg about three hours at regular train
Dijon holds the International and Gastronomic Fair every year. With
over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, this is one of
the ten most important fairs in France. Dijon is also home, every
three years, to the international flower show Florissimo
. Dijon also hosts the Fete de la Musique
every summer, with live musical groups playing on street corners
throughout the city centre.
northwest of Dijon, the race track of
Dijon-Prenois hosts various motor sport
events. It hosted the Formula
1 French Grand
Prix on four occasions from 1974 to 1984.
Dijon is home to Dijon FCO
, a soccer team
in Ligue 2
the second-highest league in French
. Dijon is better known for its national professional
league basketball club (Pro A), JDA Dijon.
numerous museums such as the MusĂ©e des
Beaux-Arts de Dijon, the MusĂ©e ArchĂ©ologique, the MusĂ©e de la Vie
Bourguignonne, the MusĂ©e d'Art SacrĂ©, and the MusĂ©e Magnin.
contains approximately 700 hectares of parks and green space, including the fine Jardin
botanique de l'Arquebuse (botanical garden) and the Serres de
l'UniversitĂ© de Bourgogne (botanical greenhouses operated by the
Apart from the numerous bars, which sometimes have live bands, the
main venues in Dijon are : Le zenith de Dijon
, La Vapeur
Colleges and universities
Food and drink
A traditional Dijon mustard.
Dijon is famous for its mustard
the term Dijon mustard
(moutarde de Dijon
designates a method of making a particularly strong mustard relish.
This is not necessarily produced around Dijon as the term is
regarded as genericized
European Union law
that it cannot be registered for protected designation of
status. Most Dijon mustard (brands such as Amora or Maille) is produced industrially and around
90% of all mustard seeds used in local manufacture are imported,
mainly from Canada.
Dijon mustard shops also feature exotic or unusually-flavored
mustard (for example fruit-flavoured Dijon), often sold in
decorative hand-painted faience
(china) pots. In 2008, Unilever closed its mustard factory in
As the capital of the Burgundy region, Dijon reigns over some of
the best wine
country in the world.
superb vineyards producing vins d'appellation contrĂ´lĂ©e,
such as Vosne-RomanĂ©e and Gevrey-Chambertin, are within 20 minutes of the city center.
The town's university boasts a renowned oenology institute.
from Santenay to Dijon, known as the route des
Grands Crus, passes through an idyllic countryside of
vineyards, rivers, villages, forests, and twelfth-century churches.
architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons
roofs) made of tiles glazed in terracotta
, green, yellow and black and arranged
in eye-catching geometric patterns.
The city is also well known for its crĂ¨me de cassis
, or blackcurrant
, used in the drink known as
" (white wine, especially
blackcurrant liqueur, named after former mayor of Dijon canon FĂ©lix
). The same drink made with champagne instead of white wine
is known as a Kir Royal
The American food
writer M.F.K. Fisher
, who moved to Dijon shortly after her
marriage in 1929, wrote about the region's cuisine in Long Ago
Dijon is home to some of the finest French cuisine
. Popular attractions include
Le Sauvage, Les Gourmandises de Tatine, Le Piano Qui Fume, le
Restaurant et Cave a Vins de la Porte Guillaume and Chez
Coat of Arms of Dijon (1899 -
- John the Fearless (1371 -
1419), Duke of Burgundy
- Charles, Duke of Burgundy (1433
- Saint Jane Frances de Chantal (Jeanne -
FranĂ§oise FrĂ©miot, baronne de Chantal, 1572 - 1641), founder of the
Bossuet (1627 - 1704), bishop and theologist
- Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683
- 1764), composer
- Bernard Courtois (1777-1838),
iodine element discoverer
- FranĂ§ois Rude (1784 - 1855),
- Augustin Cauchy
- Henry Darcy (1803 - 1858),
- FranĂ§ois Jouffroy (1806 -
- Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (1832 -
1923), engineer and architect
- Blessed Elizabeth of the
Trinity (Marie - Ă‰lisabeth Catez, 1880 - 1906), Carmelite nun and religious writer
- Maurice Boitel (1919 - 2007),
- Roger Guillemin (b. 1924), Nobel
laurate in Physiology and Medicine
- Jean-Pierre Marielle (b.
- Claude Jade (1948 - 2006),
- Premena'th Pascal Wilson/Clere (b. 1962), author, artist,
teacher, and healer.
- Vitalic (born as Pascal Arbez in 1976),
an electronic music artist.
- Julien Pillet (b. 1977), sabre fencer
- Madjid Bougherra (b. 1982),
Rangers F.C player.
File:DSCN0436.JPG|Some of the beautiful roof work seen
throughout DijonFile:n39604410_30268799_7019.jpg|The Gargoyles on
Notre Dame de DijonFile:Porte Guillaume 2 Dijon.JPG|Porte Guillaume
on Darcy SquareFile:Rue de la LibertĂ© Dijon.JPG|Rue de la LibertĂ©
(Freedom Street)File:Place du Miroir.JPG|Carrefour du
Miroir (Mirror's Crossroads)File:Moutarde de
Dijon.JPG|Boutique de moutarde (Typical mustard
shop)File:Place Francois Rude Dijon .JPG|Place FranĂ§ois Rude (FranĂ§ois Rude
Square)File:Dijon Rue vieille.jpg|Typical street in the old
town-centreFile:Place liberation 2.JPG|Place de la LibĂ©ration
(Liberation Square)File:Digione palazzo duchi.jpg|Palais
des ducs de Bourgogne (Dukes of Burgundy's
Palace)File:Dijon - Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne
01.jpg|Philippe le Bon
TowerFile:Philippe le Hardi.jpg|Philippe
II Le Hardi's tombFile:CathĂ©drale St BĂ©nigne - Dijon.jpg|Dijon
CathedralFile:Eglise Place Saint Michel Dijon .JPG|Saint-Michel
in Dijon designed by Alexandre Gustave Eiffel (who also designed
Tower)File:DSCN03961.JPG|La Chouette ("The Owl")
at Notre Dame de Dijon (rub it for goodluck)
Twin towns - sister cities
Dijon is twinned