Dijon: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Did you know ...

More interesting facts on Dijon

Include this on your site/blog:


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 47°17′26″N 5°02′34″E / 47.2906°N 5.0428°E / 47.2906; 5.0428

Commune of Dijon

Dijon is located in France
Country France
Region Bourgogne
Department Côte-d'Or
Arrondissement Dijon
Intercommunality Dijon
Mayor François Rebsamen (PS)
Elevation 220–410 m (720–1,350 ft)
(avg. 245 m/804 ft)
Land area1 40.31 km2 (15.56 sq mi)
Population2 150,803  (2005[1])
 - Density 3,741 /km2 (9,690 /sq mi)
INSEE/Postal code 21231/ 21000
Website http://www.dijon.fr/
1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.
2 Population sans doubles comptes: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Dijon (French pronunciation: [diʒɔ̃]  ( listen)) is a city in eastern France, the capital of the Côte-d'Or département and of the Bourgogne region. Dijon is the historical capital of the province of Burgundy. Population (2005): 150,800 within the city limits; 236,953 for the greater Dijon area.



Dijon began as a Roman settlement called Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. Saint Benignus, the city's patron saint, is said to have introduced Christianity to the area before being martyred. This province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early eleventh century AD 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.[2] The city itself was liberated on 11 September 1944.

Porte Guillaume (Guillaume Door), Place Darcy (Darcy Square), in the center of Dijon.

Main sights

Dijon boasts a large number of churches, notably Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, St. Michel and Dijon Cathedral, the crypt of which, dedicated to Saint Benignus, dates from 1,000 years ago. The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian, Gothic and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier.

Dijon was spared the destruction of various wars such as the 1870 Franco-Prussian War, despite the fact that the Prussian army occupied 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 the Musée des Beaux Arts in part of the Ducal Palace (see below). It contains, among other things, ducal kitchens dating back to the mid-1400s, and a substantial collection of European painting from Roman times through contemporary art. Among the more interesting of Dijon's sights is the Ducal Palace, the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne or "Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy" (47°19′19″N 5°2′29″E / 47.32194°N 5.04139°E / 47.32194; 5.04139), which includes one of only a few remaining examples of the Capetian period in the region. Another is a curious stone carving of an owl, la chouette, on the church of Notre Dame, which in local folklore is a good-luck charm: people touch it with their left hand and make a wish. The current carving is a copy, the original having been damaged in 2001 by vandalism.


Dijon and suburbs

Dijon is located approximately 300 km (190 mi) southeast of Paris, or one hour and 40 minutes by the TGV high-speed train (LGV Sud-Est) via Gare de Lyon. By car, it is about three hours from Paris. For comparison, Lyon is 180 km (110 mi) 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 speed. Lausanne in Switzerland is less than 150 km (93 mi) away or two hours by train.


Dijon Cathedral.

Dijon holds its International and Gastronomic Fair every year in autumn. With over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, it is one of the ten most important fairs in France. Dijon is also home, every three years, to the international flower show Florissimo.

To the 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 football. Dijon is better known for its national professional league basketball club (Pro A), JDA Dijon.

Dijon has numerous museums such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, the Musée Archéologique, the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne, the Musée d'Art Sacré, and the Musée Magnin. It also contains approximately 700 hectares of parks and green space, including the fine Jardin botanique de l'Arquebuse.

Apart from the numerous bars, which sometimes have live bands, the major popular music venues in Dijon are : Le zenith de Dijon, La Vapeur and l'Atheneum.


Colleges and universities

Food and drink


A 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 near Dijon, as the term is regarded as genericized under European Union law, so that it cannot be registered for protected designation of origin status.[3] 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 (fruit-flavoured, for example), often sold in decorative hand-painted faience (china) pots. In 2008, Unilever closed its Amora mustard factory in Dijon.

Wine and Liqueurs

As the capital of the Burgundy region, Dijon reigns over some of the best wine country in the world. Many superb vineyards producing vins d'appellation contrôlée, such as Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin, are within 20 minutes of the city center. The town's university boasts a renowned oenology institute. The road 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. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons (Burgundian 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 crème de cassis, or blackcurrant liqueur, used in the drink known as "Kir" (white wine, especially Bourgogne aligoté, with blackcurrant liqueur, named after former mayor of Dijon canon Félix Kir). The same drink made with champagne instead of white wine is known as a Kir Royal.


Dijon is home to some of the finest French cuisine. Well-known regional dishes include Beef bourguignon, Coq au vin, Escargot, Gougère and pain d'épices (the local form of gingerbread).

The tradition of pain d'épices de Dijon dates to the 14th century. Today it is predominantly made of rye flour and honey, with the addition of spices such as clove, ginger, cinnamon and sometimes anise. It is often garnished with candied fruits.[4]. The recipe is recognizably similar to what is called gingerbread in England, though the term pain d'épices is sometimes used in English to make the distinction. Modern commercial Dijon recipes are generally quite different from the harder gingerbreads that are sold as carnival food in Germany.

The American food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who moved to France in 1929 shortly after her marriage, wrote about the region's cuisine and her experience living in Dijon in Long Ago in France.

Notable people

Coat of Arms of Dijon (1899 - 1962)

Photo gallery

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Dijon is twinned with:



External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Dijon [1] is the capital of the eastern French region of Burgundy (Bourgogne).

La Porte Guillaume
La Porte Guillaume


Dijon is perhaps best known for its mustard (named after the town) which is still produced locally, but it is also one of the most beautiful cities in France, having avoided being devastated by bombing in WWII.

Dijon was for some time the capital of the Dukes of Burgundy. Burgundy was a great power during the 14th and 15th centuries, when the dukes controlled a large part of what is now northeastern France, western Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. The dukes were great patrons of the arts, so Dijon was a major center of Gothic and early Renaissance music, painting, and sculpture, attracting some of the greatest and most famous artists and musicians from Flanders in particular. The music the great composers left behind can be performed anywhere, but it is particularly in the fields of sculpture and architecture that masters left a lasting mark on Dijon.

Today, Dijon is a cosmopolitan city, with universities in the center and industrial plants on the outskirts. Traffic is restricted in the center of the city, so many parts of central Dijon are quiet and relaxing.

Get in

By plane

There is an airport in Dijon. However, it only offers taxi planes, business and private jets, as well as some charter services; there is a project to re-establish commercial flights on a regular basis.

There are a few TGV high-speed trains directly from the center of Dijon to Paris CDG airport; otherwise, Air France operates busses from CDG to Paris Gare de Lyon from which there are frequent TGV trains to Dijon.

By train

The train à grande vitesse (TGV) speeds travellers from Paris and other major French cities to Dijon. There are also regular train services to a variety of destinations, including, but not restricted to, Italy (Milan, Turin, Florence and Rome among them), Switzerland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

By car

Dijon is well connected to the freeway and highways networks, where you can drive cars. Note that traffic is limited in the centre of the city, so you will probably want to park your car for the duration of your visit, except to access the Well of Moses, which is on the outskirts of the city.

Get around

For most purposes, walking is the best way to get around the center of the city. A comprehensive network of buses covers farther local destinations.

The city offers the Diviaciti, a free shuttle bus for visitors that connects many of the downtown destinations in a loop, along with several parking areas. The Office of Tourism, next to Jardin Darcy, has free maps for the downtown area, including a map and guide for the self-guided walking tour of Dijon. The walking tour uses a small brass pavement marker with an owl design to note the path along the sidewalks of Dijon. Larger numbered owl markers correspond to different stops on the tour, and the guide pamphlet will have descriptions of the art, history and architecture of that stop.

If you happen to arrive by train, take note that the orientation maps can be a bit misleading. For some reason they decided to orient the maps with west rather than north in the upward position. Sadly they also failed to include an arrow indicating that north is to the right. So if you happen to travel with a compass, don't worry - it's not broken.

  • The Ducal Palace (Palais Ducal), a beautiful building, has a museum containing priceless treasures and wonderful art that was the property of the Dukes of Burgundy. If you visit nothing else in Dijon, visit this museum (Musée des Beaux-Arts, q.v.).
  • The Musée des Beaux-Arts is located in the Palais Ducal and has a permanent exhibition of medieval art. On the upper floor, there are lots of paintings by local artists and Flemish painters. The museum sometimes hosts temporary exhibitions with works from local artists. The most famous part of the museum is the Guard Room with tombs.
  • The Well of Moses (Puits de Moïse), a splendid monument by Claus Sluter, is now on the grounds of a psychiatric hospital, but visitable nonetheless.
  • St. Michel church, which is east of the Palais des Ducs. It was built from the 15th to the 17th century.
  • Jardin Darcy is a beautiful park near the station and it's a great place to have a rest and to see how French people enjoy themselves. (But before you sit down on a bench you should make sure that there are no pigeons on a branch above you).
  • Palais de Justice.

Day Trips

  • Beaune is a beautiful town with many wineries and excellent examples of typical regional architecture. In particular make sure you see the Hôtel-Dieu.
  • Rue de la Liberte, which extends east from Place Darcy to the Palais des Ducs is a main shopping street with all types of shopping for locals and visitors. The Boutiques Maille (for Maille mustards) is located on this street.
  • Les Halles, an indoor marketplace, has many stalls for fresh produce, meat, and seafood.


Many of the dishes that Americans think of as traditionally French originated in Burgundy: 'coq au vin', f- these are a great way to get a taste of the high life at more reasonable prices. Another great strategy is to order the fixed-price (prix fixe) menu - it's usually three courses including dessert and provides a good sense of what the restaurant is like.


Brioche Dorée, Centre Cial Toison d'or 21000 Dijon, France, 03 80 74 40 17.  edit
Brioche Dorée, 46, Rue Liberté 21000 Dijon, France, 03 80 30 16 12.  edit
Flunch, 24 boulevard De Brosses 21000 DIJON, 03 80 30 02 77, [2].  edit


Le Clos des Capucines, 3, Rue Jeannin Dijon 21000, (, fax:, [3]. Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday, open from 2:00 PM to 10 PM. Menus at 14.10€, 18.20€ and 32.60€, and a la carte..  edit


Dijon is well known for cassis, a sweet black current liqueur that is a bright reddish-purple in color. If you are of legal drinking age in France a traditional Dijonnaise cocktail is called a "Kir", a blend of cassis and a local white wine (traditionally "Aligoté") - you can also order it made with champagne for a tasty and festive "Kir Royale". Make sure that you try the wonderful local wines - Burgundy has the highest number of Appellations of any french region. Of course the reds are terrific, and Americans unfamiliar with wine history might be surprised to find that white burgundies compare favorably with California chardonnays - they are, after all, from the same grape.



Hotel Le Jaquemart-- 1 star, no frills, but clean, quiet and very pleasant. A quad room is Euro 70. The location can not be beaten! In the centre of the antique, pedestrian area. Excellent boulangerie across the street and a nice, little restaurant (serving only mussels and pommes frites) down the street-- both great at what they do and good value.

Hotel Frantour des Ducs- 3 star, 50-65 Euro low season. Clean, centrally located at the end of the Rue de la Liberte.


The Local Tourist office runs walking tours of the town (with guides speaking both French and English). The Tourist Office has maps and pamphlets for the self-guided walking tour of Dijon.

The Tourist Office is located on Avenue Marechal Foch, next to Jardin Darcy, and just two or three blocks east of the train station (Gare SNCF). A second Tourist Office is located on Rue des Forges, in the northwest corner of the Palais des Ducs.

Get out

You can reserve vineyard tours through the Dijon Tourist Office to visit the Cote de Nuits and participate in wine tastings in some of the most famous wine-making villages of Burgundy. Wine and Voyages [4] has the longest running tours available and are wine experts. Tel:

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

DIJON, a town of eastern France, capital of the department of Cote d'Or and formerly capital of the province of Burgundy, 195 m. S.E. of Paris on the Paris-Lyon railway. Pop. (1906) 65,516. It is situated on the western border of the fertile plain of Burgundy, at the foot of Mont Afrique, the north-eastern summit of the Cote d'Or range, and at the confluence of the Ouche and the Suzon; it also has a port on the canal of Burgundy. The great strategic importance of Dijon as a centre of railways and roads, and its position with reference to an invasion of France from the Rhine, have led to the creation of a fortress forming part of the Langres group. There is no enceinte, but on the east side detached forts, 3 to 4 m. distant from the centre, command all the great roads, while the hilly ground to the west is protected by Fort Hauteville to the N.W. and the "groups" of Motte Giron and Mont Afrique to the S.W., these latter being very formidable works. Including a fort near Saussy (about 8 m. to the N.W.) protecting the water-supply of Dijon, there are eight forts, besides the groups above mentioned. The fortifications which partly surrounded the old and central portion of the city have disappeared to make way for tree-lined boulevards with fine squares at intervals. The old churches and historic buildings of Dijon are to be found in the irregular streets of the old town, but industrial and commercial activity has been transferred to the new quarters beyond its limits. A fine park more than 80 acres in extent lies to the south of the city, which is rich in open spaces and promenades, the latter including the botanical garden and the Promenade de l'Arquebuse, in which there is a black poplar famous for its size and age.

The cathedral of St Benigne, originally an abbey church, was built in the latter half of the 13th century on the site of a Romanesque basilica, of which the crypt remains. The west front is flanked by two towers and the crossing is surmounted by a slender timber spire. The plan consists of three naves, short transepts and a small choir, without ambulatory, terminating in three apses. In the interior there is a fine organ and a quantity of statuary, and the vaults contain the remains of Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy, and Anne of Burgundy, daughter of John the Fearless. The site of the abbey buildings is occupied by the bishop's palace and an ecclesiastical seminary. The church of Notre-Dame, typical of the Gothic style of Burgundy, was erected from 1252 to 1334, and is distinguished for the grace of its interior and the beauty of the western facade. The portal consists of three arched openings, above which are two stages of arcades, open to the light and supported on slender columns. A row of gargoyles surmounts each storey of the facade, which is also ornamented by sculptured friezes. A turret to the right of the portal carries a clock called the Jaquemart, on which the hours are struck by two figures. The church of St Michel belongs to the 15th century. The west façade, the most remarkable feature of the church, is, however, of the Renaissance period. The vaulting of the three portals is of exceptional depth owing to the projection of the lower storey of the facade. Above this storey rise two towers of five stages, the fifth stage being formed by an octagonal cupola. The columns decorating the facade represent all the four orders. The design of this façade is wrongly attributed to Hugues Sambin (fl. c. 1540), a native of Dijon, and pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, but the sculpture of the portals, including "The Last Judgment" on the tympanum of the main portal, is probably from his hand. St Jean (15th century) and St Etienne (15th, 16th and 17th centuries), now used as the exchange, are the other chief churches. Of the ancient palace of the dukes of Burgundy there remain two towers, the Tour de la Terrasse and the Tour de Bar, the guard-room and the kitchens; these now form part of the hotel de ville, the rest of which belongs to the 17th and 18th centuries. This building contains an archaeological museum with a collection of Roman stone monuments; the archives of the town; and the principal museum, which, besides valuable paintings and other works of art, contains the magnificent tombs of Philip the Bold and John the Fearless, dukes of Burgundy. These were transferred from the Chartreuse of Dijon (or of Champmol), built by Philip the Bold as a mausoleum, now replaced by a lunatic asylum. Relics of it survive in the old Gothic entrance, the portal of the church, a tower and the well of Moses, which is adorned with statues of Moses and the prophets by Claux Sluter (fl. end of 14th century), the Dutch sculptor, who also designed the tomb of Philip the Bold. The Palais de Justice, which belongs to the reign of Louis XII., is of interest as the former seat of the parlement of Burgundy. Dijon possesses several houses of the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries, notably the Maison Richard in the Gothic, and the Hotel Vogue in the Renaissance style. St Bernard, the composer J. P. Rameau and the sculptor Francois Rude have statues in the town, of which they were natives. There are also monuments to those inhabitants of Dijon who fell in the engagement before the town in 1870, and to President Carnot and Garibaldi.

The town is important as the seat of a prefecture, a bishopric, a court of appeal and a court of assizes, and as centre of an academie (educational district). There are tribunals of first instance and of commerce, a board of trade-arbitrators, a chamber of commerce, an exchange (occupying the former cathedral of St Etienne), and an important branch of the Bank of France. Its educational establishments include faculties of law, of science and of letters, a preparatory school of medicine and pharmacy, a higher school of commerce, a school of fine art, a conservatoire of music, lycees and training colleges, and there is a public library with about 100,000 volumes.

Dijon is well known for its mustard, and for the black currant liqueur called cassis de Dijon; its industries include the manufacture of machinery, automobiles, bicycles, soap, biscuits, brandy, leather, boots and shoes, candles and hosiery. There are also flour mills, breweries, important printing works, vinegar works and, in the vicinity, nursery gardens. The state has a large tobacco manufactory in the town. Dijon has considerable trade in cereals and wool, and is the second market for the wines of Burgundy.

Under the Romans Dijon (Divonense castrum) was a vicus in the civitas of Langres. In the 2nd century it was the scene of the martyrdom of St Benignus (Benigne, vulg. Berin, Berain), the apostle of Burgundy. About 274 the emperor Aurelian surrounded it with ramparts. Gregory of Tours, in the 6th century, comments on the strength and pleasant situation of the place, expressing surprise that it does not rank as a civitas. During the middle ages the fortunes of Dijon followed those of Burgundy, the dukes of which acquired it early in the 11 th century. The communal privileges, conferred on the town in 1182 by Hugh III., duke of Burgundy, were confirmed by Philip Augustus in 1188, and in the 13th century the dukes took up their residence there. For the decoration of the palace and other monuments built by them, eminent artists were gathered from northern France and Flanders, and during this period the town became one of the great intellectual centres of France. The union of the duchy with the crown in 1477 deprived Dijon of the splendour of the ducal court; but to cbunterbalance this loss it was made the capital of the province and seat of a parlement. Its fidelity to the monarchy was tested in 1513, when the citizens were besieged by 50,000 Swiss and Germans, and forced to agree to a treaty so disadvantageous that Louis XII.

refused to ratify it. In the wars of religion Dijon sided with the League, and only opened its gates to Henry IV. in 1595. The 18th century was a brilliant period for the city; it became the seat of a bishopric, its streets were improved, its commerce developed, and an academy of science and letters founded; while its literary salons were hardly less celebrated than those of Paris. The neighbourhood was the scene of considerable fighting during the Franco-German War, which was, however, indirectly of some advantage to the city owing to the impetus given to its industries by the immigrants from Alsace.

See H. Chabeuf, Dijon a travers les ages (Dijon, 1897), and Dijon, monuments et souvenirs (Dijon, 1894).

<< Digoin

Dike >>


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


Proper noun




  1. A city in Burgundy, France

Derived terms

  • Dijon mustard


Simple English

Dijon is a big city in France. Dijon is the capital city in the province Burgundy.


Dijon began as a Roman settlement called Divio. Saint Benignus (Saint Kelly), the city's patron saint, is said to have spread Christianity to the area before being killed. It was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th century until the late 1400's and was a place of great wealth and power and one of the great European centers of art, learning and science.

Photo Gallery

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has media related to:


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address