Burgundy Places To Visit On Holiday

Pretty square in Dijon, Cote d Or, Burgundy, France

Dijon

Splendid architecture, top class restaurants and rich cultural life make Burgundy’s historic capital a particularly pleasing place.

Easy to explore on foot, visit the Tuesday, Friday and Saturday food markets and shop for some of Burgundy’s wonderful products, wines of course, but also several which originated here.

Look for the famous Dijon mustard (learn its history at the Mustard Museum) and kir - an aperitif made from creme de cassis and white wine, named after a former mayor of Dijon who pioneered the twinning movement after the Second World War.

Take in the Fine Arts Museum housed in a former palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. Enjoy the Botanical Gardens, and don’t forget to stroke the carved owl at Notre Dame church and make a wish.

Beaune

At the heart of the Burgundian wine trade since the eighteenth century, this small town with its ramparts, narrow cobbled streets, squares and Saturday market is the place to sample Burgundy’s famous wine and gastronomy.

Discover wine-making history in the Musee du Vin de Bourgogne, housed in one of many beautiful Gothic and Renaissance buildings.

Don’t miss Beaune’s most famous building, the gloriously ornate Hotel-Dieu, with galleried courtyard, massive hall and highly patterned, turreted roof. Built originally as a charity hospital with vineyard finance in 1443, it is now the site of a major wine auction each November - part of the 3 day wine festival known as ‘Les Trois Glorieuses’.

Arcy-sur-Cure, Pre-historic Cave

Limestone caves formed by the River Cure, once home to Stone Age man. Wall paintings of bears, mammoths and other animals were discovered in the 1990s. The largest cave is open to the public and has a lake, decorated ceiling and fantasy landscapes formed by water.

Chateau de St-Fargeau

Situated in the delightful rural Puisaye area of Burgundy with its tree-lined river banks, this pink, moated and turreted chateau was once home to Louise XIV’s sister - the ‘Grande Mademoiselle’. Le Vau, architect of Versailles, carried out renovations in the seventeenth century. Enjoy guided tours of the chateau’s splendid rooms, summer ‘son et lumiere’ and historical re-enactments of France’s history involving 700 actors and 60 horsemen.

St Madeleine Basilica, Vezelay

Wonderful abbey church founded in 864 which attracted medieval pilgrims as it reputedly housed relics of Mary Magdalene.

Restored in the nineteenth century, and now one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites, the central doorway is a famous example of Burgundian Romanesque architecture. It displays wonderful sculptures of Christ surrounded by a host of people - including apostles, giants and pygmies - going about their daily lives. Vezelay itself is a beautiful hilltop town packed with art galleries, antique and bookshops.

Auxerre

Picturesque town with half-timbered houses, winding cobbled streets, fine cathedral and solar clock tower. See the town by cruising along the Nivernais Canal or cycle along the towpath.

Guédelon Castle

The Guédelon Castle in the town of Treigny, Yonne is an ongoing medieval construction project. The object of the project is to build a castle using only the techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages. Construction started in 1997 and when completed in the 2020's, is expected to be an authentic recreation of a 13th century medieval castle. The project is open to the public and attracts more than 300,000 visits each year.

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