Dijon

France

Dijon is in the prefecture of the Côte-d’Or department and Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region in Northeastern France.

CountryFrance
RegionBourgogne-Franche-Comté
DepartmentCôte-d’Or
Government
 Mayor (2020–2026)François Rebsamen (PS)
Area40.41 km2 (15.60 sq mi)
Population (2017-01-01)156,920
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)

The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian, Gothic, and Renaissance. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons (Burgundian polychrome roofs) made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green, yellow, and black and arranged in geometric patterns.

Geography

Dijon is situated at the heart of a plain drained by two small converging rivers: the Suzon, which crosses it mostly underground from north to south, and the Ouche, on the southern side of town. Farther south is the côte, or hillside, of vineyards that gives the department its name. Dijon lies 310 km (193 mi) southeast of Paris, 190 km (118 mi) northwest of Geneva, and 190 km (118 mi) north of Lyon.

Climate

The average low of winter is −1 °C (30 °F), with an average high of 4.2 °C (39.6 °F). The average high of summer is 25.3 °C (77.5 °F) with an average low of 14.7 °C (58.5 °F).

Sights

Dijon has a large number of churches, including Notre Dame de Dijon, St. Philibert, St. Michel, and Dijon Cathedral, dedicated to the apocryphal Saint Benignus, the crypt of which is over 1,000 years old. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city’s central district date from the 18th century and earlier.

Many of the old buildings such as the half-timbered houses dating from the 12th to the 15th centuries (found mainly in the city’s core district) are undamaged, at least by organized violence.

Dijon is home to many museums, including the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon in part of the Ducal Palace. It contains, among other things, ducal kitchens dating back to the mid-15th century, and a substantial collection of primarily European art, from Roman times through the present.

Among the more popular sights is the Ducal Palace, the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne or “Palace of the Dukes and the States of Burgundy”, which includes one of only a few remaining examples of Capetian period architecture in the region.

The church of Notre Dame is famous for both its art and architecture. Popular legend has it that one of its stone relief sculptures, an owl (la chouette) is a good-luck charm: visitors to the church touch the owl with their left hands to make a wish.

The Grand Théâtre de Dijon, built in 1828 and one of the main performing venues of the Opéra de Dijon, was declared a monument historique of France in 1975.

Transport

Roads

Dijon is located approximately 300 km (190 mi) southeast of Paris, about three hours by car along the A38 and A6 motorways.

Public transport

Trains

Dijon is an important railway junction for lines from Paris to Lyon and Marseille, and the east–west lines to Besançon, Belfort, Nancy, Switzerland, and Italy. The Gare de Dijon-Ville is the main railway station, providing service to Paris-Gare de Lyon by TGV high-speed train (LGV Sud-Est). The city of Nice takes about six hours by TGV and Strasbourg only 1 hour and 56 minutes via the TGV Rhin-Rhône. Lausanne in Switzerland is less than 150 km (93 mi) away or two hours by train. Dijon has a direct overnight sleeper/couchette service to Milan, Verona and Venice.

Culture

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.

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 Jardin botanique de l’Arquebuse.

Apart from the numerous bars, which sometimes have live bands, some popular music venues in Dijon are : Le Zenith de Dijon, La Vapeur, l’Espace autogéré des Tanneries and l’Atheneum.

Dijon is famous for Dijon mustard, which originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic “green” juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.In general, mustards from Dijon today contain white wine rather than verjuice. Dijon mustard shops sell exotic or unusually-flavoured mustard (fruit-flavoured, for example), often sold in decorative hand-painted faience (china) pots.

Burgundy is a world-famous wine growing region, and notable vineyards, such as Vosne-Romanée and Gevrey-Chambertin, are within 20 minutes of the city center.

The city is also well known for its crème de cassis, or blackcurrant liqueur, used in the drink known as “Kir”, named after former mayor of Dijon canon Félix Kir, a mixture of crème de cassis with white wine, traditionally Bourgogne aligoté.

Colleges and universities

  • Dijon hosts the main campus of the University of Burgundy
  • École nationale des beaux-arts de Dijon
  • European Campus of Sciences Po Paris
  • Agrosup Dijon
  • Burgundy School of Business

Sport

The JDA Dijon is a French basketball club, based in Dijon. The Palais des Sports de Dijon serves as playground for the team and hosted international basketball events such as the FIBA EuroBasket 1999 in the past. Dijon is home to the Dijon Ducs ice hockey team, who play in the Magnus League.

Contact

Dijon Town Hall
email
info@ville-dijon.fr
address
Contact Dijon Town Hall CS73310 21033 Dijon Cedex
phone
03 80 74 51 51