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BOURGOGNE-FRANCHE COMTÉ REGION

Departments : Côte d'Or, Doubs, Jura, Nièvre, Haute-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne, Territoire de Belfort

Population: 2.8 million

Prefecture : Dijon

Surface area: 47,784 km2

Specialities: Burgundy and Maconnais wines, Jura wines, cheeses (Comté, Mont d'Or, morbier, bleu de Gex, cancoillotte), beef bourguignon, Bresse poultry, kir.

Sports clubs: FC Sochaux-Montbéliard, AJ Auxerre, FC Gueugnon (football), Elan sportif chalonnais, JDA Dijon (basketball), Jeanne d'Arc Dijon (handball).

Competitions: car races on the Dijon-Prenois circuit, the Franck Pineau gran fondo in Auxerre, etc.

Economy: automotive (Peugeot-Montbéliard), Alstom, General Electric (rail), steel, mining, parachemicals, pharmaceuticals, electronics, plastics, paper, mechanical engineering and automotive industries, agriculture (cereals, sugar beet, beef, cheese). Forestry. Watchmaking. Tourism.

Festivals: Eurockéennes in Belfort, Hospices de Beaune sales, Grandes heures de Cluny, Rencontres musicales in Vézelay, Ecrans de l'aventure in Dijon, International and Gastronomy Fair in Dijon, Fenêtres sur courts in Dijon. Courbet bicentenary. Besançon Early Music Festival. 

Tourist sites: Fontenay abbey, Vézelay basilica, Notre-Dame-du-Haut chapel in Ronchamp, Burgundy vineyards, Besançon citadel, Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne in Dijon, Arc-et-Senans royal saltworks, Autun cathedral, Guédelon château, Beaune hospices, Belfort citadel and Lion, Cluny abbey, Alsace balloon, Solutré rock. 

Websites and social networks: www.bourgognefranchecomte.fr

CÔTE-D'OR (21)

Population: 540,000, spread over 23 cantons and 698 communes.

Prefecture: Dijon (Pop: 159,350)

Sub-prefectures: Beaune, Montbard.

Specialities: Dijon mustard (Maille, Reine de Dijon, Fallot), cheeses (Époisses, Cîteaux, Brillat-Savarin, Côte-d'Or), Dijon blackcurrants, Kir, Burgundy truffles, Flavigny aniseed, beef bourguignon, oeufs en meurette (eggs in wine sauce), gougères, Burgundy snails, parsley ham, Dijon gingerbread (Mulot et Petitjean), Charolais beef, Burgundy wines.

Personalities: Vercingetorix, Princess of Vix, Dukes of Burgundy (Philip the Bold, John the Fearless, Philip the Good and Charles the Bold, etc.), Georges-Louis Leclerc (French naturalist and writer), François Berléand (actor), Alban Lenoir (actor), Simon Astier (actor and director), Denis Brogniart (TV presenter), Marlène Jobert (actress, mother of actress Eva Green), Jean-Philippe Rameau (musician, composer), Thomas Roussel (composer, violinist, conductor), Hubert-Félix Thiéfaine (singer-songwriter), Henri Vincenot (writer), François Rude (sculptor), François Pompon (sculptor), Gustave Eiffel (engineer/architect), Anne-Caroline Chausson (multi-champion downhill mountain biker and gold medallist in BMX at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games), Geoffrey Bouchard (cycling), Virginie Razzano (tennis), Charles Rozoy (swimming), Virgine Pequeux-Rolland (handball).

Sport: Dijon FCO (football), JDA Dijon Basket, Stade dijonnais (rugby), Rugby Féminin DB, Dijon Métropole Handball. Dijon-Prénois motor racing circuit. Dijon-Auxonne-Dijon (cycle race).

Economy: winegrowing (Burgundy wines). Building and civil engineering (over 1,300 establishments); food processing (over 400 establishments); metallurgy (with Metal Valley in Montbard); mechanical engineering; electrical and electronics; chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Nuclear power. 

Festivals : Saint-Vincent Tournante (January), Hospices de Beaune et de Nuits Wine Sale (May), Crémant Festival (March), the Ring Festival and Medieval Festival (Semur-en-Auxois, May), Mâlain Witch Fair (next edition May 2025), Climats Month (May), Beaune International Baroque Opera Festival (June), La Karrière Festival (June), Gallic War at Muséoparc Alésia (July), Fantastic Picnic (September), Truffle Festival (September), World Meurette Egg Days (October), International Gastronomic Fair (Dijon, November), Pine Tree Festival (Saulieu, December).

Tourist attractions: Fontenay Abbey, Climats of the Burgundy vineyards, Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy in Dijon, Philip the Good Tower, Notre-Dame church in Dijon, Saint-Bénigne cathedral in Dijon, statue of the Bear by Pompon in Dijon, Clos de Vougeot château (Birthplace of the Chevaliers du Tastevin Brotherhood), Hospices de Beaune, Cîteaux Abbey (founder of the Cistercian order), château de Bussy-Rabutin, château de Commarin, château de Châteauneuf, château d'Époisses, Grande Forge in Buffon, collegiate church of Notre-Dame de Beaune, Flavigny Abbey and its crypt, Saint-Andoche basilica in Saulieu, ramparts and collegiate church of Notre-Dame in Semur-en-Auxois, Vix vase and the treasure of the Princess of Vix in Chatillon sur Seine.

Websites: https://www.cotedor.fr/https://www.facebook.com/departementcotedor  / https://www.instagram.com/departementcotedor/ / https://twitter.com/CD_CotedOr  / https://fr.linkedin.com/company/departementcotedorhttps://www.youtube.com/@DepartementdelaCotedOr/videoshttps://www.lacotedorjadore.com/https://www.facebook.com/lacotedorjadorehttps://www.instagram.com/la_cote_dor_jadore  

In the heart of Burgundy, nature, heritage and gastronomy are the assets of Côte-d'Or! The history of France was written in the department: from the Celts to the Renaissance, you'll pass through every era. Here, châteaux create real backdrops. Here, Vercingetorix fought his last battle. Here, the abbeys resonate with their thousand-year-old past. Here, the Dukes of Burgundy left their mark. Here, France's most beautiful villages overlook postcard-perfect countryside. Here, vineyards have shaped history. Côte-d'Or is rich in religious and wine heritage. UNESCO has recognised the universal value of two of the region's outstanding sites: Fontenay Abbey and the Burgundy vineyards. French gastronomic meals are also part of the network, listed as part of humanity's intangible cultural heritage and embodied in 8 gourmet routes across the department. Côte-d'Or has plenty to offer in the way of wildlife, with a regional nature park and a national park boasting 50 million trees, almost 450km of cycle routes and greenways, the Burgundy canal, the Saône and the Seine, a paradise for river tourists, not to mention 2,000 climbing routes and 16 reference sites, golf courses, diving and lakes...

Km 6.2

VILLARS-FONTAINE (POP: 110)

The heart of the village is fairly homogeneous, dating from the 12th, 18th and 19th centuries. The modern part, dating from the last quarter of the 20th century, is typical of contemporary suburban development. The picturesque village hall, built in 1866 over a washhouse, was listed as a historical monument in 2005. But the most spectacular monument in the village is the commemorative monument to the battle of 18 December 1870, built by the Souvenir français in 1896. It is the work of sculptor Aristide Onésyme Croisy and foundryman Antoine Durenne de Sommevoire. It commemorates the retreat to Pont-de-Pany of the German forces in the face of the French forces in Villars and the cannon fire on the Chaux mountain. Built on the ruins of a medieval fortress on the hill of Vergy, the château de Villars-Fontaine (17th century) was, until his death in 2019, the property of winegrower and oenologist Bertrand Hudelot, known for having established vineyards in Tahiti and Gabon.

Km 8.6

MESSANGES (POP: 240)

In 1589, a famous battle took place here between the Ligueurs and the Royalists led by Baron de Chantal (future husband of Saint Jeanne de Chantal, Madame de Sévigné's grandmother). In 1621, the commune was sold by the Chapter of Autun to the Lord of Villars-sous-Vergy, and then in the 18th century to the Pasquier family. Vines used to be the commune's main crop, but the ravages of phylloxera and successive poor sales of mediocre wine discouraged winegrowers. The town's main monument is its mill, built on the banks of the Meuzin in 1256. The Chevalier mill, which remained in operation until 1983, has been converted into an eco-museum on the theme of water and is one of the Cluniac sites. 

Km 9.7

L'ÉTANG-VERGY (POP: 200)

The village is home to the Val de Vergy inter-communal library. A little way from the village, the elegant Château de Charmont has been taken over by Laurent Delaunay, who in 2017 relaunched the prestigious wine house founded in 1893 by his grandfather Édouard, who has owned the château since 1954 and made a name for himself by distributing Burgundy wines around the world.  

Km 11.6

REULLE-VERGY (POP: 160)

Reulle-Vergy is at the entrance to the access road to the Château de Vergy on the eponymous hillock. The village of Vergy once stood where the church of Saint-Saturnin now stands and is still recorded on 19th-century military maps. On the heights of the hill are the ruins of the immense fortress of Vergy, built from the tenth century onwards and considered in the twelfth century to be one of the most impregnable in the kingdom. The castle was the scene of the "Vergy War" waged by local lord Hugues de Vergy against the Duke of Burgundy. The castle was finally dismantled under Henry IV and used by the local population to build their houses. Nothing remains of it.  

Saint-Vivant de Vergy Abbey 

Foundation: 890

History: it is one of the oldest monasteries in Burgundy and was once one of the richest. It is famous for having produced the prestigious Romanée-conti and Romanée saint-vivant Burgundy wines for nearly 650 years, which are now part of the Climats of Burgundy vineyards World Heritage Site since 2015. The abbey was founded by Manasses I the Elder, shortly before 920, on the south side of the rocky hill where the Château de Vergy stands. It welcomed Norman monks fleeing the Vikings and then came under the control of Cluny in the 11th century. In the 12th century, the Duchess of Burgundy, Alice de Vergy, bequeathed her best vineyards to the abbey. The abbey fell into decline in the 18th century and was dismantled during the French Revolution.

Current purpose: the Abbaye de Saint-Vivant association was set up in 1999 to save the ruins of the monastery, one of the oldest buildings to bear witness to the history of Burgundy and the most prestigious vintages in the Burgundy vineyards. The association began restoring the site in 2001. In 2018, at a cost of €60,000 to €100,000 a year, partly funded by the French government and by American and Asian sponsors (China, Hong Kong, Singapore), the work is nearing completion.

Trivia: during restoration work, a still-full bottle of wine was discovered under a cellar slab. It had been carbon-dated to 1770 or the mid-19th century. It was tasted in 2011.

Listed as: historical monument in 1992.

Km 13.6

CURLEY (POP: 140)

Curley is a rare village without a church, but it does have a picturesque washhouse.

Km 18.4

Chambolle-Musigny

It was here in 1938 that the Chevaliers du Tastevin (Knights of Wine-tasting) organised the first Saint Vincent Tournante (Rotating Fair). Chambolle is indeed a land of great wines, elegant, subtle and feminine, whose king is Musigny, so prestigious that its name has been attached to that of the commune.  Sainte-Barbe church boasts magnificent murals lit by Gothic windows adorned with beautiful stained glass, an imperial domed bell tower and a sundial. An imposing old lime tree, said to date from the 1500s, stands on one side of the building, a Pensive Christ in poor condition on the other. The town boasts a number of fine manor houses, a former coach house and several residences that sometimes vie for the title of château. Château Ziltener (or Château du Petit-Musigny), built in the previous century, houses a small wine museum and is now a hotel.  

Saint-Vincent Festival

In 1934, with the wine market in the throes of a major economic crisis, Georges Faiveley and Camille Rodier founded the Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin (Brotherhood of the Knights of Wine-Tasting), in the hope of revitalising the region by reaffirming the values of mutual support between winegrowers and perpetuating ancestral traditions, such as the tribute paid at the end of January to St. Vincent, the patron saint of winegrowers. The first rotating Saint-Vincent Fair took place in Chambolle-Musigny in 1938, when six Saint Vincent societies marched in procession. This Saint-Vincent is known as a "rotating" event, because every year it is organised and hosted by a different village. Locally, it is also known as the "grand" Saint-Vincent. Today, a procession of more than 90 companies passes through the village, which is honoured and decorated with care by all the inhabitants. The parade, the highlight of the event, starts at dawn, with the bearers of Saint Vincent and banners marching to the rhythm of the brass bands through the streets to the church for mass. They then pay their respects at the war memorials. To round off the morning, the oldest winegrowers are honoured with the title of Chevalier du Tastevin (Knight of Wine-Tasting). The cellars then open their doors to visitors, who can taste the wines generously donated by the winegrowers of the host village. In 2024, the Saint-Vincent Tournante took place in its original village, Chambolle-Musigny. In 2025, it will be held in Ladoix-Serrigny.

Km 19.9

MOREY-SAINT-DENIS (POP: 650)

The Morey-Saint-Denis vineyard on the Côte de Nuits is one of the most prestigious in Burgundy, and indeed in France and the world, with a surface area of 150 hectares planted with Pinot Noir grapes for red wine, including 40 hectares rated as Grand Cru and 44 hectares as Premier Cru. One hectare is planted with aligoté, which produces one of Burgundy's rarest premier cru whites, Clos des Monts Luisants. Around 2.5 hectares, or 3 pc, are planted with Chardonnay, which produces white wine under the Morey-Saint-Denis appellation. The vineyards of Morey-Saint-Denis have prestigious neighbours in Gevrey-Chambertin to the north and Chambolle-Musigny to the south. Morey-Saint-Denis alone produces five of Burgundy's thirty-two AOC grands crus: clos-de-la-roche, clos-saint-denis, clos-des-lambrays, clos-de-tart and bonnes-mares (in common with Chambolle-Musigny, which owns most of the vineyards). Morey-Saint-Denis wines have a long ageing potential (ten to twenty years or more depending on the vintage). They are highly coloured, powerful, with intense aromas and flavours reminiscent of blackcurrant, cherry, musk, liquorice, etc. The village is home to a number of winegrowers' cellars worth visiting and several gourmet restaurants. 

Nuits-Saint-Georges

Nuits-Saint-Georges ist das Herz der berühmten burgundischen Weinbauregion Côte de Nuits und ein absolutes Muss für Weinkenner. Doch die geschichtsträchtige Stadt, die seit der Römerzeit besiedelt ist, bietet noch mehr Sehenswertes.

Umgeben von Weinbergen kann man in Nuits-Saint-Georges in das echte französische Landleben eintauchen. Die Hauptstraße der Kleinstadt säumen zahlreiche Geschäfte, Cafés und Sehenswürdigkeiten wie mehrere historische Kirchen und das Rathaus aus dem 17. Jahrhundert.

Wenn Sie mehr über diese kleine, aber feine Stadt erfahren möchten, besuchen Sie die Museen von Nuits-Saint-Georges, die archäologische Funde präsentieren und zeigen, wie die lokalen Weine und Cassis entstehen.

Gevrey-Chambertin

Gevrey-Chambertin ist ein Kleinod der Côte de Nuits und seit dem 1. Jahrhundert v. Chr. für seinen Weinbau bekannt.

Obwohl die Weinberge für die meisten Besucher von Gevrey-Chambertin die Hauptattraktion sind, hat der Ort seinen eigenen Charme und die Dorfkirche aus dem 13. Jahrhundert ist sehenswert. Die Umgebung bietet dramatische und beeindruckende Landschaften und ist mit dem Naturschutzgebiet Combe Lavaux - Jean Roland gleich außerhalb des Orts ein idealer Ausgangspunkt für Wanderungen.

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