Descubre los juegos oficiales del Tour de France

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

SAÔNE-ET-LOIRE (71)

Population: 549,288, spread over 29 cantons and 565 communes.

Prefecture: Mâcon (Pop: 34,450).

Sub-prefectures: Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles, Autun, Louhans

Specialities: PDO Charolles beef, PDO Bresse poultry (Bresse chicken, grouse, capon and turkey), PDO Bresse cream and butter, 2 PDO goat's cheeses (Charolais and Mâconnais), 30 PDO wines (including 5 UNESCO-listed appellations), Pôchouse, matelote of river fish, Corniottes (shortcrust pastry base covered with choux pastry, Burgundy snails, Jambon persillé, Gougères.

Sport: Élan Chalon basketball, Charnay Basket Bourgogne Sud, Montceau gym. Macon regatta: Frédéric Perrier (selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), Paul Tixier (bronze at the 2020 European Championships and world vice-champion). Cercle de l'aviron de Chalon-sur-Saône: Adrien Hardy (Olympic rowing champion in Athens in 2004, world champion in Milan in 2003 and Eton in 2006).

Economy: industrial development in the 19th century, notably with Schneider et Cie in Le Creusot and mining in the Montceau-les-Mines region. Industrial activity is concentrated in the Chalon region and the coalfield, with companies such as Alstom in Le Creusot, Areva in Montchanin, Arcelor Mittal and Michelin in Montceau-les-Mines and Aperam in Gueugnon. Other pillars of industry include Dim in Autun and Fiat Powertrain in Gueugnon and Bourbon-Lancy.

Festivals: Chalon dans la rue (Chalon-sur-Saône), Musicaves (Givry), Les Montgolfiades (Chalon), les Ligériades (Digoin), Saint Rock Festival  (La Clayette), Nuits Bressanes (Louhans), Augustodunum (Autun), Musicales en Côte Chalonnaise, Jazz campus en Clunisois, Jazz in Couches, Fête de la Vielle (Anost), Grandes Heures de Cluny, Beef Festival (Charolles), les Glorieuses de Bresse (Louhans, medieval market), Tango Swing et Bretelles (Montceau).

Tourist attractions: Touroparc and Hameau Duboeuf (Romanèche-Thorins), Parc des Combes (Le Creusot), Diverti'Parc (Toulon-sur-Arroux), Celt'Ô and the Bourbon-Lancy thermal baths.

Websites: www.saoneetloire71.fr, www.destination-saone-et-loire.fr,

Km 3.7

LA ROCHE-VINEUSE (POP: 1,580)

La Roche-Vineuse is linked to Alphonse de Lamartine, as are all the surrounding towns, since the poet's château is located in the neighbouring commune of Milly-Lamartine, which is part of its urban community. La Roche-Vineuse, originally called Saint-Sorlin, is unusual in that it retained its revolutionary name after the Restoration.  

Vine and wine museum

Château de la Greffière has been a family-run wine estate since 1924. Driven by a passion for winegrowing, the family has assembled over 2,000 tools in the Vine and Wine Museum. A visit to the winery provides an insight into the steps involved in turning vines into bottles of wine. The tour ends with a tasting of the château's production in its vaulted cellar dating back to 1790.  

2 km away:  

Château de Milly (Lamartine's house)

Construction: 18th century.

History: Alphonse de Lamartine lived in this house, built in 1705, from 1794 to 1801 and then, after short stays, during the Restoration. As mayor of his commune, the poet celebrated Milly, even though the village was not his "native land", as he only came here at the age of four. The house was at the centre of a vast wine-growing estate covering some fifty hectares in the communes of Milly, Berzé-la-Ville and Saint-Sorlin (now La Roche-Vineuse). In 1826, when the poet's father was thinking of selling the house, Lamartine begged him not to and wrote Milly ou la Terre natale – Milly the Native Land (Harmonies poétiques et religieuses). In 1860, his need for money was too great and he finally had to resign himself to selling the house, Characteristics: this very simple square house has just one storey with three windows over a ground floor accessed by a staircase. The exterior has not been altered, but the facade is covered in greenery. Inside, the layout of the rooms has been preserved as it was in the poet's time. The château, which is privately owned, is open to visitors on Sundays and public holidays from 1 May to 30 September.

Listed as: historical monument since 1979.

Km 6.6

BERZÉ-LA-VILLE (POP: 700)  

Monks' chapel

Construction: 11th century.

Style: Romanesque.

History: the priory surrounding the chapel was built five centuries later. In 1100, Hugues de Semur, abbot of Cluny (1049-1109) was granted the obedience of Berzé-la-Ville and had this chapel and its priory built. During the French Revolution, the chapel was sold and converted into a barn. In 1947, it was donated to the Académie de Mâcon by a British archaeologist, Miss Evans, who had bought it. It is now managed by the Centre of National Monuments.

Special features: the chapel's main interest lies in its 12th-century wall paintings, discovered in 1887 under the whitewash by the parish priest of Berzé-la-Ville, Abbot Philibert Jolivet (1886-1923). These frescoes cover the walls and vault of the apse. The fact that they were commissioned by the Abbot of Cluny, and the excellence of the workshop that produced them, make them remarkable. The apse vault depicts Christ in glory surrounded by apostles and saints. These frescoes are very similar in style and technique to the miniatures in the Cluny lectionary, a manuscript produced at the same time in the scriptorium of the neighbouring abbey.

Listed as: historical monument in 1893.

Km 16.4

CLUNY (POP: 5,000)

In the Middle Ages, the town was one of the centres of spiritual renewal in Europe, during the heyday of the Abbey and Order of Cluny. Drawing on its long and rich historical past, which has left behind a number of monuments, the town has made tourism its driving force, and is at the centre of the European network of Cluniac sites. At the beginning of the 10th century, the Catholic Church decided to reform the monastic order. This restoration was based on the Rule of Saint Benedict, which governed the lives of monks down to the smallest detail. This rule, initiated by Saint Benedict of Nursia in the 6th century, underwent significant development, but was limited by local traditions. Cluny then established itself by grouping together a growing number of convents and became the centre of the most important monastic order of the Middle Ages, with influence throughout Europe. In 1985, Cluny was the starting point for a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné won in Rilleux by Jean-René Bernaudeau.  

Cluny Abbey

Construction: 909 or 910 - 1130.

Style: Romanesque.

History: founded on 11 September 910 (or 909) by the Duke of Aquitaine William I, Cluny was a centre of reform of the Benedictine rule and a leading intellectual centre in the Middle Ages. It was built in three phases, Cluny I (910 to 927), Cluny II (963 to 981) and Cluny III (1080 to 1130). Eminent figures such as Pope Urban II left the abbey. Following the destruction of the abbey during the French Revolution, only part of the buildings remains today, managed by the Centre of National Monuments.

Trivia: in 1798, the abbey was sold for use as a quarry, its archives were burnt and the library ransacked. The treatise on monastic organisation, De Institutis coenobiorum, was entrusted to the town college and then disappeared. Throughout the 19th century, the Bibliothèque nationale de France (French National Library - BNF) bought fragments of it on the market, but the main text could not be found. In April 2008, a former curator of manuscripts at the BnF spotted an item in a catalogue at Hôtel Drouot that was said to date from the 12th century, and became convinced that it was the famous manuscript. Although it was about to be bought by a private buyer, the French state managed to obtain its return in return for compensation. Nine hundred years after it was written, this manuscript, copied by a copyist monk at Cluny Abbey between 1075 and 1100 and lost for more than two centuries, has joined the collections of the BNF.

Current use: since the early 20th century, the abbey buildings have housed one of the eight centres of the Arts et Métiers school, one of France's leading engineering schools.

Listed as: historical monument since 1862 / European Heritage Label.

Km 26.9

TAIZÉ (POP: 200)

Taizé is world-famous for hosting the Taizé Community, founded in 1944 by Swiss friar Roger Schutz, which brings together around a hundred pastors and friars from all over the world who have chosen to live a life of prayer and celibacy together. The choice of this place is linked to its proximity to the Abbey of Cluny. The community, the first in the world to welcome Protestant monks, has received around 50,000 visitors a year since 1966, making a total of almost 4 million visitors since it was founded. They are housed in chalets and tents, and can join groups for reflection, singing, music, Bible study and prayer. The Church of Reconciliation, whose plans were drawn up by Denis Aubert, an architect by training, was built in 1962 by young German volunteers as a gesture of Franco-German reconciliation. When Roger Schutz died in 2005, Alois Löser, of German origin, succeeded him as prior. Löser announced his resignation on 23 July 2023. He chose Andrew Thorpe, whose religious name is "Brother Matthew", as his successor. Since 1978, Taizé has organised five-day New Year meetings in a European city under the name Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth. Tens of thousands of young people attend, staying with families or in community centres.  

Church of Saint Mary Magdalene

Construction: 12th century.

Style: Romanesque.

History: built on the site of a primitive tenth-century chapel, Sainte-Madeleine church is now open to both Catholic and Protestant worship. It has been listed as a historical monument since 22 October 1913. Restoration work carried out in 1984 revealed the Romanesque character of its floor plan and narrow bays. Modern stained-glass windows by Éric de Saussure (1925-2007), a friar of the Taizé Community, were installed at the same time.

Listed as: historical monument in 1913.

Km 30.3

CORMATIN (POP: 570)  

Château de Cormatin

Built: 1606

History:  the Marquis of Huxelles had it built in the early 17th century as a testament to their power and prestige. It retains its proud appearance today, thanks to an ambitious restoration project begun in 1980. Poet Lamartine often resided here, and wrote the "republican and socialist" programme of the February 1848 Revolution.

Characteristics: Surrounded by a wide moat, the château impresses with the monumentality of its military-style facades. It boasts an architectural feat in the form of a 21 m-high empty staircase, the oldest and largest of its kind. The flats, lavishly painted, sculpted and gilded in 1627-28, provide the most complete and best-preserved evidence of the decorative art of Marie de Medici's time. Furniture, paintings, tapestries and period objects all add to the charm of the experience.

Special feature: the 10-hectare gardens, reconstructed in 1990, offer all the different atmospheres of an early 17th-century park: a vast flowerbed, a boxwood maze with an aviary-belvedere, groves, a green theatre, a vegetable garden and ponds.

Trivia: during the Belle Époque, Raoul Gunsbourg, director of the Monte-Carlo opera, owned the château. He revisited different styles to create Byzantine, Renaissance and Louis XIV-style rooms and salons, where his famous guests are now evoked – Feodor Chaliapin, Enrico Caruso, Jules Massenet or Cécile Sorel.

Listed as: historical monument in 1862.

Km 38

SERCY (POP: 100)

Château de Sercy

Construction: 12th and 15th centuries.

Style: medieval.

History: the first fortress was built by the Sire of Sercy, "the richest squire in the region".

Characteristics: Successive heirs added their own touches to the building, which passed into the Contenson family through marriage in 1806 and remains in their ownership today. This is one of the best-preserved and most peculiar medieval châteaux in the region. It comprised a first enclosure to the east, of which only the circular dovecote remains. Between two triangular courtyards, of which only the southern one remains, the second wall contained the castle itself, whose buildings, grouped around a small inner courtyard, form an irregular quadrilateral flanked by towers of various types. The south-east corner is flanked by a square tower, and the north-east corner by a circular tower known as Tour du Hourd, crowned by a clerestory frame resting on stone corbels, one of the oldest known in France. The north-west corner is flanked by a circular tower known as the Archives tower, whose pointed roof was destroyed by fire in 1929. The south-west corner comprises a complex consisting of a large round tower or keep that has been altered several times, with a circular staircase turret and a square tower attached to it.

Listed as: historical monument since 1974.

Km 43.9

SAINT-BOIL (POP: 490)

Saint-Boil is the birthplace of cyclist René Guénot, winner of the 1910 Tour de France des Indépendants, which was only contested twice. He also took part in the 'real' Tour de France in 1913, only to retire after six stages. René Guénot also won the Paris-Le Havre race in 1912 (after Henri Pélissier and before André Leducq) and the Marseille-Lyon race in 1914.

Km 50.3

BUXY (POP: 2,150)

The site of the 1471 Battle of Buxy between the troops of the King of France, Louis XI, and those of Charles the Bold, Buxy derives most of its resources from winegrowing, with wines classified as Montagny (AOC), Burgundy and Côtes Chalonnaises. The village still retains some traces of its fortifications, notably the surrounding towers such as Tour Rouge. Its only listed monument is the church of Saint-Germain (12th to 16th centuries), listed as a Historical Monument in 1943. In 1986, Buxy was the starting point for a stage of Paris-Nice won in Saint-Etienne by Bruno Wojtinek. 

Km 59.2

GIVRY (POP: 3,650)

The small town of Givry is famous for its wines, but also for its many monuments, such as its town hall (18th century), its round market hall (19th century), the church of Saint-Martin de Cortiambles (12th century) and its monumental cross. The town's twirling baton club is one of the best in the world and won a world crown in 2022. A native of Givry, Louis Louvet, French junior time trial champion in 2015 and a top amateur prospect, spent a season with the pros in 2021 before giving up his career to return to his studies.  

Givry wines

The Givry appellation is one of the jewels in the crown of the Côte Chalonnaise. The wine of the Givry region is particularly well known for the favour it enjoyed with Henri IV. The terroir mainly produces red wines (pinot noir), but white wines (chardonnay) are also well represented. The harmony between climate, soils and grape varieties has produced some renowned wines.  

Town Hall

Construction: 18th century.

History and characteristics: The town hall was built between 1759 and 1771 in an old gateway to the town and is the work of Chalon engineers Émiland Gauthey and Thomas Dumorey. Givry’s is one of the most beautiful town halls in France. On the first floor is the large room where town meetings were held. Despite the town hall moving to other premises, this room is still used for town council meetings and wedding celebrations.

Special feature: Givry has an exceptional document, known as "the oldest État-civil or parish register in France". 

Listed as: historical monument since 1931.

Km 74.1

CHAGNY (POP: 5,670)

On the outskirts of Chalon-sur-Saône, Chagny is famous for its tile works and Rully wines. The town also boasts a three-star restaurant, run until 2009 by local chef Jacques Lameloise. The chef then handed it over to Eric Pras, who was named Best Worker in France in 2004. 

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 81.5

PULIGNY-MONTRACHET (POP: 370)

Puligny-Montrachet AOC wine is produced in this commune. This appellation is part of the Côte de Beaune vineyards in Burgundy. In addition to these great wines, the wine-growing commune of Puligny-Montrachet is authorised to produce generic wines such as Bourgogne Aligoté, Crémant de Bourgogne, Bourgogne, Bourgogne Passe-tout-grains and coteaux bourguignons. Alexandre Dumas said of Puligny-Montrachet that "it should be drunk on the knees with the head uncovered". Thomas Jefferson considered the wines of this appellation to be the best in the world. These wines originate on Mont Chauve (Mont Rachet), the link between Puligny-Montrachet and Chassagne-Montrachet. A "dry, ugly little mountain", as Stendhal put it, but one that produces a wine so big and fleshy that it has always been considered one of the best whites.

Km 84.9

MEURSAULT (POP: 1,390)

Meursault owes its international reputation to the quality of its wines, which are mainly white and made from the Chardonnay grape variety. Situated around 8 kilometres south of Beaune in the commune of Meursault, this vineyard covers 395 hectares. White wines account for almost all of the appellation, with 382.42 hectares, including 96.15 ha of Premier Cru. There are very few red wines in this vineyard, with just 13.47 hectares, including 0.82 hectares (or 70 ares) of Premier Cru. The proportion is therefore 96 pc white wines and 4 pc red wines. Gérard Oury shot several scenes in Meursault for the film La Grande Vadrouille, including the Kommandantur scene in what is now the town hall. Born in Meursault, where he was the son of a vineyard owner, Albert Corey was the only French medallist at the 1904 Olympic Games in Saint-Louis. He took second place in the marathon in 3 hours and 34 minutes.  

Route des Grands Crus de Bourgogne

The Route des Grands Crus is a 60-kilometre tourist route through the most prestigious part of the Burgundy vineyards, comprising thirty-eight picturesque wine-producing villages on the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune, between Dijon and Santenay. Created in 1937, it marks the beginnings of wine tourism. It is nicknamed the Champs-Élysées of Burgundy.  

Meursault fortified castle (Hôtel de Ville)

Built: 1337

Style: medieval.

History: Lord Robert of Grancey (1265-1341) built this fortified castle, which successively belonged to the House of Vergy, the Lords of Grancey, Guy Pot, the County of Saint-Pol and the House of Montmorency. In 1474, it was dismantled by order of King Louis XI. It was restored and then demolished again in 1633 by order of Richelieu after Admiral Henri II de Montmorency's failed uprising attempt.

Current use: in the 19th century, it became the Meursault town hall with its Burgundy glazed tile roof. What remains of the original château is the high square keep, mullioned windows, a stone staircase and a Renaissance fireplace.

SAÔNE-ET-LOIRE (71)

Population: 549,288, spread over 29 cantons and 565 communes.

Prefecture: Mâcon (Pop: 34,450).

Sub-prefectures: Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles, Autun, Louhans

Specialities: PDO Charolles beef, PDO Bresse poultry (Bresse chicken, grouse, capon and turkey), PDO Bresse cream and butter, 2 PDO goat's cheeses (Charolais and Mâconnais), 30 PDO wines (including 5 UNESCO-listed appellations), Pôchouse, matelote of river fish, Corniottes (shortcrust pastry base covered with choux pastry, Burgundy snails, Jambon persillé, Gougères.

Sport: Élan Chalon basketball, Charnay Basket Bourgogne Sud, Montceau gym. Macon regatta: Frédéric Perrier (selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), Paul Tixier (bronze at the 2020 European Championships and world vice-champion). Cercle de l'aviron de Chalon-sur-Saône: Adrien Hardy (Olympic rowing champion in Athens in 2004, world champion in Milan in 2003 and Eton in 2006).

Economy: industrial development in the 19th century, notably with Schneider et Cie in Le Creusot and mining in the Montceau-les-Mines region. Industrial activity is concentrated in the Chalon region and the coalfield, with companies such as Alstom in Le Creusot, Areva in Montchanin, Arcelor Mittal and Michelin in Montceau-les-Mines and Aperam in Gueugnon. Other pillars of industry include Dim in Autun and Fiat Powertrain in Gueugnon and Bourbon-Lancy.

Festivals: Chalon dans la rue (Chalon-sur-Saône), Musicaves (Givry), Les Montgolfiades (Chalon), les Ligériades (Digoin), Saint Rock Festival  (La Clayette), Nuits Bressanes (Louhans), Augustodunum (Autun), Musicales en Côte Chalonnaise, Jazz campus en Clunisois, Jazz in Couches, Fête de la Vielle (Anost), Grandes Heures de Cluny, Beef Festival (Charolles), les Glorieuses de Bresse (Louhans, medieval market), Tango Swing et Bretelles (Montceau).

Tourist attractions: Touroparc and Hameau Duboeuf (Romanèche-Thorins), Parc des Combes (Le Creusot), Diverti'Parc (Toulon-sur-Arroux), Celt'Ô and the Bourbon-Lancy thermal baths.

Websites: www.saoneetloire71.fr, www.destination-saone-et-loire.fr,

SAÔNE-ET-LOIRE (71)

Population: 549,288, spread over 29 cantons and 565 communes.

Prefecture: Mâcon (Pop: 34,450).

Sub-prefectures: Chalon-sur-Saône, Charolles, Autun, Louhans

Specialities: PDO Charolles beef, PDO Bresse poultry (Bresse chicken, grouse, capon and turkey), PDO Bresse cream and butter, 2 PDO goat's cheeses (Charolais and Mâconnais), 30 PDO wines (including 5 UNESCO-listed appellations), Pôchouse, matelote of river fish, Corniottes (shortcrust pastry base covered with choux pastry, Burgundy snails, Jambon persillé, Gougères.

Sport: Élan Chalon basketball, Charnay Basket Bourgogne Sud, Montceau gym. Macon regatta: Frédéric Perrier (selected for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens), Paul Tixier (bronze at the 2020 European Championships and world vice-champion). Cercle de l'aviron de Chalon-sur-Saône: Adrien Hardy (Olympic rowing champion in Athens in 2004, world champion in Milan in 2003 and Eton in 2006).

Economy: industrial development in the 19th century, notably with Schneider et Cie in Le Creusot and mining in the Montceau-les-Mines region. Industrial activity is concentrated in the Chalon region and the coalfield, with companies such as Alstom in Le Creusot, Areva in Montchanin, Arcelor Mittal and Michelin in Montceau-les-Mines and Aperam in Gueugnon. Other pillars of industry include Dim in Autun and Fiat Powertrain in Gueugnon and Bourbon-Lancy.

Festivals: Chalon dans la rue (Chalon-sur-Saône), Musicaves (Givry), Les Montgolfiades (Chalon), les Ligériades (Digoin), Saint Rock Festival  (La Clayette), Nuits Bressanes (Louhans), Augustodunum (Autun), Musicales en Côte Chalonnaise, Jazz campus en Clunisois, Jazz in Couches, Fête de la Vielle (Anost), Grandes Heures de Cluny, Beef Festival (Charolles), les Glorieuses de Bresse (Louhans, medieval market), Tango Swing et Bretelles (Montceau).

Tourist attractions: Touroparc and Hameau Duboeuf (Romanèche-Thorins), Parc des Combes (Le Creusot), Diverti'Parc (Toulon-sur-Arroux), Celt'Ô and the Bourbon-Lancy thermal baths.

Websites: www.saoneetloire71.fr, www.destination-saone-et-loire.fr,

Km 132.4

Cîteaux Abbey

Foundation: 1098

Style: Gothic.

History: Notre-Dame de Cîteaux is the founding abbey of the Cistercian order. It was founded in 1098 by Robert de Molesme, abbot of Notre-Dame de Molesme, and placed under the protection of the Dukes of Burgundy. The Cistercian order was approved in 1119 by a charter from Pope Calixtus II to spread the Gregorian reform throughout the Christian West. Cîteaux became the mother abbey of more than two thousand monasteries in France and Europe. Cîteaux was a major spiritual centre that influenced spiritual, economic and social life for more than seven centuries, with a return to a more rigorous observance of the Rule of Saint Benedict than that applied by the powerful Order of Cluny. The new order flourished under Bernard de Clairvaux (1090-1153). During the French Revolution, its property and its estate of over 13,000 hectares were destroyed or sold in 1791. Since 1898, some thirty monks have once again been living there, restoring its spiritual life. It has regained its status as the leading abbey of the Cistercian-Trappist order.

Current destination: visits are authorised to promote the Cistercian tradition, its history and current events. In addition to stays in the guest house, three times a year the community organises a six-day retreat for 18-35-year-olds. The aim of the retreat is to give visitors an insight into the life of the monks and to introduce them to their way of praying. The abbey's economy is based mainly on the production of Abbaye de Cîteaux cheese.

Listed as: the three remaining old buildings have been listed as Historical Monuments since 1978.

Km 143.1

LONGECOURT-EN-PLAINE (POP: 1,200)  

Longecourt Castle

Construction: 13th and 16th centuries. 

Style: composite.

History: in the 13th century, Robert de Boisleux, a lord of Artesian origin who lived in the entourage of the Duke of Burgundy, owned a fortified house on the plain, surrounded by moats with an open drawbridge opposite the village. The castle fell into ruin in the 15th century until it was taken over by the de Baissey family. Rebuilt in brick in 1539, it welcomed Catherine de Medici and King Charles IX on their tour of France in 1564. The château was transformed into a pleasure residence in the 18th century by the architect Nicolas Lenoir.

Characteristics: Château de Longecourt is located in the centre of the village, in a pretty 40-hectare park with trees over three hundred years old. It is surrounded by a moat crossed by three standing bridges. The general layout of the building, a quadrilateral flanked by four towers, dates back to the work carried out under the Baissey family (1459-1539). Only the kitchens date from the first building.

Current use: the château is now occupied by the de Saint-Seine family, who offer accommodation (five bedrooms and one suite).

Listed as: historical monument since 1946.

Km 148.7

ROUVRES-EN-PLAINE (POP: 1,200)  

Collegiate church of St. John the Baptist

Construction: 13th century.

Style: Cistercian.

History: In 1232, the Duchess Alix de Vergy (1182-1252), wife of Odo III, ordered the construction of a parish church outside the ducal castle. At the time, Rouvres had only one chapel, which served both as a castle chapel and a parish church. All that remains of this period is the Cistercian choir, the nave and transept having been rebuilt several times after destruction (1485, 1636, etc.). As for the vocation of Saint John the Baptist, it seems that the building housed the remains of the saint stored here by the Dukes. In fact, in the 10th century, Count-Duke Gilbert was visited in Burgundy by Heulard, Bishop of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne, who had come with his retinue to offer these holy relics.

Characteristics: Cistercian in style, it has a cruciform floor plan with a five-bay nave with side aisles, a strongly projecting transept, a Burgundian cornice, corbels with sculpted heads, a choir with a flat chevet and square side chapels. Its squat bell tower dates from the 15th century, as does its cemetery.

Listed as: historical monument since 1862.

Mâcon

En el corazón de la región vinícola de Borgoña, la ciudad de Mâcon te invita a un viaje sensorial por su arquitectura histórica y sus exquisitos viñedos.  

Desde los tiempos de la antigua Roma, el río Saône ha sido el centro neurálgico de la ciudad, y hoy se puede disfrutar de su paseo ribereño y de su puerto repleto de yates.   Sus tiendas y mercados ofrecen una gran variedad de artesanía local, y entre los lugares de interés arquitectónico destacan los vestigios de la catedral primigenia y su sustituta más moderna, así como los reputados parques y jardines de Mâcon.  

Por supuesto, los viñedos de la zona bien merecen una visita, pero la gastronomía de Mâcon no se limita al vino: sus especialidades incluyen pescados y quesos, además de chocolates, repostería y el famoso poulet de Bresse, ¡todo un lujo! 

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Dijon

Dijon es una ciudad polifacética que combina el encanto medieval con un dinámico espíritu moderno.  

La capital de la histórica región de Borgoña ofrece un sinfín de calles adoquinadas, flanqueadas por casas de entramado de madera muy bien conservadas. El lugar ideal para empaparse de una mezcla de estilos arquitectónicos que van desde el gótico hasta el Art-Déco.  

El centro de Dijon es Patrimonio Mundial de la UNESCO, y entre los lugares de interés cultural destaca el antiguo palacio de los Duques de Borgoña, que alberga la excepcional colección del Museo de Bellas Artes.   En un día de sol, los históricos jardines botánicos de Dijon son perfectos para el paseo, mientras que por la noche los animados bares y restaurantes de la ciudad son el plan ideal. Dijon también tiene mucho que ofrecer a los amantes de la gastronomía, ya que la región exporta mostaza, vino y licores.  

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