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                 The Region of Burgundy - France Region 4
             The Region of Burgundy [Bourgogne] - Region 4 of 22

The Location of the Region of Burgundy
The region of Burgundy is located in east-central France, just southeast of Paris.  To the northwest of Burgundy is the region of Ile-de-France, to its west is the region of Centre, to the south-west is Auvergne, and to the south is Rhone-Alpes.  Franche-Comté is to Burgundy’s east and to the north is Champagne-Ardenne.  The départements of Burgundy are:  Cote-d’Or [21], Nievre [58], Saone-et-Loire [71] and Yonne [89].

The History of the Region 
The Romans had dominated the region now known as Burgundy.  This area formed part of, what the Romans called, Gallia Lugdunensis (Celtic Gaul).  In 486 the Franks, under Clovis I, overthrew Syagrius, the last Roman governor in Gaul.

During the 5th century AD, the Bourguignons, a Germanic tribe, invaded and established the first kingdom of Bourgogne in France. The kingdom expanded until it included most of what is now southeastern France and part of present-day
Switzerland. The Bourguignons were conquered, in turn, by the Merovingien rulers of the Franks in 534.  They, in turn, were later absorbed into the
Carolingian Empire

Clotaire II
’s numerous successors, the Frankish kingdom became decentralized.  Royal power gradually degenerated into the noble’s exercise of feudal control over most of the land. The most important of these families was the Carolingian.

Charles Martel, as the Carolingian ruler of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia [in present northeastern France and southwestern Germany], extended the frontiers of the kingdom to the east.  In 732, he repelled the Moors in a decisive battle fought at a site between Tours and Poitiers.

In 843, Burgundy was divided between
Charles I of France (later Charles II, Holy Roman emperor) and his brother, Emperor Lothair I.  In 879 the kingdom of Provence, or Cisjurane Burgundy, was organized in the south, and in 888 the kingdom of Trans-Jurane Burgundy was created in the north. Two other divisions, the duchy of Burgundy (which had been a part of the first kingdom of Burgundy) and the Free County of Burgundy, or Franche-Comté, were also established in the 9th century.

In 933 the two kingdoms were united as the second kingdom of Burgundy, with the capital at
Arles. In 1033 the kingdom was annexed by Conrad II, Holy Roman emperor.  

Until 1361 the duchy of Burgundy was ruled by the house of
Capet.  After 1363, the duchy was ruled by Philip the Bold of France and his successors, the dukes of Burgundy.

In 1378, Burgundy [Also known as the kingdom of Arles] was ceded to France and the kingdom ceased to exist as a separate state.  In 1430 the duchy, as well as the territories known historically as the Low Countries, became part of Burgundy.

By the middle of the 15th century the duchy of Burgundy dominated French affairs. The antagonism between the dukes of Burgundy and the kings of France reached a climax in 1465, when Charles the Bold, the last duke, attempted to restore the kingdom of Burgundy.  The struggle ended in 1477 during a battle near
in which Charles was killed.  A dispute over possession of the ducal territories developed subsequently, and a large portion of the territory, which was known as the Circle of Burgundy, became part of the Holy Roman Empire. The rest of the duchy was a province of France from 1678 until the French Revolution in 1789.  Subsequently, the province was divided into the departments of Ain, Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, and part of Yonne.

In subsequent centuries, Burgundy was successively part of the dominions of the
Carolingian kings, part of the second Bourguignon kingdom of Arles, and a possession of the counts of Vienne, whose title, Dauphin, gave the region its name.  In 1349, the last Dauphin of Vienne sold the region to France.  Thereafter, the title ‘Dauphin’ was given to the eldest sons of the French kings. The Dauphins ruled the region as a separate province until 1457 when Dauphiné was incorporated into France.

The Architecture of Burgundy
The basilican plan, used in earlier cathedrals, needed elaboration to accommodate a new liturgy.  The essential symbol of the cross was incorporated in the form of transepts, a cross axis (perhaps borrowed from Byzantium) that served to identify the monks’ choir, as distinct from the public’s nave.  Beyond the choir, in a semicircular apse girded by the ambulatory (a semicircular extension of the aisles), stood the main altar, the focal point of the building.   Sub altars were placed in the transepts and in the ambulatory.  Narthexes, vestibules and reception areas, for pilgrims, were placed at the nave entrances.  

The Benedictine and Cistercian monks popularized, in the eleventh century, the barrel-vaulted, three-aisled basilica type church in Burgundy.  An example of the Cistercian approach is the abbey of Citeaux near Nuits-Saint-Georges.  The Benedictines’ design is found at Cluny.  These two Bourguignon building methods served as archetypical prototypes throughout Europe.  The Church of Saint Philibert, at Tournus, is an eleventh century example of this architecture.  The church is remarkable for its two-storied, groin-vaulted entry porch.

Unlike other French churches of the period, Saint Philibert used transverse arches to support a series of barrel-vaulted naves.  At the ends of the vaults, the naves had windows that were high in the vertical plane.  As seen in Sainte Madeleine, in Vezelay, the groin vault became the popular solution.  This answer can also be seen in the Worms Cathedral in Germany.

The Chateau at Ancy-le-Franc, at Tonnerre in Burgundy, is another example of Burgundy’s architecture.  The chateau is built around three sides of a courtyard.  The Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio designed the chateau in about 1546.  Serlio brought an Italian influence to French architecture, which at that time,  was overwrought with detail. The plain surfaces and simple contours were the direct result of classical influence on Serlio’s work. 

The Economy
The region is known for its wines and haute-cuisine.

  • The Agriculture
    The vineyard of the Côte d'Or, the Côte de Beaune and Châblis yield some of the world's most venerated wines.   The region produces snails, Bresse chicken and Charolais beef. 

  • The Industry
    Products include machinery, electronic equipment, processed food (notably Dijon mustard and gingerbread), brandy, and fabricated metal.

The Gastronomy

  • Wine
    • Pommard
    • Savigny-les-Beaunes
    • Meursault
  • Cheese
    • Citeaux
    • Brillat-Savarin
  • Cuisine
    • Boeuf Bourguignon
      Bacon, salt & pepper, onions, carrots, shallots, butter, lemon, flour, garlic, red Burgundy, celery & mushrooms 
    • Poulet de Bresse en civet
    • Escargot a l’ail 
      Snails, salt & pepper, butter and parsely
    • Soupe d’escargots au Meursault,
    • Oeufs a la Bourguignonne
      Eggs, red Burgundy, onion, garlic, flouer, salt & pepper
    • Poussin a la Moutarde
      A small chicken, Dijon mustard and crème fraiche 
    • Coq au Vin
      Capon, butter, bacon, onions, mushrooms, flour, garlic, red Burgundy 

Départements & Towns of Burgundy Links

  The Burgundy region  consists of the Départements of:  Cote-d'Or [21], Nievre [58], Saone-et-Loire [71] and Yonne [89].

Alphabetized lists of towns and villages [with their population], with a link to each location's tourist office for phone, fax and address

      The Département of Cote-d'Or [21];
    The Département of Nievre [58];
    The Département of Saone-et-Loire [71];
    The Département of Yonne [89];


Region of Burgundy, Dépt. of Cote-d'Or
  Bressay Bressay City Hall
  Chatillon-sur-Seine Chatillon-sur-Seine City Hall
  Chenove Chenove City Hall
  Dijoin Town of Dijoin
  Dijon Dijon Auditorium
Dijon - useful addresses
Leaders forum
History of the town of Dijon
The best of Dijon
Town of Dijon
Dijon films
  Montbard Municipal services, leasure and tourism
  Santenay Santenay City Hall

Region of Burgundy, Département of Nievre
  Cosne-sur-Loire Cosne-sur-Loire City Hall
  Luzy Luzy City Hall
  Nevers Nevers City Hall
  Sermages Sermages City Hall

Region of Burgundy, Dépt. of Saone-et-Loire
  Anost Anost City Hall
  Autun Town of Autun
  Chalon-sur-Saone Chalong Microtel
Chalon-sur-Saone City Hall
Happenings in Chalon-sur-Saone
  Charnay-les-Macon Charnay-les-Macon City Hall
  Epinac Epinac City Hall
  Macon Macon City Hall
  Saint-Marcel Saint-Marcel City Hall
  Saint-Martin-Belle-Roche Town of Saint-Martin-Belle-Roche
  Tournus Municipal interests

Region of Burgundy, Département of Yonne
  Auxerre Auxerre City Hall
  Avallon Town of Avallon
  Chablis Chablis City Hall
  Toucy Memories
  Joigny Town of Joigny
  Laroche Laroche City Hall
  Mailly-la-Ville Mailly-la-Ville City Hall
  Moneteau Moneteau City Hall
  Paron Paron City Hall
  Senan Senan City Hall
  Sene The economic life of Sene
  Sens Sens City Hall
  Tonnerre Discover the town of Tonnerre
  Treigny-Perreuse The park of Boutissaint

The Départements of Burgundy
Introduction to the Region of Burgundy [Geography, Topography, Distances, History, Gastronomy, Economy, Tourism]

The Information on Départements & Towns of Burgundy

The Categorized Web Sites of Burgundy G - L

The Categorized Web Sites of Burgundy M - Z

The Links for the Départements & Towns of Burgundy

The Départements of Burgundy


  Towns of Burgundy

Auxerre is the capital city of the département of Yonne.  It is located to the southeast of Paris, on the Yonne River.  The town abounds in Gallic and Roman remains.  There is also a museum, a library, a college, and a palace of justice.  The city boasts the 13th century Gothic cathedral of Saint Étienne, the churches of Saint Germain and Saint Pierre, and the Episcopal palace.  Auxerre has been the seat of a bishopric since the 3rd century. 

The town was a duchy of the Carolingian empire, the second dynasty of Frankish kings.  Later, it was ruled by the house of Nevers.  In 1370, the département was bought by King Charles V.  It was ceded, in 1435, to the duchy of Burgundy.  Following the death of King Charles the Bold, It was reunited with France in 1477. 

Beaune is located on the Bouzaise River, in the département of Côte-d'Or.  The town is a center of tourism and wine marketing.  Wine auctions are held each November.

Beaune was an important town in Roman times.  With the fall of Rome, in the 5th century, its fortunes declined.  Its fortunes revived, with the growth of the wine market, in the 18th century.

Beaune is encircled by a wall reinforced by 13th  and 15th century towers.  Many other historic structures have also survive the years.  The Hôtel-Dieu, which was constructed in 1443, is still in use as a retirement home and a museum.  The 12th century Church of Notre-Dame contains 15th century tapestries depicting the life of the Virgin Mary.

Southeast of Paris is Chalon-sur-Saône.  The town is located in the département of Saône-et-Loire, in east central France.  It is a regional commercial center for the Saône Valley.  Chalon has a harbor and is a crossroads for river and rail traffic. 

Chalon owes its significance to its location on the Saône and the canals linking the Saône to the Loire, Marne, and Rhine rivers.  In the 19th century, the completion of this canal system made Chalon an important river port, allowing it to attract a variety of industries.  Before the existence of railroads, travelers from Paris came to Chalon by coach to take the riverboat to Lyon, France


Dijon, which was known as Castrum Divionense in the 9th century, is located in east central France.  It is the capital of the département of Côte-d'Or.  It is a port city, situated at the confluence of the Ouche and Suzon rivers and the Burgundy Canal.  It is also a shipping center for Burgundy wine and a commercial and manufacturing center. 

Points of interest are: the 12th century city hall that was rebuilt during the17th 18th centurys.  It was formerly the ducal palace, but now houses a museum that has a collection of fine statues by the medieval Dutch sculptor Claus Sluter; the 14th century Cathedral of Saint Bénigne  and the 13th century Church of Notre Dame were both constructed mainly in the Bourguignon Gothic style; the Renaissance Church of Saint Michel, which was built during the 15th century; and the Palace of Justice (15th to16th century), which was once the seat of the Burgundy parliament.  The city also boasts of its own University of Dijon, which was founded in 1722.

Dijon is a splendid city, filled with the great palaces of the old Burgundian nobility.  It possesses a collection of great paintings and sculptures which are located in the Musée des Beaux-Arts.   The Musée was the palace of the dukes of Burgundy.



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 © Copyright 1999 - 2015 by Sharon Atchley.  All rights reserved.  Updated:  12/18/2015