Home      Log In      Contacts      FAQs      INSTICC Portal
About the Region What to see and do Useful Information

About the Region

Dijon is located 310 Km southeast of Paris and 190km north of Lyon. Dijon, the capital of the great region of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in the eastern central part of France, is the ultimate cultural destination. As an officially recognised “Ville d’art et d’histoire”, this “city of art and history” boasts a vast protected area covering 97 hectares. That area is now on the UNESCO World Heritage list with the Climates of Burgundy’s vineyard.

This province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th century, and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the great European centres of art, learning, and science.

Dijon offers visitors an entirely vehicle-free town centre. The half-timbered houses, the Romanesque and Gothic churches and the 17th- and 18th-century private mansions majestically highlight the Medieval streets of the former capital of the Dukes of Burgundy.

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. The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian, Gothic and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons (Burgundian polychrome roofs) made of glazed terracotta tiles of various colours arranged in geometric patterns.

With Michelin-starred restaurants, a gastronomy fair that’s soon to celebrate its one hundredth anniversary, and a host of culinary specialities known the world over, Dijon is truly a capital of gastronomy!

Dijon has become 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. Dijon is a green city with an important tertiary sector, as well as a regional economic center with a diversified fabric, a traditional food-processing center (Dijon crême de cassis and kir, gingerbread, Lanvin chocolate...) and a renowned pharmaceutical sector.

Beaune takes most of the credit for the global reputation of Burgundy wines, but Dijon also boasts a wealth of winegrowing history, as you can tell from the local architecture. The listing of the Burgundy vineyard Climates as UNESCO World Heritage is a recognition of the influence of current winegrowing practices around Dijon and Beaune.

Dijon’s vineyard dates right back to the 14th century when it was cultivated on the hillsides around Chenôve and Marsannay-la-Côte. Up until the 18th century, the Marcs d’Or, Champs-Perdrix and Hameaux de Larrey wines put up a strong resistance to the great white wines of Meursault. The production of Grand Cru wines flourished on the slopes of Dijon until the end of the 19th century, with the vineyard covering over a thousand hectares. Vines were grown everywhere, until urbanisation put an end to that golden era. The people of Dijon are reminded of this prestigious past at Place François Rude, where the statue of a grape picker stands on top of the fountain.

Of all the winegrowing regions of France, Burgundy is the one with the highest number of protected designations of origin. These AOCs are split into four categories of which the vineyard designations, known as “climates” are the most prestigious.

For more information please visit:

The official Tourist Office Dijon website
The Dijon-Wikipedia page