This is a slightly different blog post as I am pretty much just telling you what we did in one day in Dijon. I actually can’t step up and say, “You MUST stop here!” — as I left the city a little unimpressed. The architecture is great and it’s a significant stop, but I would recommend that you come to the Burgundy region and hit Dijon while you are here (don’t make Dijon the destination).
Since it’s more of a major city than Beaune, the buildings are, of course, larger.
One of the things you’ll want to do is take a mustard tour, since the area is so famous for it, right? I’ll tell you about a nice moutarderie tour we took in Beaune, tomorrow, that was well done. In Dijon, just go to take in the history of the area and understand who the players were that made the area it is today. You’ll get a good overview of the royalty, their religion, and their art.
If you’ve made it to Dijon, you’ve most likely already seen the Notre Dame of Paris. But they do have a Notre Dame in Dijon!
At the back of the church, you’ll find this scary-looking thing. Is it a doorknocker? A lock? The lights shine on it so you know it’s important.
Well, I’m not sure if there is a trigger there, but while I was standing on the grate taking a photo of this, the organ started to play. Suddenly and loudly. Enough to make me jump! This is a mild sample of the organ:
The organ pipes are located at the back of the church and displayed in a unique way (as a chandelier, in addition to the normal pipes against the wall). So scaring people, I guess, is a way for them to help draw attention to the position of the organ pipes!
If you have time, check out Jardin Darcy, the first public garden in Dijon, on your way back to the train station. Dijon engineer Henri Darcy designed a reservoir to supply the town with drinking water in 1838. In honor of this work, the architect Emile Sagot built a neo-Renaissance monument which survives to this day. In 1880 the architect Félix Vionnois laid out a garden on top of the reservoir, reflecting the taste of the time.
The monument, close up.
The front of the park has a replica of a marble figure made by Burgundy-born artist François Pompon, who is considered a forerunner of modern sculpture.
The experience of a destination is determined by many things, so don’t judge Dijon purely by my post. It did rain heavily all day that day, so that limited our mobility a little. One thing I did want to note is that Dijon is the first French city that Ahnya and I have experienced with many homeless people aggressively soliciting money. I don’t think they will steal (like in Paris) but if you are looking for a relatively hassle-free experience while walking around, Dijon will not be it.
You can arrange for tours via the Tourism Office, which will even take you out to the wine country.
These were just the highlights. For more photos from this day, click here.
Up next: the oldest artisanal moutarderie in the area, and Hotel Dieu!