Cities in FRANCE
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Dijon is the capital of the Côte-d'Or department and also the historic capital of Burgundy. According to the 2008 census, there are 151,576 residents living within the city limits and 250,516 in the metropolitan area.
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The coordinates of Dijon are: 47° 17'26 'North latitude and 5° 02'34' East longitude.
The area surrounding Dijon has a moderate continental climate with hot summers and moderately cold winters. Spring and autumn are quite pleasant and a particularly good time to visit this interesting city. The average daytime temperature per year is 14.83 °C . The average nighttime temperature per year is 6.27 °C. Annual rainfall is 732.2 mm and the sun shines for about 1,800 hours a year.
Dijon is the historic capital of the Burgundy region. The city was chosen as the capital of the newly founded Duchy by Robert I, Duke of Burgundy, in 1015. During the reign of the Valois (1364-1477) the city flourished. Musicians, artists and architects were attracted to the patronage of the ducal court.
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The city retained its important role as provincial capital after the Duchy of Burgundy was annexed by Louis XI of France in 1477. The city has been a diocese since 1731. In the 18th century, Dijon was very prosperous and became an intellectual center of France. After the French Revolution Dijon lost influence and the provincial institutions became less and less important. But the arrival of the railways in 1851 brought new wealth and caused population growth.
Various architectural styles from different periods of the last millennium can be seen in Dijon. There are many buildings in the central part of the city that date back to the 18th century and many other buildings from the Gothic and Renaissance times. The burgundy multicolored roofs made of green, yellow and black with glazed terracotta tiles and eye-catching geometric patterns are characteristic of the original architecture of the city. Many of the old buildings date from the 12th to the 15th century. There are well-preserved picturesque half-timbered houses. Dijon suffered relatively little from devastation during the past wars.
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Dijon has a large number of churches, such as Notre Dame de Dijon. The Church of Notre Dame is known for both art and architecture. Popular legend has it that one of the stone sculptures (an owl) brings happiness to the visitors of the church. When they touch the owl with their left hand they can make a wish. Other important churches are: St. Philibert, St. Michel and Dijon Cathedral. There is a thousand-year-old crypt dedicated to Saint Benign.
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Dijon has many museums, including the Musee des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, which is housed in part of the Ducal Palace. It includes, among other things, the ducal kitchens dating back to the mid-15th century and a significant collection of European art from Roman times to contemporary art. The original medieval palace was largely rebuilt and expanded in the 17th and 18th centuries. The two towers of the 14th and 15th centuries have been preserved. The palace is now the Hôtel de Ville (town hall) and the Musee des Beaux Arts (Museum of Fine Arts). The beautiful tombs of Philip the Bold (1342-1404) and John the Fearless (1371-1419), dukes of Burgundy, can be seen here.
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The very interesting neighborhood Jean Jacques Rousseau is located behind Notre Dame. Antique shops, galleries and specialty shops make this area the avant-garde place of the city. It is a must to visit the Maison Millière, one of the oldest medieval buildings on Rue de la Chouette. This building has now been transformed into a tearoom with a beautiful garden terrace. There are French boutiques on Rue de la Liberty
Last updated November 2020
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