Recognised by UNESCO
Did you know? There are no less than 4 Burgundian monuments that feature on UNESCO’s list of world heritage.
1. The ‘climats’ of Burgundy’s vineyard found along the Route des Grands Crus (route of the great wines) that begins right at the heart of the city of the dukes, Dijon;
2. Fontenay Abbey, where the Cistercian movement first began and then spread through Europe;
3. La Charité-sur-Loire priory church, un unmissable step for pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela,
4. and Vézelay Abbey, a place of pilgrimage and departure point for crusades in the Middle Ages.
The ‘Climats’ of Burgundy’s vineyard
The Cistercian monks founded the development of the Burgundy vineyard, and in doing so they also experimented with methods of growing the vines and wine-making which contributed to the exceptional quality of Burgundy wines that they are so well-known for today. The vine plots that they painstakingly set out in the Middle Ages, now known as the ‘climats’, still exist today and are now recognised and protected under UNESCO’s world heritage status. You can find out about them on the Route des Grands Crus. This ‘route of the great wines’ is particularly recommend in autumn because this is when you’ll witness the true meaning behind the name of the French department, the ‘Côte-d’Or’ (golden hillside).The Route des Grands Crus
Dijon, a capital city
We can’t stress enough how significant a mark the dukes of Burgundy left on the history of France due to their considerable influence. Today, we can explore their capital city, Dijon, a majestic town with an easy-going atmosphere. Pedestrian streets, bars, restaurants, markets, parks... in autumn this is a particularly pleasant place to explore on foot or by bike.
This is a treasure of Romanesque art in Burgundy. You'll be amazed when you come face to face with the magnificent door of Vézelay Abbey in the Yonne, perched at the top of the “Eternal Hill”.
Don't miss the view of the Morvan covered in the blazing colours of autumn from the esplanade behind the abbey.Discover the Vézelay abbey
This Cistercian abbey is surrounded by greenery and is a wonderfully preserved, beautiful monastic complex that is particularly striking in autumn when the nearby forest is filled with blazing shades of ruby and gold. A magical place!
La Charité-sur-Loire priory church
La Charité-sur-Loire owes its name to the pilgrims who would find a warm welcome and charity here as they made their way to Santiago de Compostela.
In autumn, the warm rays of the sun bounce off the white stone in the restored cloister.La Charité-sur-Loire priory church
Stay a while longer, on the banks of the Loire
The churches are just a short walk away from the banks of the Loire. Stay in Burgundy a while longer and see everything this region has to offer. Book your next holiday in the Nièvre in Burgundy and plan your trip for 2 based on what you'd like to see. Opt for a bike ride along the Loire or Pouilly-Fumé wine tasting, before setting off to explore the heritage sites.
Treasures of Romanesque art in Burgundy
Along the trail of Romanesque art in southern Burgundy
In southern Burgundy, you can follow the trail of the Romanesque churches in the Brionnais, each one even more beautiful than the last. Every church bears its own shade of ochre, made all the more stunning in the autumn sun, as each sculpted door is lit up by the low-angled light at this time of year, and the sunrays streaming through the stained-glass windows reflect onto the impressive paintings and sculptures inside. You'll come across some of the most ancient Romanesque monuments of Burgundy here, including Saint Philibert de Tournus Abbey and the abbey in Paray-le-Monial which was built according to the same plans that can barely be seen today at Cluny Abbey a few kilometres away, the birthplace of the Cluniac monastic movement.