Welcome to the home of the Dukes of Burgundy and their subjects: In 2013 and 2014, medieval towns and ducal vineyards, Gothic churches and castle fortresses await you for two years brimming with events!
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The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Dijon, housed in the former Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy, is reopening its renovated and expanded medieval and Renaissance halls after several years of work. One of the finest collections of European medieval art shines in a new setting, offering all modern conveniences for visitors. It is also an opportunity to (re-)discover countless other treasures throughout Burgundy.
Genealogy of the Dukes. From Philippe Le Bon to Alix de Vergy, from Jean sans Peur to Charles le Téméraire, find out the genealogy of the Dukes of Burgundy.
Sens the royal city with the first of all the Gothic cathedrals, the Hôtel-Dieu de Tonnerre's vast nave, the stone filigree of St. Thibault's choir, the golden altarpieces of Ternant and, of course, the Champmol charterhouse in Dijon. These are just a few facets of the Gothic architecture that flourished in Burgundy.Traces of the powerful - the Valois dukes and Capetians, great feudal lords and small vassals - will lead you from fortified castles to urban palaces between Chastellux and Nevers , Charolles and Châteauneuf-en-Auxois. Historic towns from Noyers-sur-Serein and Clamecy to Autun and Beaune, and even small towns from Saint-Gengoux-le-National and Bourbon-Lancy passing through the powerful strongholds of Avallon and Semur-en- Auxois, all recalling the lives of artisans and merchants. The flamboyant façades of Flavigny-sur-Ozerain provide a rebuttal to the Château de Germolles, the only holiday residence of the Dukes to be preserved.
Burgundy of the Dukes
In the Lord's vineyards
Like all the princes of their time, the Dukes of Burgundy owned wineries and were interested in this production, which allowed them to give prestigious gifts at lower costs. It was at the request of the citizens of Dijon, Beaune and Chalon-sur-Saone that Philip the Bold prohibited, in 1395, the “very bad and disloyal plant called gamay”. In 1441, Philip the Good, concerned about the connection between the quality of wine and the locality from which the grapes came, had no idea that more than half a millennium later, the “climats” of Burgundy would be candidates to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of their main domains was located in Chenôve, near Dijon, where the cellar that was rebuilt in 1404 with its monumental presses from the 15th C. still survives. One of them is returned to service in September every year for the Fête de la Pressée. The “climat” of the Clos du Roi (Marsannay appellation) recalls that it passed into the hands of the Kings of France after 1477, like all its namesakes on the hill of Corton, in Beaune or even in Mercurey, under the hill where the castle of Montague stood, all former ducal enclosed vineyards.
Echoes of the festivities at the court of Burgundy
The court of the Valois Dukes was the most sumptuous of the time. Its use of the ceremonial was to influence those applied in Vienna and Madrid for centuries. Chroniclers of the time gave lively accounts of the “Joyous Entries” of dukes to their cities, tournaments and diplomatic encounters, princely weddings and banquets. Music, wine and gastronomy, costumes and decor in shimmering colours, illuminations, the art of stained-glass windows, wall paintings and tableaux, wooden and stone sculptures: all the arts were deployed for festivities in order to assert the rank of the dukes just as much as their military and diplomatic actions. Friends and family followed suit, within their means. The chancellor Rolin, of bourgeois origin, managed to outstrip many a Burgundy aristocrat in this field. A series of concerts, banquets, fetes and events will be taking place in 2014, echoing these long-gone festivities, in a friendly spirit that is as modern as it is traditional.Find out more about the events of 2014