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Burgundy Holiday Cottages

Burgundy, or Bourgogne as it is known in Europe, is made up of four departments - the Yonne, the Côte d’Or, Nièvre, and Saône-et-Loire. Dijon is the capital of the whole region - a lovely, traditional town to visit. Linger in the areas and visit Abbaye de Fontenay and the vineyards of Beaune. Savour and enjoy the wonderful chateaux and canals and relax. The whole area of Burgundy is larger than Belgium.

 

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This is most certainly the land of food and wine. The vineyards in this area are mostly planted with Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay grape which produce the prestigious red and white Burgundy wines.

Canals feature in this region and you can stroll from your apartment and enjoy a trip on the Canal de Bourgogne, du Nivernais and du Centre – there are 1,000 km of navigable routes and ports along the Saône river which are equipped for wide-gauge barges.  The towns of Dijon and Beaune.

Chablis known as the ‘Golden Gate’ of Burgundy for the great wine it produces. Dijon is the capital of the region with majestic buildings dating back to the glorious days of the Dukes of Burgundy. The town of Vezelay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which has been a centre of pilgrimage for centuries. The basilica is the nucleus of this charming medieval town, which rates as one of Burgundy‘s, and France’s best.

Abbeys and Churches  -  Burgundy has some fine examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.


Vézelay, L’Abbaye de Fontenay, Cluny, Autun, and Tournus have been important throughout the centuries of monastic dominance in the region.


Medieval  Villages - famous for some of the most picturesque villages in France with timber-framed houses, cobbled streets, fortified gateways and in summer, windows brimming with geraniums. Noyers, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain and Nolay are just three of many worth visiting.


Dijon – market days


Beaune is famous for its  Baroque Music Festival every weekend throughout July


The Festival 'Cours, Eau, Jardins' throughout the summer


The Jazz Festival in September


The Hospice de Beaune Wine Auction in November


The colourful festival of Saint-Vincent -  the patron saint of wine each January.

The town of Dijon has an air of confidence and pride about it. Seat of the University of Burgundy, there is a lively  atmosphere and buzz.  Dijon is a very cycle friendly city. Public bicycles are available for residents and tourists at 40 bike stands in the city centre. 

Dijon has a rich history dating back to Roman times. It was at the crossroads of many trade routes, notably pewter, tin, amber and exotic spices. It became capital of the Kingdom of Burgundy as early as the 5th century but the days of glory arrived in the 14th century when the Dukes of Burgundy held court  turning it into one of the most important towns in medieval Europe. The Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne today houses the art museum and town hall, The view over the city from the tower of Philip the Bold, the Tour de Bar is impressive and guided tours are available daily. The Museum of Archaeology is one of the most interesting cultural visits, housed in the truly magnificent  Abbey Benigne and there is a little known private museum close to the Place de Liberation called the Musée Magnin showing fine French interiors, furniture and paintings. 

La Chouette, the little owl carved on one of the pillars of the Notre Dame church, is the bringer of good luck, stroked by countless passers-by. Adopted by the town as its emblem, little gold owls are embedded in the pavement showing tourist routes.  The streets surrounding Les Halles are full of fascinating shops from elegant clothes and shoes to pâtisserie and of course, mustard. Behind the church of Notre Dame, the Quartier Jean Jacques Rousseau is of particular interest  Stroll from your apartment, after a relaxing breakfast, antique shops, galleries and decoration shops make this the avant-garde place to be.  Visit the Maison Millière, one of the oldest medieval buildings in Rue de la Chouette, and now a tea room with pretty garden terrace. The setting was used in the film Cyrano de Bergerac.


Beaune is in the middle of the Côte d’Or and is the capital of the wine region.  Wonderful cobbled streets with boutiques of all kinds from wine and food to avant-garde fashion are just a stone’s throw from your apartment. Winelovers should visit L’Athenaeum de la Vigne et du Vin in Rue de l’Hôtel du Vin for books and accessories and Le Comptoir Viticole in Rue Samuel-Legay for more wine goodies. To sample the best of the region’s wine, visit the Marché aux Vins opposite the Hospice. The ‘dégustation des vins’ takes place in an ancient church, with its stone pillars and arches forming the perfect backdrop. Another very impressive cave to visit is that of Patriarche Père & Fils in Rue du Collège.


One of the most famous white wines in the world comes from the area of Chablis which is in the north west of Burgundy.  Monks from the Abbey of Pontigny were the first to plant Chardonnay grapes here on the slopes surrounding the River. The wines fall into four appellations: Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru and Grand Cru.


A cellar worth visiting is William Fevre at 14 Rue Jules Rathier, in what used to be the old Chablis hospital. His restaurant is next door where you can taste wines by the glass with each regional dish. There is also a bistro-wine bar for less formal meals.

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