Capital of Burgundy
DIJON owes its origins to its strategic position in Celtic times on the tin merchants' route from Britain up the Seine and across the Alps to the Adriatic.
Dijon became the capital of Burgundy around 1000 AD, but its golden age occurred in the 14th and 15th centuries under the auspices of dukes Philippe le Hardi (the Bold), who as a boy had fought the English at Poitiers and been taken prisoner, Jean sans Peur (the Fearless), Philippe le Bon (the Good), who sold Joan of Arc to the English, and Charles le Temeraire. (image: Place de la Libération credit OT Dijon - Atelier Demoulin)
They used their tremendous wealth and power – especially their control of Flanders, the dominant manufacturing region of the age – to make Dijon one of the greatest centers of art, learning and science in Europe. It lost its capital status on incorporation into the kingdom of France in 1477, but has remained one of the country's preeminent provincial cities, especially since the rail and industrial booms of the mid-nineteenth century. Today, Dijon is a modern and young city with a thriving base of college-age students.
A short video tour of Dijon and its culture:
Visit the website of the tourist office of Dijon for more information.
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