The Burgundy region lies mid-way between the wide-open cereal plains of northern France and the industrialised valley of the Rhône. It is a land of undulating hills, woods and waterways flowing through a green and yellow patchwork of fields with a scattering of sleepy picturesque villages, chateaux and historic buildings bordered by hedges. Burgundy has an international reputation as home to some of the world's finest wines.
Burgundy has always been at the crossroads of many cultures. It was on the main Roman road from Lugdunum (Lyon) and Lutecia (Paris), the route from Italy to Flanders, and is still nowadays on the corridor connecting Paris and the north to southern France and the Mediterranean. Thanks to highways and the TGV (high speed train) today's Burgundy is very accessible.
During the 14th and 15th centuries, the Dukes of Burgundy became more powerful than the Kings of France. Through wars, settlements and marriages, their dominions spread across most of present day Belgium, Luxemburg and The Netherlands. Jealously coveted for years, Burgundy was finally annexed to the French crown in 1477. However, the region continued to produce powerful ruling families whose appreciation of contemporary Dutch and Italian craftsmen can still be seen in religious and lay monuments alike. Burgundy's natural riches and colourful history have marked the region with some of the finest heritage of European art and architecture.
THE WINE ROUTE ("Route des Grands crus")
“On the road of Burgundy great wines”
The touristic Wine Route, between Dijon and Santenay, takes you through 30 miles of Burgundy's most prestigious vineyards, where some of the best wines in the world are produced. Whether you're a wine lover or you'd like to know more about wine here is your opportunity to discover where such famous wines as Pommard, Corton-Charlemagne, and Romanée-Conti are lovingly grown.
The “Clos de Vougeot” château, set in the middle of the vineyards, is one of the most famous spots in Burgundy. Most of the wine produced in this small village comes from one single walled grand cru vineyard, the famous Clos de Vougeot. The vineyard in its present form dates from 1336 and consists of 50 hectares of vineyards owned by 82 owners, with six soil types. Distance from Dijon: 25 km
Located in the heart of Burgundy, Beaune is a beautiful historic town and world famous capital of Burgundy wine. There is plenty to interest the visitor; taste some of Burgundy's fine wines in one of the wine cellars, visit the Burgundy Wine Museum and the 15th century Hôtel-Dieu medieval hospital with multicolored roofs, a masterpiece of the flamboyant gothic architecture. Beaune is also famous for gastronomy and you can sample some delicious food in one of its many restaurants.
Distance from Dijon: 45 km.
Take a leisurely boat trip on the Burgundy Canal which links hundreds of pretty villages and takes you through some of Burgundy's most beautiful countryside. Spanning more than 250 kilometres in length and two centuries of construction, it's a masterpiece of pre-industrial revolution technology which has provided a network of navigable waterways nowadays enjoyed for all forms of holiday activities.
This mediaeval village was awarded the title of one of the most beautiful villages of France. Visit it's 12th century château which stands majestically on the hillside, dominating the surrounding countryside and commands breathtaking views over the surrounding plains, lakes, and the famous Burgundy canal.
Semur-en-Auxois is a picturesque fortified town set on a pink granite hillside with a river running through. Take a walk along its paved streets and discover its medieval buildings and drum towers and Notre Dame church which is one of the best examples of Gothic art in Burgundy. Distance from Dijon: 80 Km
This charming fortified village was awarded the title of one of the most beautiful villages of France. Take a stroll through its hushed streets and you'll feel like you're stepping back in time. You can visit the village factory which still makes the well-known aniseed sweets called “Anis de Flavigny”. Distance from Dijon: 64 Km
Visit the Fontenay abbey, a Unesco world heritage site. Founded in the 12th C., this well preserved Cistercian abbey is an impressive yet hidden haven of peace. Distance from Dijon: 145 Km.
You can find more information and pictures of Burgundy at www.bourgogne-tourisme.com
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