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Published by the award winning team at The Good Life France
If you like your cities to be filled with beautiful, historic buildings. If you love fantastic food and wonderful wines. And if you love museums, galleries, sitting at terraced cafés watching the world go by as you sip a delicious local wine, a fabulous street market, great wine bars and a vibrant friendly vibe – then add Dijon to your must see list. This amazing city has all these things by the bucket load… and more. First of all, get your comfy shoes on because this is a city that’s just perfect for a flâner, the French term for wandering and just soaking it all in… Cobbled streets, grand squares, half-timbered houses, a huge palace, narrow alleyways lined with medieval buildings and even a magic owl. But, this is a small city so don’t worry, you won’t have to walk too far or too long to fit it all in. There’s something to see on every corner…
What to do in Dijon Rub the magic owl and make a wish On the wall of the medieval 13th century Notre Dame church is a small stone owl. No one knows why he’s there and to be honest, you can hardly tell he’s an owl because for centuries the locals and passers by have rubbed their left hand over him for luck. If you don’t know he’s there it looks very odd, as people will be just walking along and suddenly veer over to the wall, put their left hand up, rub and carry on… Don’t forget to look up when you get to the front of the church, there’s an extraordinary clock on top. Four metal automatons strike the hours. Jacquemart was the first to arrive. He came from Belgium in 1382. Jacqueline was added to keep him company in 1651. In 1714 they had a boy - Jacquelinet and in 1844 Jacquelinette, a girl. Pick up a leaflet from the tourist office for the owl trail (Parcours de la Chouette). It indicates 22 markers of historic sites, it takes around 2 hours at a relaxed pace, and you’ll get to see the main sites of Dijon. Palace of the Dukes and States of Burgundy The former colossal residence of the immensely wealthy Dukes of Burgundy and seat of government in the region under the Ancien Régime (pre French Revolution). It’s an imposing sight which makes the Place de la Liberation where it is, all the more exquisite. It now houses the town hall, the ancient kitchens can be visited and there are courtyards you can use to make your way round Dijon or simply to sit and enjoy the views.
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