|The Location of the Region of Burgundy
The region of Burgundy is located in east-central France, just southeast of Paris. To the northwest of Burgundy is the region of Ile-de-France, to its west is the region of Centre, to the south-west is Auvergne, and to the south is Rhone-Alpes. Franche-Comté is to Burgundy’s east and to the north is Champagne-Ardenne. The départements of Burgundy are: Cote-d’Or , Nievre , Saone-et-Loire  and Yonne .
The History of the Region
The Romans had dominated the region now known as Burgundy. This area formed part of, what the Romans called, Gallia Lugdunensis(Celtic Gaul). In 486 the Franks, under Clovis I, overthrew Syagrius, the last Roman governor in Gaul.
During the 5th century AD, the Bourguignons, a Germanic tribe, invaded and established the first kingdom of Bourgogne in France. The kingdom expanded until it included most of what is now southeastern France and part of present-day Switzerland. The Bourguignons were conquered, in turn, by the Merovingien rulers of the Franks in 534. They, in turn, were later absorbed into the Carolingian Empire.
Under Clotaire II’s numerous successors, the Frankish kingdom became decentralized. Royal power gradually degenerated into the noble’s exercise of feudal control over most of the land. The most important of these families was the Carolingian.
Charles Martel, as the Carolingian ruler of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia [in present northeastern France and southwestern Germany], extended the frontiers of the kingdom to the east. In 732, he repelled the Moors in a decisive battle fought at a site between Tours andPoitiers.
In 843, Burgundy was divided between Charles I of France (later Charles II, Holy Roman emperor) and his brother, Emperor Lothair I. In 879 the kingdom of Provence, or Cisjurane Burgundy, was organized in the south, and in 888 the kingdom of Trans-Jurane Burgundy was created in the north. Two other divisions, the duchy of Burgundy (which had been a part of the first kingdom of Burgundy) and the Free County of Burgundy, or Franche-Comté, were also established in the 9th century.
In 933 the two kingdoms were united as the second kingdom of Burgundy, with the capital at Arles. In 1033 the kingdom was annexed by Conrad II, Holy Roman emperor.
Until 1361 the duchy of Burgundy was ruled by the house of Capet. After 1363, the duchy was ruled by Philip the Bold of France and his successors, the dukes of Burgundy.
In 1378, Burgundy [Also known as the kingdom of Arles] was ceded to France and the kingdom ceased to exist as a separate state. In 1430 the duchy, as well as the territories known historically as the Low Countries, became part of Burgundy.
By the middle of the 15th century the duchy of Burgundy dominated French affairs. The antagonism between the dukes of Burgundy and the kings of France reached a climax in 1465, when Charles the Bold, the last duke, attempted to restore the kingdom of Burgundy. The struggle ended in 1477 during a battle near Nancy in which Charles was killed. A dispute over possession of the ducal territories developed subsequently, and a large portion of the territory, which was known as the Circle of Burgundy, became part of the Holy Roman Empire. The rest of the duchy was a province of France from 1678 until the French Revolution in 1789. Subsequently, the province was divided into the departments of Ain, Côte-d’Or, Saône-et-Loire, and part of Yonne.
In subsequent centuries, Burgundy was successively part of the dominions of the Carolingian kings, part of the second Bourguignon kingdom of Arles, and a possession of the counts of Vienne, whose title, Dauphin, gave the region its name. In 1349, the last Dauphin of Vienne sold the region to France. Thereafter, the title ‘Dauphin’ was given to the eldest sons of the French kings. The Dauphins ruled the region as a separate province until 1457 when Dauphiné was incorporated into France.
The Architecture of Burgundy
The basilican plan, used in earlier cathedrals, needed elaboration to accommodate a new liturgy. The essential symbol of the cross was incorporated in the form of transepts, a cross axis (perhaps borrowed from Byzantium) that served to identify the monks’ choir, as distinct from the public’s nave. Beyond the choir, in a semicircular apse girded by the ambulatory (a semicircular extension of the aisles), stood the main altar, the focal point of the building. Sub altars were placed in the transepts and in the ambulatory. Narthexes, vestibules and reception areas, for pilgrims, were placed at the nave entrances.
The Benedictine and Cistercian monks popularized, in the eleventh century, the barrel-vaulted, three-aisled basilica type church in Burgundy. An example of the Cistercian approach is the abbey of Citeaux near Nuits-Saint-Georges. The Benedictines’ design is found at Cluny. These two Bourguignon building methods served as archetypical prototypes throughout Europe. The Church of Saint Philibert, at Tournus, is an eleventh century example of this architecture. The church is remarkable for its two-storied, groin-vaulted entry porch.
Unlike other French churches of the period, Saint Philibert used transverse arches to support a series of barrel-vaulted naves. At the ends of the vaults, the naves had windows that were high in the vertical plane. As seen in Sainte Madeleine, in Vezelay, the groin vault became the popular solution. This answer can also be seen in the Worms Cathedral in Germany.
The Chateau at Ancy-le-Franc, at Tonnerre in Burgundy, is another example of Burgundy’s architecture. The chateau is built around three sides of a courtyard. The Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio designed the chateau in about 1546. Serlio brought an Italian influence to French architecture, which at that time, was overwrought with detail. The plain surfaces and simple contours were the direct result of classical influence on Serlio’s work.
The region is known for its wines and haute-cuisine.
- The Agriculture
The vineyard of the Côte d’Or, the Côte de Beaune and Châblis yield some of the world’s most venerated wines. The region produces snails, Bresse chicken and Charolais beef.
- The Industry
Products include machinery, electronic equipment, processed food (notably Dijon mustard and gingerbread), brandy, and fabricated metal.
- Boeuf Bourguignon
Bacon, salt & pepper, onions, carrots, shallots, butter, lemon, flour, garlic, red Burgundy, celery & mushrooms
- Poulet de Bresse en civet
- Escargot a l’ail
Snails, salt & pepper, butter and parsely
- Soupe d’escargots au Meursault,
- Oeufs a la Bourguignonne
Eggs, red Burgundy, onion, garlic, flouer, salt & pepper
- Poussin a la Moutarde
A small chicken, Dijon mustard and crème fraiche
- Coq au Vin
Capon, butter, bacon, onions, mushrooms, flour, garlic, red Burgundy
- Boeuf Bourguignon
| Towns of Burgundy
The town was a duchy of the Carolingian empire, the second dynasty of Frankish kings. Later, it was ruled by the house of Nevers. In 1370, the département was bought by King Charles V. It was ceded, in 1435, to the duchy of Burgundy. Following the death of King Charles the Bold, It was reunited with France in 1477.
Beaune is located on the Bouzaise River, in the département of Côte-d’Or. The town is a center of tourism and wine marketing. Wine auctions are held each November.
Beaune was an important town in Roman times. With the fall of Rome, in the 5th century, its fortunes declined. Its fortunes revived, with the growth of the wine market, in the 18th century.
Beaune is encircled by a wall reinforced by 13th and 15th century towers. Many other historic structures have also survive the years. The Hôtel-Dieu, which was constructed in 1443, is still in use as a retirement home and a museum. The 12th century Church of Notre-Dame contains 15th century tapestries depicting the life of the Virgin Mary.
Southeast of Paris is Chalon-sur-Saône. The town is located in the département of Saône-et-Loire, in east central France. It is a regional commercial center for the Saône Valley. Chalon has a harbor and is a crossroads for river and rail traffic.
Chalon owes its significance to its location on the Saône and the canals linking the Saône to the Loire, Marne, and Rhine rivers. In the 19th century, the completion of this canal system made Chalon an important river port, allowing it to attract a variety of industries. Before the existence of railroads, travelers from Paris came to Chalon by coach to take the riverboat to Lyon, France
Dijon, which was known as Castrum Divionense in the 9th century, is located in east central France. It is the capital of the département of Côte-d’Or. It is a port city, situated at the confluence of the Ouche and Suzon rivers and the Burgundy Canal. It is also a shipping center forBurgundy wine and a commercial and manufacturing center.
Points of interest are: the 12th century city hall that was rebuilt during the17th 18th centurys. It was formerly the ducal palace, but now houses a museum that has a collection of fine statues by the medieval Dutch sculptor Claus Sluter; the 14th century Cathedral of Saint Bénigne and the 13th century Church of Notre Dame were both constructed mainly in the Bourguignon Gothic style; the Renaissance Church of Saint Michel, which was built during the 15th century; and the Palace of Justice (15th to16th century), which was once the seat of the Burgundy parliament. The city also boasts of its own University of Dijon, which was founded in 1722.
Dijon is a splendid city, filled with the great palaces of the old Burgundian nobility. It possesses a collection of great paintings and sculptures which are located in the Musée des Beaux-Arts. The Musée was the palace of the dukes of Burgundy.