Dijon was a complete surprise to us. Christian found a hotel for us, Hôtel Philippe Le Bon located in the historic city center, which had great reviews & did not disappoint. We arrived in the late afternoon after our morning in Lyon, so we only had a couple hours to explore the city center before dinner.
The historic city center was clean, in great condition and the buildings were spectacular!
The church on the left is the Saint-Michel. The building on the right is the Musée Rude, which is an art museum dedicated to the French sculptor François Rude (1784–1855).
The Musée des Beaux-Arts (museum of fine arts) is located in what used to be the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy. It is located on the Place de la Libération.
The Church of Notre-Dame of Dijon is a Roman Catholic church designed in Gothic architecture. There are 51 gargoyles on the western façade of the church. I didn’t realize that a gargoyle is normally used in architecture as a spout to remove water from roofs. Apparently, these gargoyles are just for decorative purposes but there are functioning gargoyles elsewhere on the building.
The Porte Guillaume (Guillaume Gate) in Place Darcy (Darcy Square).
After walking around, we searched & searched for a restaurant. We saw one that caught our eye, La Maison Millière but didn’t stop there immediately. I think we ended up reading good reviews and deciding to go back but it was booked up! I recommend trying out this restaurant if you are in Dijon. If there isn’t a table available, you can eat at our hotel restaurant, Restaurant La Closerie, which ended up being another favorite meal of the trip. If the weather is nice, they have all the tables set up in the courtyard.
I haven’t mentioned anything yet about mustard because I am sure that is what you think of when you hear Dijon! The Dijon mustard originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted the acidic “green” juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe. Most Dijon mustard seed used in local production is imported from Canada. There were quite a few mustard shops in town but we didn’t buy any!