Itinerary : The treasures of Burgundy

4 nights
Stages: 850 km
All year

If Burgundy is easily associated with its prestigious wine territory, it should not be forgotten that the region is above all rich in historical monuments. The Romans left many vestiges, the Catholic Church dotted the region with magnificent churches in the Middle Ages and powerful dukes gave it a considerable influence in the field of arts.Esprit de France invites you to (re)discover the golden age of Burgundy reflected in palaces, majestic hotels and art collections.

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Step 1

Step 1 : From the Abbey of Cluny the Cathedrale Saint-Lazare.

The day begins with the visit of the Abbey of Cluny considered as the «light of the world» by Pope Urban II. This abbey was founded in 910 and had a considerable influence throughout the centuries. You can admire the remains of the huge restored abbey church. A 3D film and virtual renderings complete the visit and allow to represent Cluny at the time of its splendor.  Then take the road to Beaune to discover the Hôtel-Dieu, one of the most beautiful monuments in Burgundy. Enter the courtyard and admire all the splendor of the place with its domes, turrets and roofs in polychrome tiles. The altarpiece of the Last Judgement is an admirable work of art of the place. Finish the day with a visit to Autun, built by Emperor Augustus in the 1st century BC. This city was one of the most important Gallo-Roman cities. The greatest treasure of the city is the Saint-Lazare Cathedral, known for its architecture and carved decoration.  In August, the remains of the ancient theatre are revived each year with a show evoking Gallo-Roman life.

1st night at Prye Castle.

Step 2

Step 2 : Day in Nevers

The day begins with the discovery of major sites of the city of Nevers, such as the Ducal Palace of the city, the Romanesque church or the Saint-Cyr Cathedral. Then direction Vézelay, famous for its church of the Madeleine. Above the inner portal you can admire the famous tympanum, centerpiece of Burgundian Romanesque art that represents the mysteries of Pentecost. Behind the abbey, from the top of the ramparts opens a charming promenade from where you will see the whole region.

2nd night at the Abbey of Reigny.

Step 3

Step 3 : From Auxerre to the treasure of Vix.

For this third day, take the road to Auxerre to admire the majestic Saint-Germain abbey. The 9th century crypts are decorated with the oldest murals discovered in France to date. Don’t miss the Saint-Jean Tower and its imposing stone spire as you leave the abbey. Then head to the Saint-Etienne Cathedral to see one of the most beautiful sets of stained glass windows preserved in France.  Then head to the Abbey of Fontenay, the oldest Cistercian monastery.  Superbly restored and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the abbey gives a fascinating picture of medieval monastic life. Ideally located in the heart of a wooded valley, this monument is embellished with a landscaped park classified «Remarkable Garden».  Then head to Châtillon, near the source of the Seine to contemplate the treasure of Vix, exhibited at the Archaeological Museum. This treasure was discovered in 1953 in the tomb of a Celtic princess, surrounded by superb objects.3rd night at the Abbey of Reigny.

Step 4

Step 4 : Day in Dijon.

This fourth and final day is entirely devoted to the visit of Dijon, capital of the Dukes of Burgundy who dominated the city from their palace. From the Philippe le Bon Tower the view of the city is sublime.The Palace of the Dukes also houses the Museum of Fine Arts with collections of Dutch and Flemish masters. Also take the opportunity to discover the Chartreuse de Champmol which has preserved two major works by the Flemish sculptor Claus Sluter: the portal of the church and the Puits de Moïse. This well illustrates the richness and finesse of the Burgundian-Flemish sculpture of the late 14th century.  Don’t leave Dijon without tasting its famous kir in a café on Place François-Rude.

4th night at the Château de Pierreclos.

Published on 22/11/2023

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