Sunday, 22 February 2015

Jewels of Dijon

Newly rennovated ex-leper colony, Meursault
An added bonus of having family and friends to stay is that we have an incentive to get out and about and visit things even if the weather is not perfect. We love Dijon and have been many times, but it has been about a year since our last visit, so when Cees’ son came to stay for the weekend, it was an ideal opportunity to get in the car and enjoy what Dijon has to offer.

Although it was a miserable day, the drive through the vineyards and small (and not so small) wine villages is always a pleasure. The stunningly renovated leper colony in Meursault is worth a detour, they have done such a beautiful job and brought a beautiful old building complex back to life – very appropriate.

Musée de Beaux Arts, Dijon
Then on to Dijon itself. The advantage of a Sunday visit is that parking in town is free and abundant, even if the one-way system can lead to some heated discussions as to which way to go. All in all we managed a parking space near to the Dukes’ Palace which was our main destination.

Pompon has his own room
The palace has been turned into the Museum of Fine Arts and whilst the art alone is worth the visit, the tombs of Philippe le Hardi and Jean sans Peur, make it an absolute must-see. And of course, a visit to Dijon would not be complete without spending a long moment enjoying the works of Pompon. The stylised lines of his animals are truly amazing and as a native of this region, he has a room all to himself in the museum.

After that we set off for the Museum of Archaeology which is housed in an old abbey (Saint-Bénigne) and yes you guessed it, it is a Romanesque one. The museum is quite interesting, but we were there for the architecture of the building itself and the displays on the first floor of capitals from various monasteries and churches in the area.
Ex-Abbey Saint-Bénigne
The last time we visited, there was a conference going on in that room so we couldn’t see it, but this time we could go in and it was well worth the return visit.

All of that combined with a delicious Dijonais lunch and a wander around the streets looking at the lovely half-timbered houses and coloured tile roofs, we had a great day out.

For holiday accommodation within a day-trip distance of Dijon click here.

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