Not every city can be so lucky as to be situated Oceanside. Some can’t even say they have a lake.
This used to be Dijon’s case and they made their own lake.
Lake Kir was the idea of Félix Kir, a former mayor of Dijon during the mid-1900’s.
The lake is now named after him. In June 2004 the lake celebrated its 40th year.
The big project at Lake Kir was the construction of a small beach. There’s real sand, changing rooms, showers, and beach chairs available. There’s also a beach volley ball area.
St. Michael's Church
As other famous French churches this one also has mixed architecture styles. Especially the front which was built when the new architecture style arrived: Renaissance. Nevertheless the church belongs to the Flamboyant Gothic period. The Last Judgment above the main doorway deserves special attention.
Place Francois-Rude, in the town centre, is a popular meeting point/landmark. Many of Dijon's cafes, restaurants and shops are found here and it was a nice place to rest and relax after all the walking around.
Examine the Console of the Trumeau (3)
On the support below the statue of St. Michel (the trumeau)are more examples of how far sculpture has progressed. These figures are like those on the facets of medieval cloister capitals, Here a mixture of Biblical and Mythological characters compete for recognition: identify Leda the Swan, Solomon judging, Hercules, John the Baptist and more.
Semester in Dijon
Dijon is a great place to take a weekend trip when in France. With lots of history and culture, there are several sights to see. It is also a great place for the wine connoisseur. As the capital of Burgundy, it is a moderately sized city (200,000 people) located near one of the best wine regions in France. With two universities, the town is also fun for younger travelers. I do not believe that Dijon would be a great travel destination for families, however, since there is not much to do for children.
Dijon is a great city to visit if you want to get away from Paris and meet some real French people. I would just recommend brushing up on your French a little bit because you will probably run into some non-English speakers. Dijon is easy to get to by train. It is 1 1/2 hours by TGV from Paris and about 2 hours from Lyon.
Dijon's history is rich and evidence of this can still be seen today. Once the capital of the great Burgundy (only a fraction of which remains today), the ruling dukes formed the city to their tastes. The Palais des Ducs in the center of town is only one reminder of the city’s early glory days. Today the palace is home to the wonderful Musée des Beaux Arts, which is a must to visit. Also the great view from the tower of Philippe de bon, towering over the center of the castle, is well worth the couple of euros you pay to ascend it. Beware, however, because the square outside the castle is a popular place for protests on Sunday afternoons.
The place Darcy is also a site one must visit (seen in the picture). It contains the Porte de Guillaume, which is beautiful, but not very interesting in and of itself, but immediately adjacent to the area is a wonderful park to relax and take your lunch to. The best way to go sightseeing in Dijon is to buy an owl guide from one of the local tourist offices. I believe it costs €5 and it gives you a descriptions, histories, and locations for all the major, and not so major, sites of Dijon. Everything is accessible by foot, so no car of bike are neccessary.
In addition to all the things there are to do in Dijon, there are several cities nearby that offer some amazing experiences, especially if you love wine. One of the best cities to visit for great wine is Beaune, just a short train ride from Dijon. While Dijon has grown enormously in the past few decades, Beaune has remained a fairly small, exclusive town. On this note, watch out because the town is a fairly expensive place to stay, so I would recommend just visiting for the day.
Beaune is also the home of some of the best Burgundy wines in the area. Burgundy wines heavier, full-bodied wines usually made from the pinot noir grapes. If you want to do a wine tasting, which I would recommend, there are plenty of choices in Beaune.
Finally, do not miss a trip to the Hôtel-Dieu, a 15th century hospital located in Beaune. Its brightly colored tiled roof is one of the most magnificent sites in the area. Unfortunately, you can only see them from inside the hospital that you need to pay a fee to enter. Also inside the hospital, you can see an amazing painting called the Last Judgment by Rogier van der Weyden.