Welcome in Bourgogne Franche-Comté
As a land of Romanesque art, its exceptional heritage makes it a perfect destination for lovers of preserved landscapes. Well-known for its tradition in watchmaking and automobile construction, this region is also developing a culinary tradition much appreciated worldwide. Its border area is protected by numerous castles and fortifications, reinforcing the touristic interest, thus making the region of Burgundy Franche Comté unique.
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Region Bourgogne Franche Comté
A administrative region located in the northeast quarter of France, bordering the regions Grand Est to the north, Île-de-France and Centre-Val de Loire to the west, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes to the south, and sharing a border with Switzerland to the east. This region, composed of 8 departments, is the result of the merger of 2 former regions following the last territorial reform.
Panorama of Burgundy Franche Comté's heritage
Monuments, sites and labels
From the hill of Vézelay to Vauban's fortifications in Besançon, from Le Corbusier's chapel in Ronchamp to the great Saline of Salins and even the specific climates of the Burgundy vineyards, all these sites of the region are registered on the prestigious list of the Unesco's World Heritage. The border area has also been protected for many years by the castles and the fortifications, offering an abundant and varied heritage to the region.
Listed historical monuments
The region of Burgundy Franche Comté counts more than 3.600 protected edifices, in several categories, with the title of Historic Monuments. Dolmens, caves, churches, cathedrals, ancient border markers, calvaries, buildings, castles, mansions, old wash houses, fountains, remains of palafittes villages, arenas and Gallo-Roman theater, military vestiges, art structures, the list is long. To find out more, click HERE.
Art, history, traditions, memory, archeology
More than 100 museums are waiting for you through the 8 departments of the region, attracting about 2 million visitors per year. You will have the chance to discover collections on diverse topics like fine arts, archeology, history, sciences, wildlife, technology or ethnology, watch-making, eco-museums, etc... to find out the entire list please click on the link HERE.
Here are some key figures of the regional heritage
The heritage, whether it is remarkable or more modest, is a part of the policy of the region which makes every effort to preserve it, enhance it, restore it and promote it. The primary objective is to raise awareness of the locations and sites that may contribute essentially to the territory's identity. In all there are 3,600 protected buildings, 12 in the UNESCO patrimony, 15 cities of art and history, 50 charmy towns, some 30 remarkable gardens and 102 museums of France.
The 8 departments of the Burgundy and Franche Comté regions
The ancient region of Burgundy includes 4 departments, much appreciated by all gourmets and wine lovers, it is also a lovely location for nature and old stone fans. Visitors to this beautiful country region will be enchanted by the peaceful bocages, the vineyards, the mysterious forests, the lakes, the waterways and the rich built heritage. Endowed with such a diversity, Burgundy has certainly many assets to attract visitors and to offer everyone the pleasure they expect to get out of their vacations in this country.
Department of the Côte d'Or (21)
Vercingetorix and Julius Caesar are the main actors of its history, dating back several millennia, but we shouldn't forget the brave Charles the Bold who has fought for the independence of this land. The history has also left an exceptional patrimony and some beautiful medieval villages. We must add to Burgundy 2 other important attractions that you should enjoy. The first is a rich natural and landscape heritage to explore by all means at your convenience, on foot, by bike or on the water. The second one is its world famous culinary heritage, such as the Burgundy snails, the Dijon mustard, the blackcurrant liqueur, the Flavigny aniseed, but also the world renowned wines of the hospices of Beaune and of Nuits.
Department of Saône et Loire (71)
Located in the south of Burgundy, Saône and Loire offers up to 300km of waterways, numerous Romanesque churches, castles, a unique greenway and special gastronomic products such as Charolais beef, Bresse poultry and the wines of the Maconnais. The landscape is dotted with water ways, forests, hedgerows and vineyards, thus making all happy. This place is also known for bicycle and walking enthusiasts who enjoy the greenway through the department and the regional natural park of Morvan. In addition to all these assets, the area is also rich in cultural heritage, including splendid Romanesque churches, superb castles, antique vestiges and cities of art and history.
Department of Nièvre (58)
A land full of history and traditions, of water and greenery, Nièvre encourages the nature lovers to discover the wild forests of Morvan, the lakes and the ponds. Formerly the province of Nivernais, it is a major destination for tourists interested in nature, with its peaceful bocage countryside, where Charolais cows graze peacefully. Rich in a secular heritage, the department will delight culture and architecture buffs, offering a large variety of discoveries, from the city of Art and History of Nevers to the Cluniac priory of La Charité-sur-Loire and the castle of Bazoches. Many leisure activities are available for the sportsmen: Cyclists, runners, hikers or for walking in family, in short for all the fans of outdoor activities.
Department of Yonne (89)
With varied landscapes that alternate between the vineyards of Chablis, the forest of Morvan, green pastures, hedged farmland and waterways, the department of Yonne also offers the opportunity to discover the medieval city of Auxerre, the Romanesque basilica of Vézelay, the Gothic cathedral of Sens and the renaissance castles of Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay In the heart of Burgundy. Only 1 hour from Paris, Yonne offers a variety of attractions that combine nature, culture and the art of living. Auxerre, classified as a city of Art and History, offers more than 35 historical monuments to visit! Within the area there are small cities and charming villages with old Burgundian houses.
The Franche Comté
Franche-Comté is a former region now grouped with Burgundy, which is also made up of 4 departments. The plateau of the Thousand Ponds, the region of the Lakes or the Vosges massif have plenty to enchant the lovers of the outdoor activities. As for the gastronomy of the Franc-Comté region, it is a a delightful taste experience, with specialties such as Comté cheese, Morteau sausage, cancoillotte, coq au vin and potée comtoise.
Department of Doubs (25)
The region has a lot to reveal thanks to its forests lined with hiking trails and its pretty and charming villages. The Doubs is composed of very varied landscapes alternating between plains, plateaus, deep valleys, rivers, waterfalls, lakes and wooded mountains. Its architectural heritage is also very interesting, like the famous citadel of Besançon, the royal saltworks of Arc-et-Senans, the castle of Joux, the city of Montbéliard or the city of Ornans. A short break in the Doubs will give you the opportunity to taste the culinary specialties of the region, like Comté cheese and the sausages produced in Morteau or Montbéliard.
Department of Jura (39)
The origins of the Jura Massif lie in the name given to the Jurassic period, where history began at least 200 million years ago. Today, the singularity of the landscapes reveals the times crossed, at least eventful. Today the region is an oasis of greenery, composed of marvelous landscapes decorated with fir forest, mountain pastures, lakes and waterfalls. The built heritage of the Jura and its delicious gastronomic specialties are to be discovered, towns and villages, famous vineyards offering a beautiful variety of wines, tasty cheeses, diverse handcrafts, so many assets and wealth that make the Jura a popular destination for the lovers of gastronomy and exploration.
Department of Nièvre (58)
The region of the Nièvre has all the interest to develop green tourism. Covered with forests, rivers, as well as vast green spaces and the plateau of the Thousand Ponds, that' s the image that can be drawn of the Haute Saône department, also called " the green island ". Situated between the Vosges massif to the north and the Jura mounts to the south, it is one of the largest wooded regions in France. The number of rivers in the area is a real paradise for flora and fauna, as well as for lovers of freshwater sports, while the ponds provide an undeniable feeling of freshness in an entirely green landscape.
Department of the Territory of Belfort
For sure, this is the smallest region of France, outside of Paris, however this is not a handicap for the Territoire de Belfort as it offers various touristic alternatives to its guests. You should, naturally, go and discover the city of Belfort with its Citadel, the flowery villages, the Malsaucy lake and even the Alsace balloon. This territory straddles 2 large regions (Burgundy Franche Comté and the Grand Est) and 4 departments (Territoire de Belfort, Vosges, Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône), which means it is a land of adventure where you can take a deep breath of fresh air in a natural setting. For gourmets, the area invites you to taste the potée comtoise, or the local specialty, the ballon shoulder of lamb.
Arthel, a village of Nivernais
Nestled in the heart of the gentle countryside of the Nivernais, the village, ranked as one of the most beautiful in France, is much appreciated by the painters. Its cultural heritage is of high value, you will discover the magnificent Feudal castle of La Motte and that of Apremont with its park. The flowered streets of the village, along with the old houses, will seduce you for sure, features which give to this small locality its charm.
Castle of Ratilly in the Yonne
In the village of Treigny Perreuse Sainte Colombe in Yonne department, the castle of Ratilly reveals its medieval architecture in the preserved lands of Puisaye. This remarquable edifice from the 13th century, erects its majestic towers and preserves in the guard room a splendid renaissance chimney and a magnificent dovecote equipped with a charming rotating wooden ladder.
Buffon Museum and Park in Côte d'Or
The little town of Montbard is famous for its beautiful park designed by Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon, the great naturalist. In the 18th century, the park was created on 14 scenic terraces in a natural setting overlooking the town and the Bremen Valley. The access to the park is free of charge, allowing visitors to admire the gardens, which are closely related to the castle's past and the remains of the ancient fortress of the dukes of Burgundy.
Flavigny sur Ozerain in Côte d'Or
Built on a hill, at 420m of altitude, the charming village seems to watch over the green countryside of the Auxois. It is here that, back in 52 BC, Julius Caesar had his headquarters ready to lay the siege of Alesia. A village classified, with narrow streets, paved, passing alongside the ramparts, decorated of beautiful residences. By visiting the 8th century Benedictine abbey of Saint Pierre, you will discover the carolingian crypt.
Rogny the Seven Locks in Yonne
The village of Rogny the Sept Écluses, at the entrance to the Puisaye in Bourgogne, houses an exceptional structure built in the 17th century on the Briare canal so as to connect the Loire to the Seine. The work required all of the architects' ingenuity, and it has taken 34 years to build the scale of the 7 locks of Rogny (from 1608 to 1642) to get over the 24m difference in elevation. During 2 and a half centuries ( from 1642 to 1880), the structure was active, and today it is classified as a historical monument.
Castle of Chastellux in the Yonne
Perched on a rocky promontory overlooking the Cure in the eponymous village in Yonne, this is one of the oldest fortresses in Morvan. A magnificent medieval complex housed in a verdant setting, flanked by 8 towers, reshaped and embellished on many occasions since the 11th century. Now it is the Count Philippe de Chastellux personally who will guide you through his domain.
Châtillon-sur-Seine, city of Côte d'Or
As the first city crossed by the river Seine, Châtillon-sur-Seine in the Côte-d'Or, lies at the foot of a hill with the ruins of a fortified castle. It possesses a beautiful medieval heritage and the museum houses the famous "Crater of Vix" which is found inside the grave of a celtic princess. The church of St. Vorles, a jewel of Romanesque art, and the church of St. Nicolas, both classified as historical monuments, are also worth a visit.
Lake of Pannecières in Nièvre
Located on the communes of Chaumard and Ouroux in Morvan, it is an artificial lake covering 520 hectares. Built between 1937 and 1949, to regulate the flow of river Seine following the floods of Paris, it is currently a nice destination for fishing, a quiet, peaceful place in a setting of wooded hills. It is also a favorite place for hiking, horse riding and biking lovers who can enjoy it to the fullest.
Semur in Brionnais Saône-et-Loire
The village of Semur captivates with its pink ochre colors, its splendid Roman church of 12th century, its castle and the ancient homes. It is so beautiful that it is classified in 3 different distinctions : the most beautiful villages of France, the Cluny sites and the great sites of Burgundy. The village is built at the top of a rocky hill at 400m height, on the site of a fortified place dating back to the 11th century, of which they remain some traces of fortifications.
The Cure valley in Yonne
The Cure, a tributary of the Yonne, meanders through the wooded valley of Avallonnais passing under 3 bridges in the picturesque village of Pierre Perthuis. One of the bridges, the Ternos, was featured in a scene from the movie La Grande Vadrouille. The Cure valley has many interesting places to visit, like the typical village of Arcy sur Cure with its prehistoric caves, including the Grande grotte which houses some exceptional cave paintings. The Chastenay manor is equally worthy of a detour.