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Bourgogne or Burgundy, located in central France, is considered the "heart" of the country. The name of the region comes from the Burgundians, an ancient Germanic people who settled in the area during the early Middle Ages. Originally, the region was dominated by the Romans, forming part of Gallia Lugdunensis (Celtic Gaul). When the Germanic tribe came and established the first Kingdom of Bourgogne in the 5th century, the region became a rich asset that incited several conquerors to action. At one time, there were four Burgundies, parts of which extended to modern-day Switzerland! Indeed, in the Middle Ages, Burgundy was the great dukedom that rivalled in power and prestige the kingdom of France itself.
Today, the Burgundy region is composed of 4 French departments. Northern Burgundy is home to Yonne (89), capital Auxerre , a rolling agricultural area bordering on the outer fringes of the Paris region. To the west, Nièvre (58), capital Nevers , is a hilly department that includes the highest peak of the Morvan hills and a large part of the Morvan regional nature park. The Côte-d'Or department (21), around Dijon , is both hilly and flat while Saône & Loire (71) in the south of the region showcases flat valleys.
Each department boasts rich culinary delight, historic monuments and beautiful landscapes. Not just a wine region, Burgundy highlights include the Hospices de Beaune with its dazzling tiled roof, l'Abbaye de Fontenay and the Romanesque basilica at Vézelay. The monastery of Cluny is breathtaking, not to mention castles such as Cormatin and Ancy-le-Franc. Picturesque medieval villages with timber-framed houses, cobbled streets and fortified gateways dot the region, along with superb museums like the Museum of Beaux-Arts, which contains the finest collection of paintings and sculptures outside of Paris. For nature lovers, take a canoe on one of the lovely lakes in the Morvan forest, or simply glide down the canals in a leisurely boat.
Explore the varied cities of Burgundy when staying with Campanile hotels!