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Burgundy: the region which is the heart of France

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Burgundy is a historical region of France, located in the central-eastern part of the country, between the Massif Central and the plain where the Saone (Saône) river flows. The region is the heart of France thanks to its location north of the Rhone valley and south of the Champagne region.

The region is made up of four departments: Yonne (89) with the capital Auxerre, Côte-d’Or (21) with the capital Dijon, Nièvre (58) with the capital Nevers, and Saône-et-Loire (71) with the capital Mâcon. With the 2016 regional reform it was united with Franche-Comté to form the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region.

The territory of Burgundy is characterized by hilly areas sparsely inhabited rich in woods and greenery. The highest point in the region is Haut-Folin (901 meters) which is located in the Morvan massif.

Agriculture is rather developed, where cereals, fruit and vines are grown. The region is in fact one of the most important wine areas in France. But breeding also plays a role of some importance.


Tourism is an important source of income for Burgundy. Attractions for tourists are, in addition to the numerous historical and artistic places (in particular Romanesque and Gothic buildings), also gastronomy and excellent wines. The rural landscape of Burgundy is fascinating thanks to its wealth of hills that produce excellent wines. Cities to visit include Tournus, Beaune, Autun, Dijon, Auxerre, Nevers.

In Burgundy there are some sites declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Madeleine church of Vézelay, a 12th century monastic church, a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture from Burgundy and the Cistercian abbey of Fontenay. Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site are the sites of the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in France (Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle en France), three of which are located in the region (the prieural church Sainte- Croix-Notre-Dame in La Charité-sur-Loire, the church of Saint-Jacques d’Asquins in Asquins, and the ancient abbey church Sainte-Madeleine in Vézelay).

  • Area: 31.582 km².
  • Population: 1,685,000 (2006).
  • Capital: Dijon.



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