Bourgogne Franche Comté

Bourgogne former administrative region

This page was updated on: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at: 4:02 pm

Bourgogne - Burgundy

Clos Vougeot vineyard in Bourgogne


Bourgogne is part of Bourgone-Franche-Comté, one of the 13 new regions created by the territorial reform that took effect on January 1, 2016.

Historic Bourgogne became an administrative region during the 20th century.

It includes 4 departments:

Côte d'Or (21 - Dijon), Nièvre (58 - Nevers), Saône-et-Loire (71 - Mâcon) and Yonne (89 - Auxerre)

Dijon is its administrative center or préfecture.

The other major cities are Chalon-sur-Saône, Nevers, Auxerre, Mâcon, Sens, Le Creusot, Beaune, Montceau-les-Mines and Autun.

Creation of the Kingdom of Bourgogne

The Burgundians left their name to the region.

The Germanic tribe invaded present day French-speaking Switzerland and the south-east of France after the fall of the Roman Empire, in the late 5th century AD.

Saline royale d'Arc-et-Senans in Bourgogne

Saline royale d'Arc-et-Senans

However, the Franks annexed their territory to the Kingdom of France in 534AD.

It became then known as Regnum Burundi - Kingdom of Burgundy, present day Bourgogne.

The region later became part of the Holy Roman Empire ruled by Charlemagne.

Treaty of Verdun of 843AD divided Charlemagne's Empire into three kingdoms between his three grandsons.

The Duché de Bourgogne was founded in 880AD and was a feudal fief of the Kingdom of France; its capital was Dijon.

It was attached to France in 1477.

It corresponds roughly the current Bourgogne (less the department of Nièvre).

Geography and economy

The northern and eastern parts of the region consists of vast plains.

The center is a region of limestone plateaus, a region of renowned vineyards.

Hospices de Beaune in Bourgogne

Hospices de Beaune

However, it is also a region of forests such as Morvan, an ancient forest massif, today classified as a regional natural park.

The south stretches at the foothills of the Massif Central; Mâconnais is dedicated to polyculture, breeding and of course wine-making!

60% of the land is devoted to agriculture and specialized in the cultivation of cereals and oil seeds; this sector employs 5% of the population.

Bourgogne is the second French producer of cattle and is renowned for the the quality of the Charolais meat.

Viticulture has a major place.

The vineyards cover nearly 31,000 hectares of land in the Beaune, Chalon, Mâcon, Chablis and Beaujolais areas.

Bourgogne is sparsely populated.

The bulk of the population is concentrated along the axes of communication - Valley of the Saône from Chalon-sur-Saône to Mâcon and of course in the capital Dijon.

The region is at the confluence of continental, mediterranean and oceanic climatic zones, but is mostly temperate.


The region is renowned for its gastronomy, but also for its historical and architectural heritage.

Here are a few:

Alise Sainte-Reine, site of Alesia in Bourgogne

Alise Sainte-Reine, site of Alesia

1- The site of the Battle of Alesia, where Jules Cesar besieged Vercingetorix and his warriors in 52BC.

2- The Abbey of Cluny, which in the 10th century was the largest spiritual and intellectual center of Europe.

3- La Roche de Solutré is a limestone plateau that overlooks Solutré-Pouilly, a town renowned for its Pouilly-Fuissé wine.

This site, inhabited for 55000 years, has unveiled  a wealth of artefacts; these led archaeologists to name an epoch of the Paleolithic after it - Solutrean.

The site's calcareous soil also promotes the adaptation of a specific flora only found on the plateau.

4- The Photography Museum of Chalon-sur-Saône attracts many tourists.

The city is indeed the hometown of Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the inventor of photography!

5- Finally, the Morvan and green areas are propitious to eco-tourism.

How to get there?

Bourgogne is in the Rhône-Rhin axis and is therefore traversed by an important road network.

The TGV connects Dijon to Paris, Lausanne, Berne, Montpellier and Marseille.

The LGV Rhine-Rhône, connects Dijon to the rest of Europe!

Area:31 582 km21
Population: 641 130 (2012)

Photos via Wikimedia Commons: Hospice de Beaune No machine-readable author provided. Arnaud 25 assumed (based on copyright claims) is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0Clos Vougeot by Jebulon is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 - Grand Cloitre Abbaye de Cluny by Adrian Michael is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 - Alesia by PIERRE ANDRE LECLERCQ is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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