One of the most historic buildings in this ancient province is the Palais des Ducs et des Etats de Bourgogne, which symbolizes the independent (or semi-independent, depending on the era) status of this fertile region. Capped with an elaborate tile roof, the complex is arranged around a trio of courtyards. The oldest section, only part of which you can visit, is the Ancien Palais des Ducs de Bourgogne, erected in the 14th and 15th centuries. The newer section is the Palais des Etats de Bourgogne, constructed in the 17th and 18th centuries for the Burgundian parliament; check out the Chapelle des Elus (free access via the tourist office), which dates from 1738 and was designed by Jacques Gabriel, the king’s architect. Today the palace is la mairie (the town hall); all of its newer section and much of its older section are reserved for the municipal government and not open to the public. However, there are fabulous views from the top of Tour Philippe le Bon (316 steps; days and times vary; 5€ adults) and a fine museum, the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
The Musée Archéologique, 5 rue du Docteur Maret (https://archeologie.dijon.fr; tel. 03-80-48-83-70), housed in a medieval abbey, contains finds from the area, including the abbey itself. Admission is free, and it’s open Wednesday to Monday 9am to 12:30pm and 2 to 6pm; from November to March, the museum is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday.
A medieval nunnery, L’Ancien Couvent des Bernardines, 17 rue Ste-Anne ([tel] 03-80-48-80-90), is home to two museums. The chapel holds the Musée d’Arts Sacrés (https://art-sacre.dijon.fr), devoted to art from regional churches, and the cloister contains the Musée de la Vie Bourguignonne (https://vie-bourguignonne.dijon.fr), which exhibits folkloric costumes, farm implements, and some 19th- and early-20th-century storefronts from Dijon’s center. Admission is free to both museums (Wed–Mon 9:30am–12:30pm and 2–6pm).
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