250km (155 miles) SE of Paris; 76km (47 miles) NW of Beaune
Saulieu is interesting, but its food put it on the international map. The town (pop. 3,000) has enjoyed a reputation for cooking since the 17th century and is one of France’s Sites Remarquables du Goût for its Fête du Charolais (festival of Charolais cows) in August; a food festival, Les Journées Gourmandes, also takes place here at the end of May. If you’re in town on Thursday or Saturday morning, take a stroll around the market then have a drink in the Café Parisien, 4 rue du Marché (www.cafeparisien.net), the oldest cafe in Burgundy (1832) and a historic monument.
The main sight is the 12th-century Basilique St-Andoche, pl. Docteur Roclore, which has some interesting decorated capitals. Next door, in the Musée François-Pompon (tel. 03-80-64-19-51; 3€ adults, free for children 12 and under; Apr–Sept Mon 10am–12:30pm, Wed–Sat 10am–12:30pm and 2–6pm, Sun 10:30am–noon and 2:30–5pm; Oct–Dec and Mar Mon 10am–12:30pm, Wed–Sat 10am–12:30pm and 2–5:30pm, Sun 10:30am–noon and 2:30–5pm, closed Jan and Feb), you can see works by François Pompon (d. 1933), the well-known sculptor of animals; his large statue of a bull stands on a plaza off the N6 at the entrance to town. Also in the museum are archaeological remnants from the Gallo-Roman era, sacred medieval art, and a room dedicated to France’s great chefs including Bernard Loiseau.