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(dēzhôN`), city (1990 pop. 151,636), capital of Côte-d'Or dept., E France, the old capital of BurgundyBurgundy
, Fr. Bourgogne , historic region, E France. The name once applied to a large area embracing several kingdoms, a free county (see Franche-Comté), and a duchy.
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. It is a transportation hub and industrial center with food, metal-products, and electronics industries. Its mustard and cassis (black currant liqueur) are famous, and Dijon is also an important shipper of Burgundy wine. It is at least equally noteworthy for its art treasures.

Founded in ancient times, Dijon flourished when the rulers of Burgundy made it their residence (11th cent.); after Burgundy was reunited with France (late 15th cent.), Dijon remained a thriving cultural center. The orator and writer BossuetBossuet, Jacques Bénigne
, 1627–1704, French prelate, one of the greatest orators in French history. At an early age he was made a canon at Metz; he became bishop of Condom and was (1670–81) tutor to the dauphin (father of Louis XV), for whom he wrote his
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 and the composer RameauRameau, Jean Philippe
, 1683–1764, French composer and theorist. He was organist at the cathedral in Clermont and at Notre Dame de Dijon. In the early part of his career his wrote two treatises on harmony (1722, 1726) in which he introduced the important and influential
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 were among the noted figures born in the city. Dijon Univ. was founded in 1722. RousseauRousseau, Jean Jacques
, 1712–78, Swiss-French philosopher, author, political theorist, and composer. Life and Works

Rousseau was born at Geneva, the son of a Calvinist watchmaker.
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's prizewinning essay written for the Academy of Dijon in 1749 made him famous.

Among the city's art treasures are the funeral statues of the dukes of Burgundy by Claus SluterSluter, Claus
, d. 1406, Flemish sculptor, probably of Dutch extraction, active in Burgundy. Under Philip the Bold of Burgundy he had charge of the sculptural works for the porch of the Chartreuse of Champmol, near Dijon; there stands his pedestal for a Calvary—the
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 and his disciples, housed in the town hall, originally the 12th-century ducal palace. Noted buildings in Dijon include the Cathedral of St. Bénigne (13th–14th cent.), the Church of Notre Dame (13th cent., in Burgundian Gothic), St. Michael's Church (Renaissance), the Hôtel Aubriot (14th cent.; now containing a museum of Burgundian folklore), and the palace of justice (15th–16th cent.), which once housed the powerful parliament of Burgundy. A 1990s building campaign has produced modern foci like the new performing arts center.

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in central France. Administrative center of Côte-d’Or Department. Ancient capital and economic center of Burgundy. Population, 145,000 (1968; including suburbs, 184,000). Port on the Burgundy Canal; railroad junction. Dijon has mechanical engineering, chemical, food, and woodworking industries and is famous as a center for the production of Burgundy wines. Its university was founded in 1722.

The architectural monuments of Dijon include the Cathedral of St. Benigne (crypt, tenth to 11th centuries, upper Gothic church, 1281-1325), the Romanesque Church of St. Philibert (12th century), the Gothic Church of Notre Dame (13th century) and the Renaissance Church of St. Michel (1499-1530); the palace of the dukes of Burgundy (14th to 18th centuries), which now houses the town hall and the Museum of Fine Arts; the ruins of the Champmol Monastery (1383-88), with its sculptures by Claus Sluter; the Palace of Justice (15th to 16th centuries); and the classical private residence Boue de Lanthane (1759).


Boireau, R.-L. Guide pratique: Dijon et la Côte-d’Or. Dijon, 1954.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a city in E France: capital of the former duchy of Burgundy. Pop.: 149 867 (1999)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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