Burgundy considers itself the heart of France, a prosperous region with world-renowned wine, earthy but excellent
cuisine and magnificent architecture.
Franche-Comté to the east combines gentle farmland with lofty alpine forests.
Under the Duke of Valois, Burgundy was France's most powerful rival, with territory extending well beyond its present
By the 16th century, however, the duchy was ruled by governors appointed by the French king, but it still managed to keep its privileges and traditions.
Once a part of Burgundy, Franche-Comté -the Free County- struggled to remain independent of the French crown, and was a province of the Holy Roman Empire until annexed by Louis XIV in 1674.
Burgundy, now as in the past, is a wealthy region, a centre of medieval religious faith which produced Romanesque
masterpieces at Vézelay, Fontenay and Cluny.
Dijon is a spendid city, filled with the great palaces of the old Burgundian nobility and a collection of great paintings and sculptures in the Musée des Beaux-Arts.
The vineyard of the Côte d'Or, the Côte de Beaune and Châblis yield some of the world's most venerated
Other richly varied landscapes - from the wild forests of the Morvan to the lush farmland of the Brionnais - produce snails, Bresse chicken and Charolais beef.
Franche-Comté has none of this opulence, though its capital, Besançon, is an elegant 17th-century city with a tradition of clockmaking. Topographically the France-Comté is divided into two, with gently rolling farmland in the Saône valley and high Alpine scenery to the east.
This forest country of Alpine brooks filled with trout is also the home of great cheeses, notably Vacherin and Comté, and of the characteristic yellow wine of Arbois.
Discover The Route of the Dukes of Burgundy