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Former French Region (until 2015)
Flag of the former Burgundy region
Coat of arms of the former Burgundy region
Nord-Pas-de-Calais Picardie Champagne-Ardenne Lothringen Elsass Haute-Normandie Basse-Normandie Bretagne Centre-Val de Loire Ile-de-France Burgund Franche-Comté Pays de la Loire Poitou-Charentes Limousin Aquitanien Midi-Pyrénées Languedoc-Roussillon Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Korsika Andorra Monaco Liechtenstein Österreich Luxemburg Belgien Niederlande Vereinigtes Königreich Deutschland Schweiz Italien Guernsey Jersey SpanienLocation of the former Burgundy region in France
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Basic data
Today part of Bourgogne-Franche-Comté
Administrative headquarters Dijon

 - total January 1, 2018
 - density

1,628,737 inhabitants
51.6 inhabitants per km²


 - total
 - share in France :

31,582 km²

Departments 4th
Arrondissements 15th
Cantons 174
Municipalities 2,046
Formerly ISO 3166-2 code FR-D

The Burgundy ( French Bourgogne [ buʀˈgɔɲ ]) is a landscape in the center of France . From 1956 to 2015 it was an independent region, consisting of the departments Côte-d'Or , Nièvre , Saône-et-Loire and Yonne . It had an area of ​​31,582 km² and 1,628,737 inhabitants (as of January 1, 2018). The capital was Dijon . The Burgundy region merged with the Franche-Comté region to form Bourgogne-Franche-Comté .


In the east, Burgundy borders on the Franche-Comté region , in the north on Champagne-Ardenne and Île-de-France . To the west lies the Center-Val de Loire region , while the Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes regions border in the south .

With the Morvan , a foothill of the Massif Central , Burgundy has a share in the old crystalline areas. Otherwise, Mesozoic sediments (mostly from the Jura) form the bedrock. On the eastern flank, fractures lead to the Saône furrow.

The Burgundian Gate as the name of the natural valley between the Vosges and the Jura does not border on today's Burgundy region, but on the Free County and thus refers to the name assigned to historically different areas.


Physical map of Burgundy
Burgundia as part of the Franconian Empire at the time of the Merovingians

The history of today's French region of Burgundy is to be distinguished from the complex development of the different areas, whose name has been linked at certain times with the name of the East Germanic tribe of the Burgundians since the time of the Great Migration ; Today's region is a geographically and culturally grown unit with a core area in the Saône Basin, which largely corresponds to the Duchy of Burgundy , which existed from the 10th century to the French Revolution , the only large geographical unit that still refers to this tradition by name. The following relates largely to this area, but the delimitation of the historical region over 1500 years was as flexible as that of hardly any other European region.

Early history

Today's region was already inhabited by people in the Paleolithic . Finds on the rock of Solutré indicate that it dates back to around 15,000 BC. After a dense settlement. But already at the time of the Neanderthals and the first modern humans around 40,000 years ago, more and more sites can be found, for example the Grottes-de-la-Verpillière I and II near Germolles, Mellecey .

From the 6th century BC Until the arrival of the Romans , the Celtic culture of the Gauls was predominant, mainly represented by the Haedu and the Mandubians , who are mentioned in Caesar's De bello Gallico . Important settlements of the tribes were Bibracte near today's Autun and Alesia near Dijon.

Roman times

Around 59 BC The Romans defeated the Helvetii and other Gallic tribes under Caesar at Bibracte (today Saint-Léger-sous-Beuvray ), on Mont Beuvray , between Autun and Le Creusot . In 52 BC The Romans, again under Caesar, defeated the Gallic uprising under Vercingetorix at Alesia , today's Alise-Sainte-Reine . This was followed by the incorporation of Gaul into the Roman Empire and the slow linguistic and cultural Romanization of its inhabitants.

Around 43 BC Chr. Was Augustodunum ( Autun ) was founded. Viticulture began in the region around 280 .

After the battle of the Catalaunian fields in 451, the Burgundians - coming from the north - settled in the region with the tolerance of the Romans. However, the capital of the Burgundian Empire was initially Genava ( Geneva ).

Part of the Franconian Empire

Since 534, the name Burgundia has referred to a Franconian partial empire ( Kingdom of Burgundy ), which was cut into an eastern and a western half in the Treaty of Verdun in 843 when the Franconian Empire was divided up: In the east (largely around Lake Geneva) it was created new Kingdom of Burgundy (Hochburgund), in the west a French feudal duchy , which is the starting point for today's region.

Duchy and Province

The Duchy of Burgundy was ruled from 1032 to 1361 by a sideline of the French royal family, the Capetians ( Elder House of Burgundy ). In 1363 it passed to Philipp von Valois , who founded the House of Burgundy as a side line of the French royal family of the Valois . This House of Burgundy relied on extensive territorial expansion, which led to the formation of an intermediate empire between France and the Holy Roman Empire, the southern part of which was the old Duchy of Burgundy and at times the Free County and the northern part of which was the Netherlands . After the death of the last male duke from the House of Valois, Charles the Bold , in the Burgundian Wars (1477), this rulership complex was divided. The Habsburgs secured by marrying Maximilians with the hereditary daughter Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy , the (commercial) most significant parts of the kingdom, especially Flanders and the free county. The duchy itself, on the other hand, i.e. the western part of the Burgundian core area, was withdrawn from the French crown as a fiefdom , since the ducal dignity had fallen to the daughter of Charles the Bold, Mary of Burgundy. The duchy was not re-awarded during the entire Ancien Régime , but belonged to the autocracy of the French crown. However, it did not become part of the Domaine royal , but remained self-governing as a province with its own parliament .

Dissolution after the French Revolution (1790)

The duchy was dissolved after the French Revolution in the course of the division of the state into departments in 1790; with him the name Burgundy for a political-administrative unit disappeared.

Igamie Dijon (1948–1964)

Map of the Igamien established in 1948 with Dijon (steel blue) in the central east

After the Second World War, on March 21, 1948, some of the departments of France were combined into larger territorial alliances, the so-called Igamien , under the supervision of a special envoy of the central government (acronym: IGAME) . Among them was the Igamie Dijon, which comprised the eight departments that later became the French regions of Bourgogne and Franche-Comté, thus abolishing the administrative separation between the western and eastern core areas of Burgundy for the first time since the early Middle Ages. The igamy lasted until 1964.

French Region (1956-2015)

When France was divided into program regions in 1956, four departments formed the region of Burgundy (Bourgogne) within its current boundaries. In 1972 the region received the status of an établissement public under the direction of a regional prefect. Through the decentralization laws of 1982, the Burgundy region also received the status of a collectivité territoriale ( territorial body ), which until then had only been owned by the municipalities and the départements . In 1986 the regional council of the Burgundy region was elected directly for the first time. Since then, the region's powers vis-à-vis the central government in Paris have been gradually expanded.

The region has had a regional partnership with the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate since 1962, which was institutionalized with the CRB House Burgundy in Mainz. The Prime Minister Kurt Beck was declared an honorary citizen of Burgundy in 2012 on the 50th anniversary of the partnership.

On January 1, 2016, the Burgundy region merged with the neighboring Franche-Comté region to form the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region .

coat of arms

Blason for Bourgogne.svg

Description : The coat of arms is quartered ; Field 1 and 4 sprinkled with gold lilies on blue and a red and white Twelver denomination in board (Neuburgund) , and the other fields (2,3) and three blue oblique beams in gold, with red board (Altburgund) .

The coat of arms goes back to the two Burgundian houses, the older and the younger.


The most populous cities in the Burgundy region are:

city Inhabitants (year) Department
Dijon 156,854 (2018) Côte-d'Or
Chalon-sur-Saône 044,810 (2018) Saône-et-Loire
Nevers 033,279 (2018) Nièvre
Auxerre 034,764 (2018) Yonne
Mâcon 033,810 (2018) Saône-et-Loire
Sens 026,586 (2018) Yonne
Le Creusot 021,491 (2018) Saône-et-Loire
Beaune 020,711 (2018) Côte-d'Or
Montceau-les-Mines 017,897 (2018) Saône-et-Loire
Autun 013,157 (2018) Saône-et-Loire

Political structure

The Bourgogne region has been administered by a President of the Regional Council since 1986 and is divided into four departments :

Department prefecture ISO 3166-2 Arrondissements Cantons Municipalities Inhabitants (year) Area
(inh / km²)
Côte-d'Or Dijon FR-21 3 43 706 533,220 (2018) 8,763 60.8
Nièvre Nevers FR-58 4th 32 312 205,828 (2018) 6,817 30.2
Saône-et-Loire Mâcon FR-71 5 57 573 552,185 (2018) 8,575 64.4
Yonne Auxerre FR-89 3 42 455 337,504 (2018) 7,427 45.4

Economy and Infrastructure

Haute Côte de Nuits vineyards

Burgundy is an agricultural region that is world-famous for its red wines from the wine regions Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune as well as for the white wines from the Mâconnais and Chablis (see Burgundy (wine) ). In addition, livestock is farmed in Burgundy ; Charolais cattle and Bresse chickens are typical of the region . In South Burgundy, on the border with Auvergne , there are still some old oil mills for nut and vegetable oils, including the oldest, historic Jean Leblanc oil mill , which is still in operation today.

Landscape with Charolais cows

The industry in Burgundy is developed only weakly, despite its location and focuses mainly in the area around Dijon. The metal industry around Le Creusot , which flourished in the 19th century, has become meaningless. Today there are many medium-sized plastics processing companies in the area around Dijon due to the proximity to a large chemical plant in Tavaux, which itself belongs to the Franche-Comté region. In Chalon-sur-Saône there is an electrical industry and considerable shipbuilding, including for submarines . The ships are brought to the Mediterranean via the Saône and the Rhône.

In comparison with the GDP of the European Union , expressed in purchasing power standards , the region achieved an index of 94.8 in 2006 (EU-27 = 100).

The main traffic routes for the national road, the A6 Paris -Burgund- Provence , A31 Metz-Nancy-Burgundy-Lyon and A36 Mulhouse-Burgundy-Lyon, the main national railway lines are the LGV Sud-Est ( Paris - Le Creusot - Mâcon - Lyon ) and the LGV Rhin-Rhône (Dijon - Besançon - Belfort - Mulhouse ). There are over 1000 km of navigable waterways.

Cultural monuments

Romanesque church in Ameugny near Taizé (Saône-et-Loire)

In addition to numerous sacred buildings, there are many palaces and castles in Burgundy, which are widely scattered in the rather rural heart of France .

The important churches and monasteries include:

The exact number of palaces, castles and fortresses is difficult to determine; the information on this varies between 400 and 700. Particularly well-known castles and fortresses are:

Sights also include:


Burgundy is mentioned in the Nibelungenlied with numerous figures, some of them historically inspired . There, however, the Burgundy landscape described here is not meant, but the Burgundy .


  • Heinz-Joachim Gund: Burgundy. Artemis, Munich / Zurich 1987, ISBN 3-7608-0795-X .
  • Klaus Bussmann : Burgundy. Art, history, landscape. Castles, monasteries and cathedrals in the heart of France ... (= DuMont art travel guide). 12th edition. DuMont, Cologne 1992, ISBN 3-7701-0846-9 .
  • Sibylle Lauth: Art monuments in Burgundy. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2004, ISBN 3-534-14908-4 .
  • Michaela Spaar: Burgundy. Almundo, Zurich 2005, ISBN 3-9523040-2-6 (travel reader on economy, culture and technology).
  • Hermann Kamp : Burgundy. History and culture. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53614-4 .
  • Norman Davies : Burgundy. Five, six or seven kingdoms (around 411–1795). In: ders .: Disappeared empires. The history of forgotten Europe. Theiss, Darmstadt 2013, ISBN 978-3-8062-2758-1 , pp. 101–171 (title of the original English edition: Vanished Kingdoms - The History of Half Forgotten Europ. London 2011 (review) ).
  • Ulrike Laule: Burgundy. Art - landscape - architecture. Photographs by Achim Bednorz . Edited by Rolf Toman . Ullmann, Potsdam 2015, ISBN 978-3-8480-0841-4 .
  • Klaus Simon: Burgundy. 4th, updated edition. DuMont, Ostfildern 2017, ISBN 978-3-7701-7427-0 .
  • Harm von Seggern: History of the Burgundian Netherlands. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 2018.

Web links

Commons : Bourgogne  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Burgundy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wikivoyage: Burgundy  travel guide

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Project Germolles ( Memento from April 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) of the Institute for Pre- and Protohistory at the University of Tübingen, April 2013.
  2. ↑ In addition Ulrich Erdmann: The Celts in Burgundy. Historical and archaeological overview. Reichert, Wiesbaden 2012, ISBN 978-3-89500-928-0 and ders .: Roman traces in Burgundy. An archaeological guide. Reichert, Wiesbaden 2004, ISBN 3-89500-352-2 .
  3. Prime Minister is the new honorary citizen of Burgundy . ( Memento from October 29, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) In: Rheinland-Pfalz.de. from July 5, 2012.
  4. Regional GDP per inhabitant in the EU27. (PDF; 360 kB) Eurostat press release 23/2009
  5. ^ Hermann Kamp : Burgundy. History and culture. Beck, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-53614-4 , chapter The land of churches and monasteries , pp. 48–60.

Coordinates: 47 ° 15 '  N , 4 ° 9'  E