Burgundy

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Burgundy
Bourgogne
Region of France
Flag of Burgundy
Flag
Official logo of Burgundy
Logo
Bourgogne in France.svg
Country  France
Prefecture Dijon
Departments
Government
 • President François Patriat (PS)
Area
 • Total 31,582 km2 (12,194 sq mi)
Population (2008-01-01)
 • Total 1,631,000
 • Density 52/km2 (130/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
ISO 3166 code FR-D
GDP (2012)[1] Ranked 16th
Total €42.7 billion (US$55.0 bn)
Per capita €25,996 (US$33,436)
NUTS Region FR2
Website cr-bourgogne.fr

Burgundy (French: Bourgogne, IPA: [buʁ.ɡɔɲ] ( )) is an administrative and historical region of east-central France. Burgundy comprises the following four departments: Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, Yonne and Nièvre. Historically, "Burgundy" has referred to numerous political entities, including kingdoms and dukedoms spanning territory from the Mediterranean to Benelux.

Name[edit]

The name comes from the Burgundians, an ancient Germanic people originating in Bornholm who settled in the area during the early Middle Ages. The Old Norse name for Bornholm was Burgundaholmr. An example of an equivalent name in present-day Scandinavia is Borgund in Norway.[citation needed]

History[edit]

Coat of arms of the second Duchy of Burgundy and later of the province

Burgundy was inhabited in turn by Celts, Romans (Gallo-Romans), and in the 4th century, the Romans who were then allied with the Burgundians, a Germanic people possibly originating in Bornholm (Baltic Sea), who settled there and established their own kingdom. However, Agathias identifies Burgunds (Βουρουγουνδοι) and Ultizurs as Bulgaric people of Hunnic circle tribes, near relatives of Turkic Cotrigurs and Utigurs.[2][3] This Burgundian kingdom was conquered in the 6th century by another Germanic tribe, the Franks who continued the kingdom of Burgundy under their own rule.

Later, the region was divided between the Duchy of Burgundy (to the west) and the County of Burgundy (to the east). The Duchy of Burgundy is the better-known of the two, later becoming the French province of Burgundy, while the County of Burgundy became the French province of Franche-Comté, literally meaning free county.

Burgundy's modern existence is rooted in the dissolution of the Frankish Empire. In the 880s, there were four Burgundies, which were the Kingdom of Upper and Lower Burgundy, the duchy and the county.

During the Middle Ages, Burgundy was the seat of some of the most important Western churches and monasteries, among them Cluny, Cîteaux, and Vézelay.

During the Hundred Years' War, King John II of France gave the duchy to his youngest son, Philip the Bold. The duchy soon became a major rival to the crown. The court in Dijon outshone the French court both economically and culturally. In 1477, at the battle of Nancy during the Burgundian Wars, the last duke Charles the Bold was killed in battle, and the Duchy itself was annexed by France and became a province. However the northern part of the empire was taken by the Austrian Habsburgs

With the French Revolution in the end of the 18th century, the administrative units of the provinces disappeared, but were reconstituted as regions during the Fifth Republic in the 1970s. The modern-day administrative région comprises most of the former duchy.

Geography[edit]

Map of Burgundy
Chardonnay vineyards in the south of the Côte de Beaune surrounding the town of Meursault.

The region of Burgundy is both larger than the old Duchy of Burgundy and smaller than the area ruled by the Dukes of Burgundy, from the modern Netherlands to the border of Auvergne. Today, Burgundy is made up of the following old provinces:

  • Burgundy: Côte-d'Or, Saône-et-Loire, and southern half of Yonne. This corresponds to the old duchy of Burgundy (later called province of Burgundy). However, the old county of Burgundy (later called province of Franche-Comté) is not included inside the Burgundy region, but it makes up the Franche-Comté region. Also, a small part of the duchy of Burgundy (province of Burgundy) is now inside the Champagne-Ardenne region.
  • Nivernais: now the department of Nièvre.
  • the northern half of Yonne is a territory that was not part of Burgundy (at least not since the 11th century), and was a frontier between Champagne, Île-de-France, and Orléanais, depending from each of these provinces at different times in history.

Major communities[edit]

Climate[edit]

The climate of this region is essentially oceanic (Cfb in Köppen classification), with a continental influence (sometimes called a "half-continental climate").

Politics[edit]

Seat of the regional council of Burgundy in Dijon

The regional council of Burgundy is the legislative assembly. Its seat is in the capital city Dijon, at 17 boulevard de la Trémouille.

Since 2004 the council is chaired by the Socialist François Patriat.

Culture[edit]

Wine[edit]

Burgundy is one of France's main wine producing areas. It is well known for both its red and white wines, mostly made from Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes, respectively, although other grape varieties can be found, including Gamay, Aligote, Pinot blanc, and Sauvignon blanc. The region is divided into the Côte-d'Or, where the most expensive and prized Burgundies are found, and Beaujolais, Chablis, the Côte Chalonnaise and Mâcon.

The reputation and quality of the top wines, together with the fact that they are often produced in small quantities, has led to high demand and high prices, with some Burgundies ranking among the most expensive wines in the world.

Cuisine[edit]

Famous Burgundian dishes include coq au vin, beef bourguignon, and Époisses de Bourgogne cheese.

Sites[edit]

Some cultural sites include La roche de Solutré, l'Arboretum de Pézanin (in Dompierre-les-Ormes), and Vézelay Abbey.

References[edit]

  1. ^ INSEE. "Produits intérieurs bruts régionaux et valeurs ajoutées régionales de 1990 à 2012". Retrieved 2014-03-04. 
  2. ^ Agathias, Histiriae, V,11,3–4
  3. ^ Runciman S., A history of the First Bulgarian empire, London, G.Bell & Sons, 1930, p.7, & notes

Further reading[edit]

  • Burgundy, What a Story! by Bernard Lecomte and Jean-Louis Thouart (Ed. de Bourogne, 2004) ISBN 978-2-902650-02-6
  • Davies, Norman (2011), "Ch.3 : Burgundia: Five, Six or Seven Kingdoms (c. 411-1795)", Vanished Kingdoms: The History of Half-Forgotten Europe, London: Allan Lane, pp. 85–150, ISBN 978-0-141-04886-4 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°00′N 4°30′E / 47.000°N 4.500°E / 47.000; 4.500