Dijon (dēzhôNˈ) [key], city (1990 pop. 151,636), capital of Côte-d'Or dept., E France, the old capital of Burgundy. 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 Bossuet and the composer Rameau were among the noted figures born in the city. Dijon Univ. was founded in 1722. Rousseau'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 Sluter 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.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.