The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon later became a Roman settlement named Divio, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. The province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th centuries and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power, one of the great European centres of art, learning and science. Population (2008): 151,576 within the city limits; 250,516 (2007) for the greater Dijon area.
The city has retained varied architectural styles from many of the main periods of the past millennium, including Capetian, Gothic and Renaissance. Many still-inhabited town houses in the city's central district date from the 18th century and earlier. Dijon architecture is distinguished by, among other things, toits bourguignons (Burgundian polychrome roofs) made of tiles glazed in terracotta, green, yellow and black and arranged in geometric patterns.
Dijon holds an International and Gastronomic Fair every year in autumn. With over 500 exhibitors and 200,000 visitors every year, it is one of the ten most important fairs in France. Dijon is also home, every three years, to the international flower show Florissimo. Dijon is famous for Dijon mustard which originated in 1856, when Jean Naigeon of Dijon substituted verjuice, the acidic "green" juice of not-quite-ripe grapes, for vinegar in the traditional mustard recipe.
The earliest archaeological finds within the city limits of Dijon date to the Neolithic period. Dijon later became a Roman settlement called Divio, which may mean sacred fountain, located on the road from Lyon to Paris. Saint Benignus, the city's apocryphal patron saint, is said to have introduced Christianity to the area before being martyred.
This province was home to the Dukes of Burgundy from the early 11th until the late 15th century, and Dijon was a place of tremendous wealth and power and one of the great European centres of art, learning, and science. The Duchy of Burgundy was a key in the transformation of medieval times toward early modern Europe. The Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy now houses city hall and a museum of art.
Dijon was under siege by Swiss and Imperial armies in 1513, occupied by anti-Napoleonic coalitions in 1814, by the Prussian army in 1870–71, and by Nazi Germany beginning in June 1940, during WWII, when it was bombed by US Air Force B-17 Flying Fortresses, before the liberation of Dijon by the French Army and the French Resistance, 11 September 1944.
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