Rus Articles Journal

The provincial without complexes. Part I

In Walter Scott`s novel the young Scot Quentin Dorvard, fluctuating to which of the competing parties to offer the sword and knightly valor, reflects aloud: “I heard that the yard of the duke Burgundian is much more magnificent and richer than the French yard and that under banners of the duke to serve much more honourable: Burgundians - masters to fight, and at them is to what to learn not that at your hristianneyshy king...“ There will pass only several years - and two-centuries dispute between France and Burgundy will be allowed once and for all: Paris will turn into the magnificent capital of the joint state, and the glory of Dijon will promptly grow dim. However and today the attentive traveler will distinguish in is charming to the provincial capital of Burgundy traces of former magnificence.

Curious fact: the name of dizhonets of Eyfel is born by the well-known symbol of Paris, however in the hometown of the outstanding fellow countryman almost nothing is reminded. The dizhonets revolted with the fact that Eyfel was involved in the well-known corruption scandal connected with construction of the Panama Canal renamed the embankment called in his honor still during lifetime. The bridge of his name was blown up by Germans at retreat in 1944. And the house where the great engineer was born, took down in 1969 - m However, the same year in his honor called city technical school.

the Great Dijon past is ciphered by

in a city landscape. The narrow, badly lit small streets, fakhverkovy houses what there is a lot of in France, but once you look upward, you will see absolutely “non French“ roofs with a multi-colored tile (it seems if to bite off a piece of such tile, then it will be sweet, as gingerbread). They remind more likely Holland, Flanders... at the same time - and the fact that once these territories were included into the duchy Burgundian.

As well as in any provincial town, passersby will be benevolent and talkative, are always ready to gossip about the mayor and to lead you to the former palace of dukes Burgundian. On the palace museum it is also necessary to begin acquaintance to the city and its history with walk.

Palace secrets

the First lock was constructed by

on this place at Kapetingakh (XI - the beginning of the 14th century) - at them Dijon from the inconspicuous town began to turn into the important regional center gradually. However the real blossoming of the city came in the XIV-XV centuries, during centenary government of the Burgundian dukes from Valois`s house (later the same dynasty occupied the all-French throne).

B 1356 the younger son of the king of France Ioann Dobry only of all sons did not throw the father in fight at Poitiers. Having returned in 1360 from the English captivity, he received in an award from the grateful father the Duchy of Burgundy. Philip Smely (1342 - 1404), as after a heroic act began to call the duke, married Margarita Flamandskaya, considerably having expanded the possession at the expense of her fertile lands. He built on the place of the old lock the new residence from which only “the Tower Bara“ remained today, called so century later in honor of her best-known prisoner. (Brilliant Rene Anzhuysky, the duke Barsky and Lotharingian, Louis XI`s nephew, got here after defeat in fight at Bulnevil of 1431 where it was broken by the count Antoine de Vodemon, the vassal of the duke Burgundian.)

at Valois the Burgundian yard became rather magnificent. At them - that is important for modern Dijon tradition! - the local original cuisine was registered. Though already then the neighborhood of other Burgundian town - the Bond was considered as the main center of winemaking, local wine surely was present at a ducal table. Already then Dijon mustard well-known to this day began to have success also. It was given to meat dishes, and also by all means given to ambassadors of foreign powers and the driving-off guests - as medicine it could be useful on the way where there is always a risk to catch a cold.

what represented a usual feast at court of Valois can guess on the remained kitchen rooms of the 15th century. Their sizes shake: nine arches support the arch in the middle of which there is an opening of an air shaft. Nine huge fireplaces - braziers speak not only about hospitality of the duke, but also about appetite of his guests. In each fireplace it was possible to fry carcass of a boar or even the whole deer! Today in this kitchen organize photo exhibitions and the mayor of Dijon holds various events. Against these modest buffet receptions medieval meals in the same building are represented by Lukull`s feasts...

Other sight of the palace remains the chimney hall - here the duke accepted ambassadors and considered complaints of citizens. Now indoors, where once in a vice of etiquette passions stormed, - the complete silence, and near a huge Gothic fireplace dozes the man of average years - the museum boredom overcame even the inspector, accustomed to it.


In the center of the hall established sarcophagi with figures of two dukes of Burgundy - Philip Smely and Ioann Besstrashny - with spouses. Tombs transferred to the museum in 1827 from a family tomb in abbey Shanmol (during the board dukes could spend not much time in Dijon, but were born and they found the last shelter exactly here). Sarcophagi are empty - remains of sovereigns are nowadays transferred to a city cathedral.

So, actually, empty tomb - everything that remained in the palace from the son Philip, Ioann Besstrashny (1371 - 1419). And it is even symbolical: dreaming of capture of Paris, he spent the most part of time on the battlefield and cared for improvement of native Dijon a little.

Opposite, his successor Philip Dobry (1396 - 1467) devoted himself to care of the capital of Burgundy and arrangement of own dwelling. At it the palace was completely reconstructed - the duke accepted neither the sizes, nor appearance of the grandfather`s house any more. What Ioann Besstrashny did not manage to reach by military methods, Philip achieved dynastic marriages and laborious work on own “image“: at it the Burgundian yard eclipsed the magnificence Parisian, for decades having become the legislator of all European fashion. About what it represented it is possible to judge by the official portrait of Philip exposed in the same chimney hall. It is the copy from the lost original from Rogir van der Weyden`s workshop. The owner of the palace is dressed in a black velvet camisole with a gold embroidery. On the head a soft velvet beret, on a neck - a chain of an award of the Golden Fleece.

Subtlety 1. The fact that the portrait belongs to the Fleming`s brush, not incidentally. The best artists of the Netherlands worked at the Burgundian yard. So, in 1425 Philip Dobry invited to Jan van Eyk`s yard, having offered it a fabulous salary - 100 livres a year. And in ten years raised it to 360 livres. Court financiers tried to protest - but Philip remained is relentless. Today it is possible to see fruits of wasteful patronage of dukes in the Museum of fine arts which is also located in a palace complex.

... 316 stone steps of a spiral staircase behind: the bolt rattles, living iron the door is opened, and we come to the top platform of the Tower of Philip Dobry. Dijon “colossus“ stands still earlier watchtower. But unlike the predecessor serious military it had no. Though in a tower the small garrison of patrol was placed, it was conceived and constructed only for the sake of one purpose: very clearly to represent power of Burgundy.

If to go down, on the first floor, then you get to the weapon hall. Two-handled swords, the Italian and French blades, the Scottish broadswords - memory of fights of the Burgundian knights with guardsmen of the king Louis XI - and hunting daggers with brands of Dijon armorers. And also - awards...

Subtlety 2. on January 11, 1430, in day of wedding with the third wife, the infanta Isabella Portugalskaya, Philip Smely founded a new knightly award - the Golden Fleece, in honor of Blessed Virgin of Maria and the apostle Andrew the First-Called, the patron of Burgundy. It was entered by the closer and the knights betrayed to it. They had to gather time in a year - in day of St. Andrey, on November 30. In the charter it was written down that the duke establishes an award “from - for the person of love and an arrangement to knights to which he passionately wishes to increase honor and prosperity that the knights protected, protected and supported true Catholic belief, church, tranquility and welfare of the state...“

the Crusade against Turks of which the duke dreamed did not take place - however the award continues to exist in Europe to this day (in a modern word meaning already just as an award: Spanish state and public with which representatives of the house Austrian Gabsburgov award). At present dizhonets his name is associated more with huge shopping center “Golden Fleece“, given the name to the most modern urban area, the center of hypermarkets and science and technology parks.

the Weapon - memory and of the last duke of Burgundy - to Carla Smelom (1433 - 1477). Unlike Philip he was rather a soldier, than the diplomat, and more practician, than the romantic. However, in something it remained faithful to fatherly lifestyle: spoke in five languages fluently, perfectly danced and played chess, loved poetry and painting. So, during preparation of celebrations on the occasion of the duke`s marriage on Margarita Yorkskaya in 1468 to the yard invited 300 (! ) artists.

And still the main task the ambitious governor considered by

care of army: attraction in infantry of mercenaries, identical remuneration to all soldiers, regardless of the status and an origin, creation of powerful artillery. And here paradox - during a time of the highest power of the Burgundian army... it was broken by French. To 70 - m to years of the 15th century of a contradiction between Paris and Dijon were heated to a limit. Having united with Gabsburgami, Louis XI began war during which, having suffered a number of great defeats from - for own strategic mistakes, Karl died in fight under Nancy in 1477 - m. It was buried in Bruges.

It. It shrank as a pebble-leather, then one part of its territory took over the French king, another - to Gabsburgam. Such is the end of short capital history of Dijon and the beginning of his long provincial life. However, the high level established in due time by Valois`s dukes continued to exert impact on minds and to form the image of the city.

Kings and mayors

the era of dukes Described by us is hidden by

in a subsoil of the palace museum of Dijon. Its external walls were reconstructed on “the Parisian harmony“ in the 17th century at Louis XIV - and as the architect Jules Ardoin - Mansar, the author of Versailles acted. The royal decree of the king of June 1, 1680 said:“ To make the city and the residence of its Majesty, majestic and magnificent, it is even finer - it is necessary to build before it the area to facilitate and decorate entrance to the palace“. Being skilled “diplomat“, Ardoin - Mansar decided not to take down the raznostilny Gothic and Renaissance constructions reminding to citizens of former greatness of the duchy, and just to hide them for a classical facade.

Subtlety 3. History proved that sensitive by the architect it was quite justified. Already right after annexation of Burgundy Ludovic XI constructed in Dijon fortress allegedly for protection of citizens against external enemies, but more likely to look behind them. For obvious reasons this construction built besides at their expense, did not enjoy big love at dizhonets. And so that when in the 19th century at expansion of the city the lock is decided to be demolished with medieval walls at the same time, among the people it caused not smaller triumph, than a century earlier Parisians have a destruction of the Bastille (which, by the way, the Dijon architect designed in the 14th century Obrio`s South).

Ensemble of a main square the equestrian statue of the monarch had to add

. She was lucky less, than to the palace. The monument to Louis XIV was cast in Paris in 1690, three years later it sent to the destination - at first on the river, and then it was supposed to bring him by land, however in La Bros`s small village where it was unloaded, there were no big and strong carts enough. Then carts were, but there were problems with finance - as a result the bronze king arrived to Dijon and decorated with himself the area only in thirty years, after death of “prototype“. And that for a while: at the end of the century the monument was poured on guns for republican army. By the way, the same destiny comprehended the majority of Dijon church bells. So in Great French revolution the city lost the “crimson ring“ for which once was famous on all the district...

Subtlety 4. Then Korolevskaya Square became Oruzhiya (1792) Square. Since then all main historical events were inevitably reflected in its name: in 1804 it turned in Imperial, at Restoration became Royal again, and in 1831, after the next revolution, - again the Weapon. In 1941 - m christened it the area of the marshal Petain, and in September, 1944 - go she received the present name: Releases.

Time of construction of the palace coincided with the next blossoming of the city: in the XVII-XVIII centuries created the famous prose writer here - the moralist Bossyue, the tragic poet Krebiyon and the composer Rameau. In Dijon also the best architects of France worked - more than a half of constructions of the old city belongs to that era. Influence of Flanders gives way to Italian, a fancy gothic style - to strict classicism.

However, almost in an invariable view from the 15th century several houses on Forzh Street, adjacent to palace, remained. For example, the mansion Chambellan where the mayor of Dijon Henri Chambellan lived, was constructed in style of the burning gothic style in 1490, soon after falling of the duchy. On flat steps it is possible to rise by the balcony decorated with thin woodcarving. Here it is worth glancing and not only because it is a fine sample of a gothic style on its decline. In the yard of the house several figures were stuck to different corners: one is known as “The little gardener“ and holds on the head a basket from which the bunch of the plants passing into architectural motives of the arch goes down. In other corner the stone figures similar to Adam and Eve stretch a cut of fabric and so try to cover the nakedness. Why they appeared there, historians cannot explain. Perhaps, the mayor patronized shop of clothiers? Or perhaps itself “a little bit sewed“?

In general after a ducal era the best-known and discussed characters here, naturally. First place in this list is won by Felix Cyrus who is hotly esteemed by citizens began the career by the priest. Dizhonets understood that words of the sermon do not disperse from its own vital principles even during fascist occupation when Cyrus safely was on the side of Resistance. Then in 1945 at the age of 69 years this former canon also became a mayor. And 22 years remained at will of citizens on this post. Dizhontsa like to tell about how in the heat of cold war Cyrus decided “to make related“ Dijon with Volgograd - and even invited delegation from the newly made twin-city to a local festival of wine. And also that he invented nationally known Cyrus aperitif - mix of the local blackcurrant Kasis liqueur and dry to an aligota. Actually, the priest only returned fashion on the drink known in Dijon at the beginning of the XX century under the playful name “virgin“, but now nobody remembers it.

In a culinary field one more mayor - the lawyer Gaston Gerard became famous for

. It became history not so much the fact that in 1920 - x years founded an annual Gastronomic fair in Dijon (soon from regional it became interregional, and then international) and became later the first minister of tourism of France how many the recipe “chickens on - Dijon“ - “The Chicken Gaston Gerard“. Here too it is possible to make specification: as local local historians claim, the recipe invented Ne mayor, and his wife. But it too already very few people interests.

the Current city managing director - the socialist. Therefore all museums in Dijon free, and all parkings - paid. From his easy hand in the city night “shuttles“ for youth appeared. Small buses till the dead of night ply along the routes, most popular with students: from the station, cafe and discos - to native “hostels“. Certainly, money from students for journey is not taken.