The palace of Burgundian Dukes is situated in the centre of the city. Built to display the power and might of the dukes, it is now the city hall with the mayor's office and other administrative offices. The tall tower of Philippe le Bon offers an impressive panoramic view of the city.
The first buildings were constructed in 1365 on the grounds of a once Gallo-Roman fortress. The Burgundy dukes left the city of Beaune to install their power in the the more prominent city of Dijon.
As time past, buildings and offices were added in a chaotic manner, resulting in problems of management and organization. The first steps in regaining control came with the construction of a general assembly hall, under the direction of the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart. In the 18th century much renovation and construction laid was under the responsibility of Jaques Gabriel.
The old kitchens, which provided a huge quantity of meals to the dukes, were demolished and the principle stones used to build the theater of Dijon.
As the power of the Burgundy state rose and spread, the palace became handsomely decorated and flamboyant.
Joined to the main buildings is the Museum of Art, and very close by are the Cathedral de Notre Dame, the church Saint Michael, and the old "Corn Exchange".
Not all parts of the Palace can be visited, and during important events the gates will actually be closed to the public. The visit is interesting with an English speaking guide, and if you do not mind steps, do take a climb up the "Tour de Philippe le Bon". You'll have an impressive view of Dijon with the plains of the Saone river and hills of the vineyards.