In the south of Burgundy, Chalon-sur-Saône is second largest town in largest town in the region. Less than an hour from Dijon, the Burgundy wine route - which takes in the vineyards of some of the best wines on the planet (Gevrey-Chambertin, Meursault, Chassagne-Montrachet, Fuissé, Chablis, and so on), the Côte Chalonnaise (stretching 25 km between the Côte de Beaune and the Côte Mâconnais) is a goldmine for wine-lovers.
Image is everything in Chalon-sur-Saône, the birthplace of Nicéphore Nièpce, who was to invent photography. Follow in his footsteps and capture Chalon-sur-Saône on your camera.
If you're there with a partner or just fancy a quiet stroll, the Saint-Laurent bridge across the Saône has been a popular spot since… around 15 BC. The old town centre in Chalon-sur-Saône is a picturesque place: wander among the narrow streets. Look out for the bizarre street names: rue des poulets ("chicken street"), rue des cochons de lait ("piglet street"), and so on. The Place Saint-Vincent is one of the liveliest squares, with the imposing Cathedral Saint-Vincent watching over proceedings. Built in a mixture of gothic and romanesque styles it was influenced by the Benedictine Abbey in Cluny, and has a 19th century neogothic façade. But don't judge the book by its cover though: parts of the cathedral date from the 9th century. Be sure not to miss the hidden cloisters behind the cathedral, a haven of nature and tranquility.
Chalon-sur-Saône saw the invention which was to revolutionise the modern world especially with regards to the media and society. As early as 1825, Nicéphore Nièpce took the world's first ever photograph in Chalon-sur-Saône. The Nicéphore Niépce Museum will fill you in on all the details of this revolutionary invention, from the "camera obscura" to photogravure light etchings, from heliographs to the collaboration between Niépce and Daguerre, the inventor of the Diorama. Learn about the early techniques as well as admiring the beauty of these early prints.
In summer, Chalon-sur-Saône gets the party started with the Chalon dans la rue ("Chalon in the street") festival: this is an international gathering of street performers and artists who will entertain and amaze the crowds. See the stunning countryside from a hot air balloon, at the spectacular Montgolfiades de Chalon, a hot air ballooning competition and festival.
Around Chalon there is plenty to see in the beautiful region of Burgundy.
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