The International City of Gastronomy and Wine makes Dijon the capital of the taste buds

Dijon competes with Beaune for the title of capital of Burgundy wine. The flagship city of the region has consolidated its position since it inaugurated the International City of Gastronomy and Wine in May. By marrying the two national nuggets. It is housed in the former general hospital, a stone’s throw from the station, even becoming the emblem of a renovated district.

This “gourmet city” was carried at arm’s length by François Rebsamen, unbeatable socialist mayor of Dijon since 2001. Which does not mean that everything was rosy. The place was born after ten years of political, administrative and financial struggles, and four years of construction, the cost of which rose from 200 million to 250 million euros. These trivial considerations behind him, François Rebsamen is lyrical: “We are renewing this original link that unites Dijon to the world of wine and we are continuing the long and rich gastronomic history of Burgundy and its capital. From A to Z, this is a story of hospitality. »

A largely private operation

The site looks good. It’s historic, too. Dijon General Hospital was founded in 1204 by the Duke of Burgundy Eudes III. Today more suitable for care and huge – no less than 6.5 hectares to develop – it has been cut in two: 3.5 hectares for 650 accommodation units and a four-star hotel, Luxe by Hilton, which should open soon; 3 hectares for the International City of Gastronomy and Wine. The complex was renovated and redesigned by the architect Anthony Bechu and his counterpart of Historic Monuments, Alain-Charles Perrot. This city expects 1 million visitors a year. The recent opening of a Pathé Gaumont cinema (nine rooms, which can also be used for conferences, have 1,200 seats), should boost its attendance.

That the place has been named City of Gastronomy and Wine and not the other way around is not insignificant. The project was born in 2013 with the inclusion of the gastronomic meal of the French in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Unesco. The State then aspired to create a network of cities on the subject. Dijon won.

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The city’s creation budget, ie 250 million euros, is split between the private sector for the most part (90%) and the public (10%). As for its operation, it is largely private. Only the cultural center (2,000 m2 of exhibition space) was bought from Eiffage for 15.5 million euros by three partners: the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region (under the State-region contract), the State and the metropolis of Dijon .

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