Musée des Beaux-Arts

Top choice in Dijon

Nearing the end of a nine-year renovation, these sprawling galleries in Dijon's monumental Palais des Ducs are works of art in themselves and constitute one of France's most outstanding museums. The star attraction is the wood-panelled Salle des Gardes, which houses the ornate, carved late-medieval sepulchres of dukes John the Fearless and Philip the Bold. Other sections focus on Egyptian art, the Middle Ages in Burgundy and Europe, and six centuries of European painting, from the Renaissance to modern times.

The museum's highlights include a fine collection of 13th- and 14th-century primitives that reveal how medieval artistic and aesthetic sensibilities varied between Italy, Switzerland and the Rhineland; a smattering of old masters such as Lorenzo Lotto; quite a few naturalistic sculptures by the Dijon-born artist François Rude (1784–1855); works by Manet, Monet, Matisse and Rodin; and the incomparable Pompon Room, tucked off a back staircase, packed with stylised modern sculptures of animals by François Pompon (1855–1933), who was born in Saulieu, Burgundy. In the courtyard, the ducal kitchens (1433) often host exhibitions of works by local artists.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Dijon attractions

1. Tour de Bar

0.02 MILES

This squat 14th-century tower once served as a prison.

2. Hôtel de Ville

0.06 MILES

Dijon's town hall sits smack in the middle of the Palais des Ducs et des États de Bourgogne.

3. Musée Magnin

0.06 MILES

In 1938, art collectors Jeanne and Maurice Magnin turned their historic townhouse over to the state to display, in perpetuity, the excellent collection…

4. Tour Philippe le Bon

0.06 MILES

Adjacent to the ducal palace, this 46m-high, mid-15th-century tower affords fantastic views over the city. On a clear day you can see all the way to Mont…

6. Hôtel de Vogüé

0.08 MILES

Behind Église Notre Dame, the 17th-century Hôtel de Vogüé is renowned for the ornate carvings around the arches of its exquisitely proportioned…

7. Maison Millière

0.09 MILES

Figures of an owl and a cat perch high atop the roof of the 15th-century Maison Millière, which was a setting in the 1990 film Cyrano de Bergerac with…

8. Rue de la Chouette


Around the north side of Église Notre Dame, this street is named after the small stone owl (chouette) carved into the exterior corner of the chapel…