Dijon in December
Early December: Signs of Christmas were all over Dijon—street decorations, decorated Christmas trees, pretty lights, a Christmas market. On our first full day on that visit, we started at Place Darcy on a special walk called The Owl’s Trail. We’d got a booklet at the Visitors’ Center the afternoon before, that describes how visitors can follow markers set in the sidewalks: in this case, shiny owls (more on the owls and the walk later).
Place Darcy is named after the engineer Henry Darcy who constructed a reservoir to bring water to the town. At the end of the Place is the Porte Guillaume, an 18thcentury triumphal arch, named after Guillaume de Volpiano, the 11thcentury reformer of the Saint-Benigne Benedictine abbey. The famous Dijon shopping street, rue de la Liberté, begins at the arch.
That day, the place was bustling with a miniature Christmas train for kids, and with a special promotion called “Dijon se Bouge” (Dijon moves). A sporting organization was one of the organizers, and various booths were set up, where people could stop and chat and get information—about sports, getting moving and keeping healthy.
What a great idea, especially on a frosty December day when moving to keep warm was a very good idea!