Notre Dame of Dijon is a catholic church built in the 13th century. It’s the oldest church of Dijon. It’s a typical building of the style called Burgundy gothic. The church is on the street of the owl (rue de la chouette) and it’s on the touristic circuit of Dijon, the owl’s trail. The church is interesting for the gargoyles decorating the facade.
The gargoyles of Notre dame de Dijon
The facade of the church is decorated with numerous and frightening gargoyles. The facade of the church is unique thanks to the 51 gargoyles dispatched in 3 rows. When you will visit Notre Dame de Dijon have a look up to the frontage to see the gargoyles, this is worth seeing.
In 1240 a groom died because a gargoyle felt on his head the day of his weeding. The legend is still famous because the gargoyle represented a money lender and it was the job of the dead groom. Maybe it was a sign of the devil and, at this time, people were afraid by this story.
After this sad event, the gargoyles were removed from the church Notre Dame of Dijon. The actual ones were made in the 19th century.
The Jacquemart clock (“horloge à Jacquemart”) standing on the roof of the church is an automated bell. Four statues (Jacquemart and its family) hit the bell every hour with a hammer. The Jacquemart was set on Notre Dame church in 1383.
Philippe le Hardi brought it from Flandres as booty from a war campaign. Philippe le Hardi (Philip the Bold) was a Duke of Burgundy during the 14th century.
In 1382 the people of Flandres (actual Belgium) revolted against the king Philippe IV of France. Philippe le Hardi went there to fight against the revolution with the army of Burgundy.
After the battle the French decided to sack and burn the city of Courtrai. The Duke of Burgundy took the masterpiece clock of the cathedral of Courtrai and sent it to Dijon. It’s now called in Dijon “Le Jacquemart”.
Inside the church
Going inside the church you can see two rows of heavy columns leading to the place where the priest tells the mass.
Notre Dame of Dijon as some very nice stained glass windows and one of oldest statue of the virgin: “Notre Dame de Bon espoir”.
Address: Place Notre Dame, 21000 Dijon, France
Opening time: every day except legal holydays from 9am to 6:30pm
Sunday mass: 10:30am and 6:30 pm