What is today the Palace of the Dukes of Burgundy was, up to the 9th century, just a simple fortress built onto the Gallo-Roman castrum.
Rebuilt from 1366 by the first of the Valois, Philippe le Hardi, and enlarged by successive dukes, the ducal palace which was built between 1450 and 1455 includes apartments, reception rooms and outhouse rooms which included the ducal kitchens.
The Philippe le Bon tower, which was erected during the same period, still dominates the city.
During the 17th century, the Dukes House was nothing more than an amalgamation of buildings which would be unified by political willpower.
Seat of two royal courts and residence of the governors of Burgundy, Dijon was to become the seat of the estates-general. The construction of a room for their assemblies was the prelude to the restructuring of the palace which was undertaken in 1681 under the stewardship of renowned architects.
After Daniel Gitard and Martin de Noinville, it was Jules Hardouin-Mansart, the king's primary architect who played a key role in Dijon from 1685 and dreamt up the construction of the palace in the Place Royale: its semicircle of arcades was intended to showcase the statue ofLouis XIV.
.Commissioned from the sculptor La Hongre and realised in 1690, it didn't arrive in Dijon until 1725 and was to be melted down during the Revolution
The successors of Jules-Hardouin Mansart, Robert de Cotte, Jacques Gabriel, Claude Saint-Père, Charles-Joseph Le Jolivet and engineers from the province, Thomas Dumorey and Emiland Gauthey continued his "grand design" which was expressed using the same sharp sense of scenography that Mansart used at Versailles.
The Duke's lodge is literally wrapped up within a classical structure from which the Philippe le Bon tower, thankfully preserved, emerges.
This ensemble, majestically framed by peristyles of right-angled wings, was realised in 1786.