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Chalon is in the wine growing area, the Côte Chalonnaise, which lies between the Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune in the north and the Mâconnais in the south. Famous wines such as Mercurey, Givry, Montagny and Rully come from here. Visit the Maison des Vins de la Côte Chalonnaise at 2 Promenade Ste-Marie to sample these fine wines.
This is a lively town on the River Saône with a market three times a week at the Place St-Vincent. The cathedral square has a café society with Le Moulin à Cafe and speciality shops such as Légendes Gourmandes. There are fine half-timbered houses overlooking the Place; Rue de Châtelet and Grande Rue are worth visiting also to see 17th and 14th century facades. The cathedral itself is a good example of Romanesque architecture.
If you are interested in photography, Joseph Nicéphore-Niépce who invented the first photograph was born in Chalon in 1765. A museum dedicated to him is housed in the Hôtel des Messageries on the banks of the Saône. Apart from cameras, it has a fine photographic collection on display tracing the history of photography. Along the Quai, the Atelier St-Jean there is an art gallery with exhibitions by prominent artists.
The bakery, La Meulière, in Rue Général Leclerc is a particular favourite for whole cereal breads,
biscuits, jams and cheesy wafers for apéros.
A great way to enjoy the river at a leisurely pace is to take the bateau-mouche, La Delta, on a sightseeing tour. Trips range from an excursion cruise of an hour and a half for 12 euros up to a dinner cruise. (www.croisieres-saonoises.fr) Also see River Trips.
Wed and Sun mornings, Friday
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A vibrant street festival held every July attracting more than 30,000 visitors
4 km south east of the town, has a collection of 25,000 roses
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Pam Elson ©burgundytoday.com