Chalon sur Saône
Chalon sur Saône (Chalon on the Saône) is a located on the River Saône in the southern Burgundy Region. This area of the wine region is famous for wines such as Givry, Mercurey, Montagny and our favorite, Rully.
I arrived in Chalon sur Saône jet lagged and hungry as the breakfast croissant I purchased in Paris slipped from my hands as I boarded the train. And, although, the train journey from Paris via Dijon and Beaune was a pleasant one, I was just not up to walking the 5 blocks to my hotel on an empty stomach. I still can’t believe I paid a taxi to take me that minute distance.
My hotel, Hotel Saint Jean
, and my room faced the Saone River which made up for the rough start to the day. The view was beautiful and the air wafting through the ceiling to floor windows was wonderfully cool even in July.
It did not take long to get re-energized and head into town for some of the sights I had on my list and lunch. I arrived in the square just as the market was winding down so I found a great outdoor table at one of the cafés and did a bit of people watching while waiting for my salad.
Chalon sur Saône is a great town for navigating on foot and I loved the time I had to just wander the shops, markets and churches. As it was July, the July sales were in full swing so I had many great buys to choose from. Of course, I do not think chocolate is ever on sale but that did not keep me from both window shopping and ultimately buying.
I am a real market addict when in France so as you can see from this list, it is a market lover’s dream. All markets take place between 8am and noon unless otherwise noted. I was able to pick up some nice non-perishable items for my suppers, which I ate by the river, and save my euros for tasty lunches.
- Tuesday – mixed market located at Les Aubépins
- Wednesday – food market located at Place de l’Hôtel and a mixed market located at Place du marché of the Prés Saint Jean between 8am and noon
- Thursday - mixed market located at Cité du Stade
- Friday - textiles and haberdashery market
- located at Place de Beaune et Place du Général de Gaulle between 8am and 6pm and a food market at Place Saint Vincent
- Saturday - food marketlocated at Boucicaut Colombière Parking du Gymnase, avenue Boucicaut
- Sunday - food market Place Saint Vincent - 8 am - 12.30 pm
Once you have checked out the markets you will be familiarized with the variety of shops that are available to peruse. La Grande Rue , which connects with Pont Saint Laurent, is a wonderful shopping street. You will also discover more shops as you seek out these must see historic sites.
Here you will find a group of 15th and 18th century half-timbered houses along with a contemporary fountain. It is in Saint Vincent Square that I had my first lunch and watched the comings and goings of the Friday market.
Head to the corner of Rues du Pont and du Chatelet to view the wooden replica of a statue of Christ by Michelangelo. Place Saint Vincent, where Saint Vincent Cathedral is located, would be my favorite location in town. I love the café culture found here and there is a wonderful little tea shop. Le Moulin A Café, on the corner of the square just across from the cathedral. As Saint Vincent was built from 1090 onward, you will find a mix of Romanesque and Gothic architecture.
Rue du Châtelet
After viewing the Christ statue, proceed on to number 57, the 1657 House of the Four Seasons. Each of the four seasons and allegorical figures are pictured on the front.
Place de l’Hôtel de Ville
Besides Saint Vincent Cathedral my favorite building in Chalon sur Saône is next to the very unremarkable Hôtel de Ville, alghough I must admit the belfry is quite lovely. Église Saint Pierre is a fascinating building and it too had a beautiful clock tower.
If you are in Chalon during the third week of July you will not want to miss the Chalon dans la Rue Festival (Chalon in the Street)
, a transnational street festival which is supposed to be France’s version of the Edinburgh Festival. I was there the first week in July so I missed this!
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