chalon

Chalon-sur-Saône

Not to be confused with Châlons-en-Champagne, formerly known as Châlons-sur-Marne.
Chalon-sur-Saône is a town and commune in central France, in the Saône-et-Loire département, of which it is a sous-préfecture. It is the largest city in the department; however, the department's préfecture (capital) resides in the smaller commune of Mâcon.

Geography

Chalon-sur-Saône lies in the south of the Burgundy region of France. It is located on the Saône river, and was once a busy port, acting as a distribution point for local wines which were sent up and down the Saône river and the Canal du Centre.

History

The bishopric of Chalon-sur-Saône, a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lyon since Roman times, was merged into the diocese of Autun shortly after the French Revolution. Chalon is best known as the birthplace of photography. Its most famous resident, Nicéphore Niépce also has a lycée (secondary school) named after him. There is a museum which contains some early photography relics, located on the Quai des Messageries in the town, containing more than two million photographs and many old artefacts such as cameras and other equipment for old and modern photography.

Another famous resident is Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825) who was involved in the creation of the Louvre Museum, converting the palace into a Museum after the French Revolution.

Main sights

  • St. Vincent's Cathedral on the Place Saint-Vincent, which has some elements dating from the 8th century, and a neoclassical 19th century façade.
  • This city square also has a number of cafés and hosts a busy market on Fridays and Sundays.

Events

Chalon-sur-Saône hosts, every year in July, an international street artists festival, called Chalon dans la Rue ("Chalon down in the street"). During 4 days, artists from all part of Europe and beyond come to the streets of Chalon to perform, mostly for free, in music, theatre, acrobatics, comedy, etc. A program is made available by the town, so people know of the main groups performing, and several newspapers report what performances are must-see and where and when to find them. Plus, there are always things to discover simply by wandering down the streets.

Twin towns

Chalon-sur-Saône is twinned with:

See also

Sources and external links

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