The Tower of Philip the Good remains a key attraction of the city of Dukes. But did you know it also offers a different kind of tour, one with an aperitif served on the terrace at the top? In the company of friends, a couple from Dijon, I had the chance to savour a kir at the top of the tower while watching the sun go down. It was a memorable experience!

Before or after? The choice is yours

There are two options for the “tower aperitifs”: before, at 6.30 pm, and after, at 8 pm. We opted for the later one in the hope of seeing the sunset from the terrace. But first, we listened to the guide’s commentary explaining the history of the Tower of Philip the Good, all the way up the 316 steps.

The third heir of the dukes of Burgundy, Philip the Good, had the main building of the palace built, along with the tower and the terrace, in 1450. About ten years later, the terrace tower reached a height of 46 metres and overlooked the entire palace of the dukes and estates of Burgundy.

The monument’s seven floors house some beautifully sculpted decor. I studied carefully the details pointed out by our guide, especially the strange bat at the corner of the doorway to the tomb room. But we couldn’t visit that on this tour. To admire the 82 alabaster statuettes that make up the sculpture of the Mourners, you’ll have to visit the Fine Arts Museum of Dijon which is housed in the ducal palace.

A Burgundy aperitif with a view over the rooftops of Dijon

At last we reached the roof terrace to enjoy our well-deserved aperitif! But before tasting the nibbles and Kir that are so typically served in the city of Dijon, I contemplated the panoramic view…

The 360 degree view over Old Dijon is breathtaking! It was almost 9 pm and the sun was going down slowly, spreading its soft golden rays across the shiny slate roofs of the private mansions. We raised our glasses together, before enjoying our kir with some nibbles: gougère and parsleyed ham. 

From the top of our observation tower, I admired the elegant spires dotted around the town of a hundred steeples. We could easily see the facade of the majestic Notre-Dame of Dijon, the very church where the famous owl waits for the inevitable caress of its visitors! The tour ended in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Then it was time for us to head for a restaurant in the historical centre of Dijon to continue our evening with a typical Burgundy meal!

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