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Cote-D'or

COTE-D'OR, a department of eastern France, formed of the northern region of the old province of Burgundy, bounded N. by the department of Aube, N.E. by Haute-Marne, E. by Haute-Saône and Jura, S. by Saône-et-Loire, and W. by Nièvre and Yonne. Area, 3392 sq. m. Pop. (1906) 357,959. A chain of hills named the Plateau de Langres runs from north-east to south-west through the centre of the department, separating the basin of the Seine from that of the Saône, and forming a connecting-link between the Cévennes and the Vosges mountains. Extending southward from Dijon is a portion of this range which, on account of the excellence of its vineyards, bears the name of Côte-d'Or, whence that of the department. The north-west portion of the department is occupied by the calcareous and densely-wooded district of Châtillonais, the south-west by spurs of the granitic chain of Morvan, while a wide plain traversed by the Saône extends over the eastern region. The Châtillonais is watered by the Seine, which there takes its rise, and by the Ource, both fed largely by the douix or abundant springs characteristic of Burgundy. The Armançon and other affluents of the Yonne, and the Arroux, a tributary of the Loire, water the south-west.

The climate of Côte-d'Or is temperate and healthy; the rainfall is abundant west of the central range, but moderate, and, in places, scarce, in the eastern plain. Husbandry flourishes, the wealth of the department lying chiefly in its vineyards, especially those of the Côte-d'Or, which comprise the three main groups of Beaune, Nuits and Dijon, the latter the least renowned of the three. The chief cereals are wheat, oats and barley; potatoes, hops, beetroot, rape-seed, colza and a small quantity of tobacco are also produced. Sheep and cattle-raising is carried on chiefly in the western districts. The department has anthracite mines and produces freestone, lime and cement. The manufactures include iron, steel, nails, tools, machinery and other iron goods, paper, earthenware, tiles and bricks, morocco leather goods, biscuits and mustard, and there are flour-mills, distilleries, oil and vinegar works and breweries. The imports of the department are inconsiderable, coal alone being of any importance; there is an active export trade in wine, brandy, cereals and live stock and in manufactured goods. The Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée railway serves the department, its main line passing through Dijon. The canal of Burgundy, connecting the Saône with the Yonne, has a length of 94 m. in the department, while that from the Marne to the Saône has a length of 24 m.

Côte-d'Or is divided into the arrondissements of Dijon, Beaune, Châtillon and Semur, with 36 cantons and 717 communes. It forms the diocese of the bishop of Dijon, and part of the archiepiscopal province of Lyons and of the 8th military region. Dijon is the seat of the educational circumscription (académie) and court of appeal to which the department is assigned. The more noteworthy places are Dijon, the capital, Beaune, Châtillon, Semur, Auxonne, Flavigny and Cîteaux, all separately treated. St Jean de Losne, at the extremity of the Burgundy canal, is famous for its brave and successful resistance in 1636 to an immense force of Imperialists. Châteauneuf has a château of the 15th century, St Seine-l'Abbaye, a fine Gothic abbey church, and Saulieu, a Romanesque abbey church of the 11th century. The château of Bussy Rabutin (at Bussy-le-Grand), founded in the 12th century, has an interesting collection of pictures made by Roger de Rabutin, comte de Bussy, who also rebuilt the château. Montbard, the birthplace of the naturalist Buffon, has a keep of the 14th century and other remains of a castle of the dukes of Burgundy. The remarkable Renaissance chapel (1536) of Pagny-le-Château, belonging to the château destroyed in 1768, contains the tomb of Jean de Vienne (d. 1455) and that of Jean de Longwy (d. 1460) and Jeanne de Vienne (d. 1472), with alabaster effigies. At Fontenay, near Marmagne, a paper-works occupies the buildings of a well-preserved Cistercian abbey of the 12th century. At Vertault there are remains of a theatre and other buildings marking the site of the Gallo-Roman town of Vertilium.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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