Hôtel de Vogüé

Historic Building in Dijon

Dijon Hôtel De Vogüé
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Zairon

The Hôtel de Vogüé in Dijon, Côte-d’Or, is a distinguished 17th-century mansion, located at 8 rue de la Chouette, close to the apse of the Notre-Dame church. It has been recognized as a historic monument since January 5, 1911.

History of Hôtel de Vogüé

This elaborately adorned mansion was constructed over three properties acquired in 1589 by Jean Bouhier, a parliament counselor, and subsequently by his son Étienne Bouhier de Chevigny, a magistrate and parliament counselor of Burgundy from 1607 to 1635, who was also a passionate art aficionado. The construction began around 1614, as marked on the fireplace in the guard room, indicating the initial phase of the building but not its completion.

Étienne Bouhier, reputedly self-designed his residence after developing an interest in architecture during a stay in Italy, following his law studies in Padua. Although there’s no concrete evidence of his Italian journey, it’s plausible given the tradition of local notables traveling to Italy. His library contained numerous Italian volumes, including works on architecture and geometry, hinting at his architectural influences.

Étienne was involved in several major building projects, including the General Hospital started in 1629, and the Ursuline and Visitandine convents constructions from 1632 until his death in 1635, although he likely required technical assistance for designing his home plans.

In 1766, the Hôtel became the property of the Vogüé family when Catherine Bouhier de Versalieu married Count Cerice-François Melchior de Vogüé. Today, owned by the City of Dijon, it serves as the site for the city’s human resources department and features a roof adorned with Burgundian glazed tiles.

Architecture of Hôtel de Vogüé

The hotel’s layout includes a main body facing an Italian-style portico at the entrance, with two lateral wings enclosing the courtyard. The façade decoration harks back to the 16th century, featuring arched and triangular pediments, mascarons, and garlands, although the original caryatids have been replaced. The roof boasts a mosaic of glazed tiles typical of Burgundy.

The entrance portico is decorated with half-recumbent figures of Fame in the spandrels and columns entwined with ivy, celebrating Étienne’s second marriage to Madeleine Giroud in 1615. A later addition in 1717 allowed carriages to access the garden where stables were added.

The façade facing the garden remains unadorned, except for the visual interest added by two square turrets. The guard room near the entrance features a large fireplace adorned with a painting of Hero and Leander, and caryatids framing the fireplace, reflecting the noble style influenced by the Italian Renaissance, evident in other French cities like Toulouse, Montpellier, and Nîmes. This architectural style reconnects with classical construction techniques, often highlighted in 16th-century treatises and possibly influenced by architect Hugues Sambin’s designs.

The Hôtel de Vogüé appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Dijon!

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Visiting Hôtel de Vogüé

Address: Hôtel de Vogüé, Rue de la Chouette, Dijon, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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