Owl of Dijon

Historic Site in Dijon

Dijon Eglise Notre-Dame De Dijon
CC BY-SA 2.0 / StéphaneMarie

On the north side of Notre-Dame in Dijon, there lies a small chapel along the quaint rue de la Chouette (Owl Street), a popular pedestrian way. A particular corner of a chapel buttress features a sculpted bird, commonly thought to represent an owl. This carving may have been the personal insignia of a stonemason; it is certainly not the mark of the original architect, as the chapel was constructed in the late 15th or early 16th century, well after the church itself. Over the years, the owl sculpture has become smooth and detail-less, worn down by the touch of countless hands. A local superstition holds that rubbing the owl with your left hand while making a wish brings good luck, contributing to its worn condition.

Tragically, on January 5, 2001, this cherished owl was vandalized with several hammer blows. Fortunately, a mould of the owl made in 1988 by a Louvre expert was available and used to restore the sculpture to its former glory by February 2001. Now under video surveillance, the restored owl was officially reinaugurated on May 12, 2001. Beyond its allure as a local curiosity, the owl has grown into a broader symbol of Dijon. In 2001, it was selected as the emblem for the Parcours de la Chouette (Owl Walk), a tourist trail that guides visitors through the city’s historic center, marked by 22 square plaques each bearing the image of an owl. Additionally, Dijon Football Côte d’Or, the city’s football club, proudly features an owl as its emblem, further embedding this unique sculpture into the cultural fabric of Dijon.


The Owl of Dijon appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Dijon!

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Visiting Owl of Dijon

Hours:

24 Hours


Price:

Free

Address: The Owl of Dijon, Rue de la Chouette, Dijon, France
Duration: 20 minutes

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