Porte Guillaume

City Gate in Dijon

Porte Guillaume - Dijon
CC BY-SA 4.0 / Chabe01

The Porte Guillaume is a notable monument in Dijon, originally constructed in the 18th century on the site of a medieval gateway.

History of Porte Guillaume

In the 12th century, there was an old gate as part of Dijon’s surrounding walls. Architect Jean-Philippe Maret designed the current monument between 1786 and 1788 to honour the Prince of Condé, the governor of Burgundy, hence its original name, Porte Condé. The structure was linked to the existing ramparts, and its gateway was secured with a gate, the sealing traces of which are still visible. In 1791, during the Revolution, it was renamed Arc de la Liberté. By the 19th century, it came to be known as Porte Guillaume, named after Guillaume de Volpiano, the abbot of Saint-Bénigne Abbey.

During the First Restoration, in September 1814, when the Count of Artois, brother of King Louis XVIII, visited Dijon, a temporary plaster sculpture by architect Jacques Caumont was added to the gate. This sculpture depicted a winged genius with a lily, mounted on a chariot drawn by horses. This decoration deteriorated over several years due to weather exposure.

Description of Porte Guillaume

The Porte Guillaume features a large arched arcade flanked by jambs adorned with continuous table bosses. Above these jambs, a Doric-style entablature is embellished with triglyphs and metopes. At the arcade level, four bas-reliefs by sculptor Claude-François Attiret enhance both sides of the monument. On the Place Darcy side, one relief shows a Genius presenting the arms of the Prince of Condé to Burgundy, while another depicts a Genius offering a document to Minerva, the goddess of wisdom. On the opposite side, the reliefs illustrate the Muse of History recording the Prince’s military deeds and the City of Dijon presenting the now-lost arms of the Prince.

Initially, the Rue de la Liberté side featured two marble slabs with inscriptions, now missing, topped with medallions and oak leaf garlands.

In 2009, a metal plaque unrelated to the original monument was curiously placed on the right side of the painting, commemorating Thomas Jefferson and the Franco-American friendship.

The Porte Guillaume appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Dijon!

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Visiting Porte Guillaume


24 Hours



Address: Porte Guillaume, Place Darcy, Dijon, France
Duration: 5 minutes

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