Chalon sur Saone, France Hotels, Resorts & Hotel Accommodations

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CHALON SUR SAONE
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Chalon-sur-Saône is a town, former bishopric and commune in central France, in the Saône-et-Loire département, of which it is a sous-préfecture. It is the largest city in the department; however, the department's préfecture (capital) resides in the smaller commune of Mâcon. read full wikipedia reference about Chalon sur Saone, France

CHALON , a sizeable port and bustling industrial centre on a broad meander of the Saône, is generally uninteresting, though its old riverside quarter does have an easy charm, and it makes a good base for exploring the more expensive areas of the Côte d'Or. Today it's a thriving business centre, and trade fairs frequently take over the town, but more festive occasions are also an important part of its appeal and good reasons to stop if you're around at the right time. Three major events are: a carnival in March, which features a parade of giant masks, confetti battle and "laughter evening"; a national festival of street artists in July; and a film festival in October.

The old town is just back from the river around Grande-Rue and rue du Châtelet. At the junction of these two streets you'll see a fifteenth-century timber-framed house, and around the quarter you'll find a number of half-timbered jettied facades. Nearby, 200m to the west on place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville, is the Musée Denon (daily except Tues & hols 9.30am-noon & 2-5.30pm, Wed free), whose most vaunted exhibit is the 18,000-year-old Volgu flint, rated one of the finest stone tools yet discovered. Apart from the usual collection of bits and pieces excavated nearby, look out for the local furniture.

More interesting and unusual is the Musée Niepce , 28 quai des Messageries (daily except Tues: July & Aug 10am-6pm; Sept-June 9.30-11.30am & 2.30-5.30pm), just downstream from Pont St-Laurent. Niepce, who was born in Chalon, is credited with inventing photography in 1816, and the museum possesses a fascinating range of cameras, from the first machine ever to the Apollo moon mission's equipment, plus a number of 007-type spy-camera devices, all attractively displayed under a set of glass domes. Upstairs is a library of works on the subject of photography, to be thumbed through at leisure, and a space for temporary exhibitions, with some big names in the history of the art.

The other interesting target in town is the Maison des Vins on Promenade Ste-Marie (daily 9am-7pm), where you can taste and buy Côte Chalonnaise wines, chosen from the wines of 44 local villages by a choice committee of professional wine tasters; even the cheaper ones are really good.

  

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