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Nuits-Saint-Georges (Municipality, Côte-d'Or, France)

Last modified: 2022-07-08 by ivan sache
Keywords: nuits-saint-georges |
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Presentation of Nuits-Saint-Georges

The municipality of Nuits-Saint-Georges (5,362 inhabitants in 2019; 2,050 ha) is located 25 km south of Dijon.

Nuits-Saint-Georges was first settled in the Magdalenian at a place called Trou-Léger. A Roman town has been excavated in Les Bolards, a temple deicated to Cybele and a Mithraeum included, which was totally destroyed in the early 5th century.
In the Middle Ages, the town of Nuits was mentioned under different names, starting in the 10th century. In 1212, Duke Odo III granted a municipal charter to the southern part of the town, Nuits-Aval. The St. Symphorien church was built in the 13th century. From 1362, the town built ramparts. The belfry dates from 1610.
In 1700, Intendent Ferrand wrote in a memoir for the instruction of the Duke of Burgundy that the best wines in the province originated from "vineyards close to Nuits and Beaune". The oldest wine trading company, Charles Viennot, was founded in 1735. Many more have been established since the 19th century, fostered by the inauguration of the railway station in 1849.
In 1892, Nuits was renamed to Nuits-Saint-Georges, after one of its most prestigious wine appellations. The Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) Nuits-Saint-Georges, created in 1936, is restricted two red and white wines produced from Pinot noir and Chardonnay as the main grapes, respectively. The production of red wine represents around 97 per centof the AOC.
On 25 July 1971, the crew of Apollo 15 officially gave the name of Crater Saint-Georges to a lunar crater, paying homage to Jules Verne. In the novel Around the Moon (Autour de la Lune), a fine bottle of Nuits wine is accidentally found in the provision compartment, in order to celebrate "the union of the Earth and its satellite".

Olivier Touzeau, 5 June 2021

Banner of arms of Nuits-Saint-Georges


Banner of arms of Nuits-Saint-Georges - Image by Olivier Touzeau, 5 June 2021

A banner of the arms of Nuits-Saint-Georges, "Azure three bendlets or a chief gules three cinquefoils or a barrulet argent in base", is used on the facade of a wine merchant (photo).
These arms are featured in the Armorial Général, with the cinquefoils substituted by three bezants (image.

"Gules three cinquefoils or" are the arms of the house of Vergy, a Burgundian lineage that split in several branches:
- Lords of Mirebeau and Bourbonne;
- Lords of Champuant, included a Seneschal and Marshal of Burgundy (15th century) and Anton of Vergy (1487-1541), Archbishop of Besançon (1517-1541);
- Counts of Champlite, included several Knights of the Order of the Golden Fleece;
- Lords of Autrey;
- Counts of Dammartin, included Anton of Vergy (1375-1439), named Marshal of France in 1422 by King Henry V of England (as Regent of France);
- Lords of Fonvers, included William of Vergy (1350-1407), Archbishop of Besançon (1371-1407), elevated to cardinal-priest of Santa Cecilia in 1391.
[Henri Jougla de Morénas Grand Armorial de France]

The Vergy lineage lived in a castle erected in the 9th century on a rocky spur now located in the municipality of Reulle-Vergy.
Odo III (1166-1218), Duke of Burgundy, besieged the inexpugnable castle in 1185 for 18 months, to no avail. After having repudiated his wife, Mathilda of Portugal, Odo married in 1199 Alix of Vergy (1182-1251) in 1199, ending a 15-year long conflict.
Odo III supported king of France Philip II Augustus in the Languedoc crusade (1209) and the battle of Bouvines (1214); he died in 1218 in Lyon on his way to the Fifth Crusade. Alix of Vergy was appointed regent of the duchy in the name of her son, Hugh IV. Until 1228, she restored the duchy's finances weakened by her husband's expeditions, increased the duchy's territory and set up fruitful alliances. In 1230, she swapped the castle of Aignay-le-Duc for the barony of Salins with Joceran de Brancion; the big domain brought the high income from the saltworks of Salines. Hugh IV subsequently established the salt road, protected by the fortresses of Saint-Jean-de-Losne, Chaussin and Les Clées.
Alix de Vergy owned Nuits-Saint-Geoerges as part of her dowry. She founded Nuits-Aval, which was granted a charter in 1212. Alix most probably funded around 1235 the building of a brand new church in Nuits-Amont, the original village, to replace a chapel deemed too small.
[Sylvain Demarthe. 2015. Alix de Vergy et l'architecture religieuse en Bourgogne dans la première moitié du xiiie siècle. Bulletin d'études du centre médiéval d'Auxerre 19.2]

Olivier Touzeau & Ivan Sache, 5 June 2021