Mâcon is the capital of the department of Saône-et-Loire, in Burgundy-Franche-Comté region.
With about 34 000 inhabitants, 60 km south of Chalon-sur-Saône and 80 km north of Lyon, it is the most southern Burgundy city on the west bank of the Saône between Bresse And the Beaujolais to the south.
Its dwellings with colored facades and roofs covered with Romanesque tiles already announce the south. In fact, since the Roman period, Mâcon is a crossroads of roads (by road and river) and is then on the border between the kingdom of France and the Germanic empire until 1600. A position which Authorizes it to levy customs duties ensuring its development.
In addition to the vineyards and farmland surrounding it, the town's economic activity is based on its river port and logistics (road transport).
Mâcon which has preserved its rich historical architectural heritage is also now a privileged tourist stage, offering a varied cultural programming and a quality environment. A marina on the Saône and many gastronomic specialties often linked to its vineyard is to be highlighted.
A walk in the city center allows you to appreciate the historical heritage of Mâcon.
It includes, as far as religious buildings are concerned, the Old Saint-Vincent, namely the remains of the old Romanesque cathedral (towers and entrance porticoes remarkable). Inside, plans and models evoke the history of the classified site (free admission every day except Monday, information on +33 3 85 39 90 38).
Next to see the present Cathedral of Saint Vincent decided and financed by Napoleon (1808). Of classic style, one will notice its stained glass windows and its decoration realized at the end of XIXe.
More recently (1860), the church of Saint-Pierre is the work of a pupil of Viollet le Duc, Berthier. Its three-storeyed façade, its portals with elaborate tympanums, its two steeples with stone arrows, and several listed elements, including a bas-relief of a marble altar by Perrache (18th century).
The old Ursuline convent (17th century), which was later a prison, now houses a museum that evokes the history of the city (archaeological collections), allows to admire the works of local painters but also has a dedicated floor To Lamartine, the famous poet and politician born in Mâcon. Closed on Mondays. Free entry for children under 26 years old. Price: 2.50 euros. Information on +33 3 85 39 90 38.
The Hôtel-Dieu apothecary (18th century), with its ornaments and collections of pharmaceutical equipment, is still to be included in a visit to the city. Free admission.
Place aux Herbes, a detour is needed to admire the Wooden House (end of the 15th) and its wooden facade decorated with scenes sometimes grivoises.
The fortified bridge of Saint-Laurent (13th century, extended in the 16th century), the Mémorial citoyen, a memorial site dedicated to conflicts from 1870 to the present day, with historical evocations and exhibitions (price: 1 and 3 euros, information on +33 3 85 34 51 03) must also be included in a city tour.
For a guided tour or to follow the course with marking and interactive terminals arranged by the Tourist Office, please call +33 3 85 21 07 07.
A walk in the city can include a stage in one of the parks and gardens that make Mâcon a green city (6000 m² of wooded or flowered areas): Saint-Nicolas meadow, valley of the Rigolettes, square of the Peace...
For lovers of hiking or mountain biking, a rich range of routes at the start or crossing the city is available: some include the vineyard, others follow all or part of the dirt road (or haulage when following the Saône) Connecting Mâcon to Lyon (75 km). There is also the blue track (35 km to Tournus) or the greenway (120 km of road reserved for skaters, cyclists or even pedestrians using old railways).
All information on routes and degrees of difficulty, even the possibility of renting bicycles on +33 3 85 21 07 07.
On the river side, learning the pleasures and secrets of catfish fishing is an unusual activity. Please call +33 3 85 39 07 50.
Close to the marina (400 rings) which connects the Saône to the Mediterranean basin, you can also practice water skiing (from mid-June to mid-September). Contact the +33 6 80 75 19 35.
From 1 April to 31 October, why not discover Mâcon and its surroundings by renting a boat without a permit? For further information, please call +33 3 86 91 72 72.
Finally, you will not hesitate to frequent the community aquatic center (open pools accessible in summer, play areas or wellness). Information on +33 3 85 21 11 30.
From the end of June to the end of August, the Été Frappé festival offers concerts of all kinds (classical music, jazz, rock), free of charge, in various places of the city (esplanade Lamartine, Ursulines museum, etc.). Dance shows, theater and screenings of outdoor movies are also offered.
At the end of July, the Crescent Jazz Festival will host internationally renowned artists for a week.
At the beginning of October, the festival Effervescence is aimed at moviegoers on the theme of the 5 senses. Screenings of films and meetings with directors.
In November, on Mâcon and its surroundings, the Festival of the Harvest of Humor makes the show of the show distilling laughter and good humor.
In another register, the rich gourmet heritage of Mâcon and Burgundy can be discovered on the markets of the city: Wednesday morning Place des Commerces, Thursday morning Place Gardon, Saturday morning esplanade Lamartine (with regular entertainment according to Seasons).