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Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Côte-d'Or

Saint-Jean-de-Losne - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in the Côte-d'Or

The former capital of the inland waterway industry and France's leading river port for pleasure craft, Saint-Jean-de-Losne in Côte-d'Or is one of the smallest municipalities in France. Situated at the confluence of the Saône and the Burgundy Canal, this small, peaceful town was the scene of a major historical event during the Thirty Years' War. In 1636, it was besieged by imperial troops who faced intense resistance from the inhabitants, determined not to let their city be taken. Thanks to the rising waters of the Saône and reinforcements from the French army, the town of Saint-Jean-de-Losne was saved.

When you visit, head to the Church of St. John the Baptist, which is built from brick, a material typical of the Saône Valley. Inside, there is a magnificent 18th-century organ and a stained glass window depicting episodes from the end of the 1636 siege. Built in the 17th century and then remodelled in the 18th century, the town hall is worth a visit for its grand drawing room with arabesque wallpaper dating from the 1790s.

River navigation enthusiasts must be sure to visit the Bargemen's House (Maison des Mariniers) and its three exhibition rooms dedicated to the history of inland navigation and the lives of bargemen.

Additional information

Saint-Jean-de-Losne is a commune in the Côte-d'Or, in the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, 33 km south-east of Dijon.

Composed of 36 hectares of land and 20 hectares of water, it is one of the smallest towns in France.

Located in the heart of the navigable waterways of France, Saint-Jean-de-Losne is at the crossroads of three river axes: the Saône, the Burgundy canal and the Rhine-Rhône canal. This very special geographical location makes the city an important transit point for sea and land transport.

Already in Antiquity, it was here that the salt extracted from the saltworks of Franche-Comté crossed the river. Over the centuries, during the Middle Ages, the Old Regime and then after the Revolution, when the canals were built, the sailors stop at Saint-Jean-de-Losne. The small city was also the scene of two major events: the signing in 1522 of the treaty of neutrality between the two Burgundies and in 1636, during the Thirty Years War, the resistance of the inhabitants against the siege undertaken by the enemy imperial troops.. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city experienced intense river activity. It became an important center of trade and industry for inland shipping as well as a home port for sailors. Nowadays, Saint-Jean-de-Losne has become the first river marina in France in inland waters and is known at European level thanks to its technical services related to the construction and maintenance of boats.

With its rich historical and river heritage, Saint-Jean-de-Losne is a major tourist center in the region.

Things to see and do

Before enjoying the leisure and activities related to its port, a visit to the small town allows you to discover a historical and architectural heritage of great quality.

The "Monument of Deliberation" is a must. Commemorating the "Belle Défense de Saint-Jean-de-Losne", it recalls the siege of the city by the army of General Gallas in 1636, a major event in the history of the city. The monument was erected on the very spot where the aldermen announced to the inhabitants their decision to continue the resistance against the besiegers. At the foot of the monument, two cannons remind us that pieces of artillery were offered to the city by Napoleon as a reward for the support of its inhabitants during the French campaign in 1814.

Built in the 16th century, the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church is made of brick, a characteristic material of the Val de Saône. The building has the specificity of possessing elements of Flamboyant Gothic style (such as its choir) and Renaissance (portal). Partly listed, the church houses beautifully crafted furniture (stalls and high altar with canopy and stucco decoration from the 18th century, preaching pulpit from the 16th century, ex-voto in the form of a boat from the 19th century...).

Now transformed into a retirement home, the former Hôtel Dieu founded in 1658 has been remodeled but the main building has retained its original exterior appearance, with its Mansard roof. The main staircase decorated with a statue of the Virgin and Child from the Burgundian school (15th century) has also been preserved, as have the old doors of the hospital. The period pharmacy, on the other hand, which remained in use until the beginning of the 20th century, is now housed and exhibited at the Hôtel d'Agar in Cavaillon.

On the river side, we finally notice the concrete bridge rebuilt in 1951.

Protected as historical monuments, the town hall is housed in a former private mansion from the 17th and 18th centuries, which is can still contemplate elements of architecture, furniture and decorations. There is, for example, a remarkable 17th century earthenware stove and a salon d'honneur decorated with a rare set of wallpaper from the same period. Archival documents bear witness to the tumultuous history of Saint-Jean-de-Losne and a painting by Geoffroy and Badin from 1847 offers a fine representation of the Siege of 1636. These spaces are accessible as part of a guided tour.

The Rives de Saône Tourist Office offers tours of the city and gourmet tours that end with a tasting in a local shop.

La Balade des Mariniers will allow you to wander around the city at your own pace, a treasure hunt offers families a fun discovery. A well-being course will allow you to recharge your batteries in the heart of nature... Information on +33 3 80 37 15 70.

The Maison des Mariniers is one of the oldest dwellings in the town (15th century), built of cob, bricks and terracotta. We also notice the oak ceilings. Since 1996, the house has housed the Musée de la Batellerie, whose collections (photographs, models, objects) provide an insight into the daily lives of skippers of yesteryear. Open every day from Easter to October 31 and out of season by appointment. Free visit, guided visit: 2 euros. Information on +33 3 45 18 33 87.

The former quay dedicated to the loading of merchant ships has become a river stopover adjoining the marina.

Its basin was dug in the 19th century and it was refurbished in 1987 when a cruise-boat rental company set up shop. Pontoons, workshops and a harbor master's office were also built. So many investments that have enabled Saint-Jean-de-Losne to become the leading French port for river tourism with some 350 berths and modern equipment.

Private rental companies for small or large cruise ships have set up over the years.

Two local associations also allow you to practice canoeing: VBD (contact +33 6 88 97 68 72) and Pagaies des Bords de Saône (contact +33 3 80 39 17 99) which offer several water trails ®.

Fishermen are not forgotten: find out about suitable sites and regulations on +33 3 80 57 11 15.

Places of interest

Information points

Events and festivities


The National Dock
The National Dock
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The Saone
The Saone
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Le Port (water station)
Le Port (water station)
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Pardon the Mariners in June
Pardon the Mariners in June
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Visits, leisure and activities nearby


Bed & breakfasts

Vacation rentals



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