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Bèze, a small Burgundian village halfway between Dijon and Gray via Fontaine-Française, has more than 750 inhabitants at the beginning of the 21st century and is part of the canton of Saint-Apollinaire. Its heritage and history attract around 100,000 people a year. Our village is situated at an average altitude of 253 m, the total surface area of the commune is 2,400 ha, with 1,400 ha of agricultural land and 600 ha of forest.
The village already existed in ancient times as its name comes from the Celtic Bezw or Bedw which means 'river at its source'. Indeed, the village was built near the resurgence of the Bèze, situated at the foot of the cliff, from which it takes its name, the second largest spring in France after the Fontaine de Vaucluse.
The discovery of the underground river of the Bèze in 1950, and its opening to the public in 1972, increase its tourist capital. It supplies the village with drinking water. At the foot of the cliff, adjacent to the listed site, is the access to the caves of Bèze. These caves and the underground river are open to visitors on foot and by boat (around 30,000 visitors per year).
The commune of Bèze also has an important historical and built heritage, linked in particular to the establishment of a large monastic community as early as 630. In addition to the listed site developed in the 19th century, there is a very beautiful medieval façade of the 13th century, listed as a Historic Monument since 1914, whose protection perimeter nearly covers the entire village.
During the 19th century, Bèze prospered thanks to its small-scale industry (forge, tool factory, wire drawing factory, nailfactory, tile and brick works, sawmill, etc.), its important crafts (flour and oil mills, wood merchants, coopers, a clog maker, a watchmaker and even a mustard manufacturer!) and its agriculture (producers of milk, cereals, hops, etc.). In the middle of the century, its population was close to 1200 inhabitants.
A famous character: Canon KIR, priest in Bèze for 10 years (1914-1924), then Mayor of Dijon (1945-1968). His wax statue, from the Grévin Museum, is currently in the Town Hall, while a bust is installed near the Source.
Bèze, selected in 2017 to represent Bourgogne-Franche-Comté in the TV show Le village préféré des Français, still has, here and there, many traces of its prestigious past, which can still be discovered along its streets.
Three hotel-restaurants, a pizzeria, a craft shop and a doctor meet the needs of the population and of a growing tourism. The large number of associations keeps our town alive throughout the year.

Municipality of Bèze

Les sculptures à Beze :