All day enlightenment in Langres

Langres is a lovely little place to stop, or why not stay the night?, if you travel through north-eastern France, perhaps on your way to nearby wine districts (Champagne, Burgundy) or to sample and stock up on the local cheese, the langres (of course).

Talking about wine, I learned that nowadays there is a very local wine, the muid montsaugeonnais (somewhat of a tongue twister though). I tried both the white, a chardonnay, and the red, which was a pinot noir, and both were pleasant and certainly very affordable. More info about this small scale production can be found here:

But even if the langres cheese is quite well-known in France, what really puts Langres on the map, at least for French people, is its great son, the 18th century philosopher and writer Denis Diderot, a most prominent figure of the Enlightenment.

He was, as you know, the chief editor of the Encyclopédie, to which he also contributed with articles, a groundbreaking endeavour and a huge undertaking to gather knowledge about science, arts and crafts and spread the ideas of the Enlightenment movement.

If you don’t feel like reading the whole Encyclopédie (35 volumes in all), I recommend his literary works, for instance Jacques the Fatalist. It’s great fun, I promise!

And Langres keeps Diderot alive.

You can start your day by getting a croissant or two in the Diderot bakery:

Continue to the press shop to get something to read over your coffee:

Driving in France might get easier if you visit a local driving school for some handy tips:

You can do your shopping just nearby:

Some locally roasted coffee is a nice souvenir:

Now it’s time for a break, in Place Diderot, where else?

It’s time to think about dinner: the many options include Restaurant Diderot ( and the menu Denis Diderot in the Grand Hôtel de l’Europe:

Strangely enough there is no hotel called Diderot. I stayed in a lovely bed & breakfast in the old town, Le Belvédère des Remparts (

But what about the man himself? You find him in the central square, Place Diderot, where he supervises the ongoings in his home town.

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