Dijon entered history in 1015, when Robert I "the Old" established the city as a capital of his newly founded duchy in 1032, and became the first Duke of Burgundy. In 1137, a terrible fire razed the city. Duke Hughes II oversaw reconstruction within the broader limits of new fortifications which enclosed the abbey of St-Benigne as well (home to a 11th century crypt that haunts me). Of the 11 gates to the city built at that time, the last (Porte Guillaume) was replaced in 1788 by the "triumphal" arch on what is today Place Darcy.
As an administrative center, seat of the princes of Conde, Dijon underwent significant urban development in the 17C and 18C. Jules Hardouin-Mansart (architect of Versailles) and later his brother-in-law Robert de Cotte rebuilt the ducal palace as the splendid Palais des Etats de Bourgogne on a monumental esplanade (where you can now sit and enjoy the palace at one of the new cafes where cars used to park) then known as Place Royale. Local officials and parliamentarians built many of the fine houses that give Dijon its character. In 1725, Dijon became the Episcopal See. Under the Revolution, the Chartreuse de Champmol was destroyed; during the periods of the Empire and Restoration, the city remained largely unchanged. In 1850, the construction of the railway from Paris through Dijon and to the Mediterranean brought new life and new people; the population doubled between 1850 and 1852, as the industrial era took hold.
It was occupied by Nazi Germany between June 1940 and 11 September 1944, when it was liberated by joint French/UK/U.S. forces