Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc visitor guide

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Ancy-le-Franc castle is found in the Yonne department south-east of Tonnerre, on the Canal de Bourgogne (Burgundy canal). Built between 1542 and 1550 Ancy-le-Franc was one of the first Renaissance chateaux to be constructed in France.

Visiting the Chateau Ancy-le-Franc

The castle is roughly square in shape around a central square courtyard, and set within extensive landscaped gardens.It is essentially an early example of renaissance architecture in France, even if the exterior lacks some of the flamboyant flourishes that would be included on castles built later in the period.

Chateau de Ancy-le-Franc

The unassuming but quietly elegant exterior of this 16th century castle conceals a grand Italian style courtyard and an interior with several very grand rooms and including some very good frescoes and wall paintings - in fact the Chateau d'Ancy-le Franc has the largest collection of renaissance paintings to be found in France, mostly dating from the 16th - 17th centuries.

The architect and decoration of Ancy-le-Franc castle were under the control of some of the same individuals responsible for Fontainebleau, and are richly decorated with painted ceilings, frescoed and panelled walls, and intricated parquet floors. Among the most impressive rooms are:

- the Chambre des Arts, with a fine parquet floor and elaborately painted walls and ceilings

- the Galleries of Médée, Sacrifices and Pharsale, above all for their stunning floor designs and walls

- the paintings in the bedrooms of Judith and of Flowers

Stables for the Chateau de Ancy-le-Franc

Outside the castle you can explore the extensive gardens, which include both formal French style gardens and others in the more informal English style. The Burgundy canal provides a further scenic backdrop to the castle.

Admission price for Ancy-le-Franc Castle is 9 euros, with reductions for students, children etc. Guided visits only.

Attractions nearby

Most visitors to the castle at Ancy-le-France will also want to visit Tanlay Castle, not far (about 10 kilometres) to the north-west from here.

There are several interesting towns in the region: our favourite is Noyers-sur-Serein, a short distance south-west of Ancy-le-Franc and with a delightful historic centre.

See more castles in France. You can find more travel ideas in the Yonne guide and the Burgundy guide.

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Visit near Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc with France This Way reviews

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The French version of this page is at Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc (Francais)