Montbard travel guide

Photo of Montbard

Visit Montbard (Burgundy-Franche-Comté, France)

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Montbard is in the Cote d'Or department of Burgundy, east of Avallon and north of Semur-en-Auxois. The town is best known for its proximity to Fontenay Abbey, but there are a couple reasons why you might like to stop and explore Montbard itself.

Explore Montbard and the Parc Buffon

Before visiting Montbard a historical note is necessary. The 18th century Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (Count of Buffon) was born at Montbard and has a significant impact on the town and region. He was an important scientist, naturalist, mathematician and writer and had an influence on later scientists in these fields such as Charles Darwin.

Trees in Parc Buffon

The highlight of your visit to Montbard is the Parc Buffon on the edge of the town. This is quite an extensive and well maintained parc built around the remains of the Chateau de Montbard that includes various features and historical buildings of interest:

- a tower (the Tour de l'Aubespin) that you can ascend for views over the town and region and a church

- a second tower (the Tour Saint-Louis), originally Buffon's library

- the small clinic where Buffon carried out his work

- an Orangerie (attractive stone and glass greenhouse type building), now a Museum dedicated to Buffon

As well as the individual monuments you can look at the grounds themselves. The gardens are a mix of formally planted sections, mostly on the terraces, and more informal woodland walks, and it is a pleasant place for a stroll.


Elsewhere in Montbard there is less of great interest, just a quiet town with a shopping street, a couple of churches and a Musee de Beaux Arts focussing on local artists near the Town Hall.

At the town hall, one of the most imposing buildings in Montbard, take a look at the carved characters in the tower above the clock, beating out the time (called a jacquemart).

Below Montbard town centre you can take a stroll along the banks of the Brenne river, and the Burgundy canal can also be seen in the town. Both of these waterways provide various leisure activities in the region around Montbard.

Musee de Beaux Arts in Montbard

Close to Montbard

As well as the obligatory trip to Fontenay Abbey, not far from Montbard and in a pretty setting on the edge of the river you can visit the village of Buffon which contains the Grande Forge de Buffon (where iron works were carried out).

A second unmissable destination is the picturesque town of Semur-en-Auxois, a few kilometres south of Montbard.

You can find more travel ideas in the Burgundy guide.

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Fontenay Abbey

Fontenay Abbey

The complex of buildings at the Abbey de Fontenay, and the surrounding gardens and woodlands, make this one of our favourite French abbeys

Fontenay Abbey guide


One of the prettiest of the Burgundy villages, Semur-en-Auxois has a very lively and extensive historic centre and a pretty riverside setting

Semur-en-Auxois guide


The village of Flavigny retains an ancient centre surrounded by fortified walls, and a very authentic historic atmoshere

Flavigny guide
Chateau d\'Ancy-le-Franc

Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc

The 15th century castle at Ancy-le-Franc was one of the very first renaissance style castles to be built in France

Chateau d'Ancy-le-Franc guide


Behind its fortified entrance, the small village of Montreal is a very unspoiled medieval village

Montreal guide


The half-timbered houses and riverside setting make Noyers-sur-Serein one of our favourite small towns in this region

Noyers-sur-Serein guide

Address: Montbard, Burgundy, 21500, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 47.6236, longitude 4.33778

Plan your visit to Montbard, Cote d'Or

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Abbaye de Fontenay (Montbard): religious monument
  • Abbaye de Fontenay: remarkable garden (4 km)
  • Fontenay Abbey: heritage site (4 km)
  • Jardin du moulin de Athie: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Potager du château de Lantilly: remarkable garden (9 km)
  • Alesia: grand site of france (15 km)
  • Siège d'Alésia: site of natural beauty (16 km)
  • Bussy-Rabutin Chateau: national monument (16 km)
  • Flavigny: most beautiful village (19 km)
  • Noyers-sur-Serein: most beautiful village (27 km)
  • Chatillon-sur-Seine: recommended detour (33 km)
  • Basilique de Saint Andoche (Saulieu): religious monument (39 km)

Market days in Montbard, France

Regular market(s) are held in Montbard each Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at Montbard (Francais)