Chateau de Tanlay, Yonne: visitors guide
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The village of Tanlay is to the north of the Burgundy region, in the Yonne department between Tonnerre and Chatillon-sur-Seine. Visitors come to here to visit the Château de Tanlay, built in the latter half of the 16th century on the site of an earlier castle that had fallen into ruins, and there is also a small village to explore.
Exploring Tanlay Castle
The main castle is reached through the 'entrance house' which is itself a very substantial property, known as 'le petit chateau'. From here you cross the grounds and a bridge across the moat, with obelisks either side, to reach the castle. The stables and gardens are also accessed from here.
Built in the renaissance style with white limestone and with attractive slate roofs, Tanlay castle is a lovely building in a lovely setting that is more typical of the castles you would expect to discover in the Loire Valley. The whole building is surrounded by wide moats, in turn surrounded by extensive parkland that further enhances the setting.
The main facade of the castle features two ornate towers and has additional wings to either side, and round towers in each corner. As a result the castle as a whole is in the form of three sides of a square around an open courtyard.
The interior of the chateau is sumptuous and luxurious, with the salons on the ground floor and the long gallery upstairs. There are impressive wall paintings in the castle, above all the extensive trompe l'oeil paintings in the Grand Gallery and the frescoes in the Tour de la Ligue.
In the gardens around the castle you can see the stables and a decorative canal, and exhibitions of contemporary art in the buildings in the grounds of Tanlay Castle each summer that are highly regarded.
The castle is open to the public from mid-March until the end of October, every day except Tuesdays.
The village of Tanlay itself, in front of the castle, is very small but there is a pleasant stretch of the Burgundy canal to walk along and a couple of old buildings of interest. Note: most parking is along a long shady avenue of trees - along with warnings that branches might fall on your car during stormy weather. You might like to visit Tanlay on a calm day!
If you enjoy exploring castles, you can also visit Ancy-le-Franc Castle just a few kilometres from Tanlay.
Map of Chateau de Tanlay and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Noyers-sur-Serein: most beautiful village (18 km)
- Jardin du prieuré: remarkable garden (22 km)
- Abbaye de Pontigny (Pontigny): religious monument (29 km)
- Abbaye de Fontenay (Montbard): religious monument (31 km)
- Neuville-sur-Seine: ville fleurie 4* (32 km)
- Fontenay Abbey: heritage site (32 km)
- Abbaye de Fontenay: remarkable garden (33 km)
The French version of this page is at Chateau de Tanlay (Francais)