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CHÂTEAU D'ANCY-LE-FRANC

ANCY-LE-FRANC

An Italian Renaissance palace in Burgundy classified as a Historic Monument.

Located between Auxerre and Dijon, along the Burgundy canal and not far from Chablis, the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc is an idyllic place for lovers of History, Art and beautiful stones – and for a family outing!

A little history

The Italian Renaissance Palace in Burgundy is the masterpiece of Serlio, Italian architect to King François I. Built in the heart of a vast park for Antoine III de Clermont, brother-in-law of Diane de Poitiers, Ancy-le-Franc is, thanks to its profoundly original composition, without example in Italy or France. Elegant sculpted main courtyard, richly decorated apartments, galleries adorned with grotesque decorations, mythological, religious or battle scenes, bedrooms, cabinets, chapel, coffered ceilings, marble floors, … A true journey through 5 centuries of History!

The Marquis de Louvois, Louis XIV’s Minister of War, acquired the château at the end of the 17th century, and turned it into his own private Versailles, with the construction of the outbuildings and orangery and the creation of a vast French garden, the latter designed by Le Nôtre.

Unique architecture

The Château d’Ancy-le-Franc is not an old fortified castle transformed into a Renaissance palace, it was actually built in the 16th century, according to the plans of King François I’s famous architect, the Italian Serlio, THE benchmark for Renaissance architecture worldwide. The residence is built on a perfectly square plan, and the symmetry and refinement of the main courtyard with its sculptures, niches and arcades overwhelm visitors from the moment they arrive.

Many kings of France came to Ancy le Franc: Henri IV, Louis XIV, Louis XIII , …

Did you know?

The palace houses an exceptional collection of wall paintings, classified as one of the most important in France currently preserved from the 16th and 17th centuries.

The patron of the château, who served King François I and then his son Henri II, was a great art enthusiast and patron of the arts. He invited the great Italian and Flemish masters of the Fontainebleau School to decorate the apartments (Le Primatice, Nicolo dell’Abbate, Nicolas de Hoey, …). The density and variety of the decorations is more than impressive! You’ll see mythological, religious or battle scenes, grotesque and medallion decorations, coffered ceilings, outstanding polychrome woodwork and floors, ….

Madame la Marquise de Sévigné referred to Ancy le Franc in her letters as a French construction “in costume italiano”.

A journey through 5 centuries

More than 5 apartments, 3 galleries, chapel, guardroom, bedrooms, chambers and salons can be visited (the King’s Chamber, the Chamber of Flowers, the Chamber of Arts, Judith’s Chamber, Pastor Fido’s Cabinet, Medea’s Gallery, etc.). The Galerie de Pharsale, one of the centerpieces of the noble floor, is a particular highlight: the impressive 32-meter-long ochre cameo depicts a famous battle from Antiquity. Such a representation remains unique in France (recently restored in its entire length).

Since 2014, part of the first floor has also been open to visitors.

 

Cultural events at Château d'Ancy-le-Franc

Art exhibitions, classical concert tours, evening tours, wine and antiques fairs are on the program throughout the season.

Renaissance costumes & games are available for children to play during the tour.

Visit the castle

The Château d’Ancy-le-Franc is open to the public for self-guided, guided or audio tours. It is possible to visit the interior alone or coupled with the garden and the 50-hectare park.

In addition to the château, the estate includes vast stables and parterres, orangery, French and English gardens with “Folie” (18th century), pond and streams, small paths and bridges, century-old trees, horse park, pyramid,… Pleasant place to stroll after visiting the château.

 

The château also welcomes groups all year round by reservation.

Practical information

Address

18, place Clermont-Tonnerre, Ancy-le-Franc

Prices

Base rate - full rate adult13€
School rate8€
Student's rate11€
Child rate--
Child rate8€
Base rate - full rate adult13€
School rate8€
Student's rate11€
Child rate--
Child rate8€
Audio guide rate3€

Opening hours

  • Tuesday 10:00 - 12:30 / 14:00 - 18:00
  • Wednesday 10:00 - 12:30 / 14:00 - 18:00
  • Thursday 10:00 - 12:30 / 14:00 - 18:00
  • Friday 10:00 - 12:30 / 14:00 - 18:00
  • Saturday 10:00 - 14:00 / 12:30 - 18:00
  • Sunday 10:00 - 14:00 / 12:30 - 18:00

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