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Courtesy Château d’Ancy-le-Franc

Key Info

18 Place Clermont-Tonnerre


Castles/Palaces, Tours, Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend


  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Designed by Italian architect Sebastiano Serlio in the 16th century, Le Château d'Ancy-le-Franc is a study in symmetry, as its four main facades come together to create a perfect square. Inside, more treasures await, as the walls are decorated with works by some of the most famous 16th- and 17th-century Italian, Flemish and Burgundian artists. Outside, the 123 acres that comprise its park and gardens are reminiscent of Paris' Versailles

Travelers have mixed feelings about whether they recommend taking a guided or self-guided tour of the château. Some say it's nice to wander around at your own pace, especially if you have young kids in tow. Still, others say the knowledgeable tour guides enhance the visit. 

Le Château d'Ancy-le-Franc sits between Auxerre and Dijon on the Burgundy canal, near Chablis, and is best reached by car. The château is open from the end of March to mid-November. During other months of the year, it's open for groups that make appointments. Hours vary seasonally, but generally, the site is open to the public from 10:30 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Guided tours are offered at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.; from April through September, there's also one offered at 5 p.m. For a guided tour of the château, tickets cost 10 euros (about $12.50). A self-guided tour will set you back 9 euros (roughly $11). You can pay an extra 3 euros for an audio guide, or you can download a free audio guide to your smartphone via the château's website. The property also offers audio guides for children. For access to the château and grounds, a combination ticket costs 13 euros (approximately $16). To find out more, visit Le Château d'Ancy-le-Franc's website

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#1 Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun

The Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun, also known as the Autun Cathedral, was built in the 12th century as a Roman Catholic cathedral and storehouse of the relics of St. Lazarus. Of particular note are the works of art, including a tympanum of "The Last Judgement." The iconic sculptures, carved by Gislebertus in the Romanesque style, are equally engaging. 

Recent visitors said the Cathédrale Saint-Lazare d'Autun stands out among European cathedrals for its architecture and art. Along with the tympanum, travelers also appreciated the cathedral's stained glass and the way the cathedral continues to be used by the Autun community. 

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