The Château de Châteauneuf-en-Auxois

Châteauneuf is, first and foremost, an architectural dream. As soon as you arrive in the courtyard you are transported back to the Middle Ages, looking up at a military bastion from the time of the Dukes of Burgundy. When you throw open its doors another surprise awaits you: stepping through time into the grandiose ambiance created by the 15th Century or the tranquillity of an 18th Century salon. Like a guardian keeping watch over the Canal de Bourgogne, the château is an undoubted highlight of the region’s culture.

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The Château de Bussy-Rabutin

This château perfectly illustrates the concept of the French-style garden (one that has been awarded the “Jardin Remarquable” label). Everything is planned to the last millimetre, precisely and with no missteps. Whether it is the leafy maze or the paths in star formation, nothing here is out of place. This in itself is astonishing given the history of its original owner! In fact, Count Roger de Bussy-Rabutin was eventually driven out of the court of King Louis XIV for having revealed…one or two juicy secrets about his contemporaries and their affairs. Even in that era, the “gossip columns” had a field day!

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If the châteaux of Burgundy-Franche-Comté were in need of a princess or a knight, would you be up to the challenge over the course of a weekend?

Château d’Ancy-le-Franc

This is a château that has never received the credit it deserves. Unfortunately for this place, the Château de Fontainebleau was built around the same time. Nevertheless, this palace does have some things in its favour! Constructed using white stone by the architect of François I, the sun shines on it revealing the tiniest of details, giving it a sense of purity that you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere! The interior tells the same story…The gallery of mural frescoes can certainly hold its own against its counterpart in Fontainebleau

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Château de Ray-sur-Saône

From afar, with its two wide medieval towers and its strategic position overlooking the river, you can instantly understand that this château was put there, first and foremost, to defend and keep watch. Up close, a whole other ambiance can be felt. You are welcomed for a bucolic stroll through an immense park with 8 hectares planted with rare species. Inside the château, the chambers and the treasures come thick and fast, some of which are quite unexpected, such as a sabre that once belonged to Napoleon or even the fox hunting costumes. Our advice would be to bring a bike so that you can continue your visit along the cycling path that flanks the River Saône and enjoy the panoramic view of the château, the listed village of Ray-sur-Saône and its Comtois bell tower. A beautiful tableau!

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Château de Couches

A worthy representative of the Middle Ages, the Château de Couches has managed to navigate time with great brio. It continues to do so with initiatives that are certainly original…All year round there are workshops, storytelling, outdoor games, treasure hunts… Here, kids rule (or the knights, or the princesses…it’s up to them). While they wait, parents can enjoy a little visit of the site’s residential quarters, chapel and gardens that are home to charming boxwood animals. At the end of the day, the back seat of your car should be pretty quiet on the way home!

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The museums of Albert and Félicie Demard

Providing a testament to country life in an immense château…This is an audacious challenge but one that has been successfully achieved by the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions of Champlitte. Entering through a splendid Renaissance façade you then plunge into the everyday life and crafts of the farmworkers of yesteryear (late XIX Century): wickerwork, baking, shoe making, ironing, etc. This rather extraordinary collection was brought together by one man, Albert Demard, who was fascinated by the simple and authentic way of life of his forebears. This journey into the past would not be complete without a visit to the Arts and Techniques Museum, a project by Albert Demard’s son, which provides a wonderful lesson on the impact of the inventions of the XX Century (steam engine, electricity…) on industry and artisanal crafts.

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Château Pierre de Bresse

3 visits for the price of one! In fact, the Château Pierre de Bresse has the peculiarity of being divided into 2 ensembles. On the one side the common parts, and on the other side the Lord’s residence. Between the two? Water… and a robust stone bridge (it wouldn’t be much fun to swim from one to the other! :o). What about the third visit, you ask? Well that involves the Burgundian Bresse Eco-museum, currently housed in the château itself. And to give you a little taste of mystery, here is a little anecdote about the château…A tale of passion unfolded here in 1809. Find the gravestone to learn more!

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Château d’Oricourt

The Crusades, knights, travelling performers; the Middle Ages undoubtedly feeds our imagination and it is true that we would all sometimes like to relive the film « Les Visiteurs » in reverse. We already have the movie set! Rendezvous at the little village of Oricourt and its château where the sequel to this famous comedy would surely have to be filmed! In fact, everything is right here! Two high stone towers surrounded by ditches, a dovecote, a well, fortified walls and a corps de logis restored to its XV Centrury glory by the former Chancellor of Burgundy, Nicolas Rolin, who had the good taste of adding a few decorative Renaissance features. All that is missing is you and your family to bring this beautiful medieval ensemble (one of the best preserved in the region) to life! So, who will play the role of Jacquouille la Fripouille?

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The Château de Brancion

Brancion’s walls bear the hallmark of a tumultuous history that is only to be expected of a fortified château: it has been home to powerful lords but also to great conflict (especially with the monks of Cluny who yearned for power both locally and further afield!), battles and pillages that, unsurprisingly, have left deep scars. But Brancion has not yet had its final say. Thanks to a handful of passionate enthusiasts (its owners during the 70s and later an association from the year 2000) the fortress has nowadays rediscovered its splendour! With restoration works, a programme of entertainments and visits from the public, all these efforts have paid off, because Brancion today offers no fewer than three different discoveries: the château, of course, but also the pretty medieval village that surrounds it and the many stunning views. The good news is that this entire ensemble is ideally located…way up high.

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