The region is also dotted with impressive castles, many of which are open to visitors.
Many are ‘chateaux forts’ when defence was a priority. Others reflect the Renaissance period where style was more important.
‘La Rochepot’ is definitely in the defensive league though its
marvellous Burgundian roof reflects a somewhat romantic image of medieval times.
Châteauneuf is more forbidding. High on a hillside overlooking what is now the auto route A6 to Paris and the Burgundy canal, you can still feel that somebody is watching you from the ramparts, just checking that your intentions are friendly!
Not the case in Bussy-Rabutin where style is mixed with satire. Roger de Bussy-Rabutin was exiled here for life after a spell in prison in Paris. His offence was to insult the court and in particular the favourite lady of the King.
He had the walls decorated with paintings of the members of the Court (especially the women) with some not very flattering remarks on their looks and sexual desires. The tour is interesting as you would expect and the gardens are delightful.
Gardens are definitely the delight of Cormatin. The chateau is stunning but, it is the gardens that many visitors come to see. They are being painstakingly brought back to their original glory and design.
Nothing quite prepares you for Bazoches. The restoration work on this splendid castle has been extensive and it can now be enjoyed. This was the home of Vauban who was the great architect of castles and fortifications for Louis 14th.
France is covered with so many fine examples of Vauban’s work that one wonders how much time he spent in this magnificent home. But, he did occasionally and now you can. From the gardens the abbey and village of Vézelay can be clearly seen.
Other interesting castles are to be found in Tanlay, Ancy-le- Franc, St-Fargeau, Ratilly, Guérigny, Epoisses, La Rochepot, Couches, Commarin, Curbigny (Drée), Pierre-de-Bresse, Berzé-le-Chatel, Pierreclos, Sully or La Clayette.
A mediaeval adventure in the 21st C. A mediaeval castle is being built in the surroundings of St-Fargeau with the means and equipment which were available in the 13th century.
The construction will last for about 25 years and some of the workers will live on the site, exactly like their 13th century counterparts.
credits : Burgundy Tourist Board