Chateaux in Burgundy: a heaven for history fans

Think of Burgundy and you’ll no doubt think of fine wine and gastronomy – as a reader of FRANCE Magazine you might even be aware of the region’s  expansive network of beautiful waterways. But did you know that Burgundy also lays claim to having more ch�teaux than any other region in France?

Think of Burgundy and you’ll no doubt think of fine wine and gastronomy – as a reader of FRANCE Magazine you might even be aware of the region’s expansive network of beautiful waterways. But did you know that Burgundy also lays claim to having more ch�teaux than any other region in France? Nearly 100 ch�teaux and medieval strongholds of every architectural style dot the region’s landscape. Many of the structures are ch�teaux forts from a time when defence was a priority, but others reflect the Renaissance period when style was more important. Famous historic guests to the ch�teaux include the Marquis de Vauban, Madame de S�vign�, and authors Lamartine and Colette. Visitors both past and present are greeted with delightful gardens and parks open alongside the magnificent structures, allowing holiday-makers to walk among the historic buildings.There are ch�teaux dotted over the four d�partements of Burgundy – examples which illustrate the richness of the region’s heritage and the important role it played in European history include the following:In the C�te-d’Or the Ch�teau de La Rochepot is a romantic image of medieval times, whilst the Ch�teau Ch�teauneuf-en-Auxois is a outstanding example of the remaining vestiges of Burgundy military architecture.In Nevers the Duke’s Palace is considered to be one of the foremost ch�teaux of the Loire. Close by is Bazoches, the former residence of Marshal Vauban, offering an exceptional garden built from plans drawn up by Le N�tre.Next to Auxerre is the Ch�teau d’Ancy-le-Franc, an astonishing palace with the most extensive set of Renaissance paintings, making it a rival for Fontainebleau.In southern Burgundy, 17 ch�teaux have joined forces to create the “Route des Ch�teaux en Bourgogne du Sud”. The trail offers visitors a fascinating route through varied countryside with architectural examples of Burgundy heritage illustrating all periods from the feudal era to Romanticism.Another unique fact to Burgundy is the Ch�teau de Gu�delon, a castle in the making and an amazing adventure in history. In the heart of Puisaye, in Yonne (northern Burgundy), a team of 50 people have taken on an extraordinary feat: to build a castle using the very same techniques and materials used in the Middle Ages.Set in secluded woodland in an abandoned quarry, the Ch�teau de Gu�delon is the only construction site of its kind in the world, and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. All the materials needed are found on site, including the workmen’s tools and clothing – visitors delight in seeing a variety of different trades including quarrymen, stonemasons, woodcutters, blacksmiths, tile-makers, basket-makers, and rope-makers working together. Work on the site began in 1997 and is scheduled to take 25 years, giving visitors the opportunity to return time and again to check the progress.For more information about ch�teaux in Burgundy, go to:www.burgundy-tourism.com/places-to-go-castles-and-chateaux--0306en.html