- United Kingdom
Ancy-le-Franc, Tonnerre, Burgundy, France
Friday, 2 July, 2010
Geodata of the photograph illustrating this article...
Location name:Château d’Ancy-le-Franc
Visits to Château d’Ancy-le-Franc is by guided tour and these take place hourly on the hour. The château is privately owned, as a consequence much of the building and a great deal of the estate is closed to the public. Photography is not allowed inside of the main château.
We arrived on bicycles at the Château d’Ancy-le-Franc, having parked the car at Buffon and cycled to Ancy-le-Franc by way of the Burgundy Canal towpath. The weather was very hot and the distance was a little further than I had estimated. We arrived hot and sticky but just in time for one of the guided tours.
I just had time to visit the toilets but in a my haste to join the tour I re-emerged from the dark château into blinding sunlight and failed to notice the carefully raked gravel of the central courtyard. "Monsieur, monsieur!" echoed aross the courtyard as I stopped dead in my tracks. Rather embarrassed I immediately apologised. "Pardon monsieur, pardon!". I sheepishly retraced my steps back to the stone flagged perimeter path.
The guided tour turned out to be very amusing. Our group was only about 8 persons, though several nationalities, including French, Netherlands, German and English. Our multilingual tour guide asked what language he should speak. This lead to a lengthy discussion mainly because the Netherlanders, being in the majority, requested Dutch be spoken, but since none of the non-Netherlanders understood Dutch this did appear to be a major problem. I decided to keep out of the argument, since intuition suggested if I waited long enough English would eventually prevail.
The guide asserted his authority and decided to conduct the tour speaking French. I found this a little curious since the group contained a solitary Frenchman. My French is not brilliant but I could understand enough to enjoy the tour.
While we stood in the courtyard under a blazing hot sun, the guide gave us a short history lesson regarding the château and its environment. After about 10 minutes I noticed that one of the Netherlands gentlemen was getting a little agitated. He was not understanding the history lesson. After a few heated words from the Netherlander our bewildered guide retreated to the reception and re-emerged with whom I presume was the manager of the château.
An heated argument ensued between the château manager and the Netherlander. The Netherlander was not happy! Having paid a 9 Euro entrance fee (which by the way I found rather expensive for what was on offer) he quite rightly wanted his money's worth. The guide looked on bemused. After much heated debate it was decided that the guide should continue with the tour, but from this point onward would speak in English. I have met very few Netherlanders that could not speak reasonably good English so all's well that ends well. Except that is for the poor Frenchman, who I suspect did not understand English, though he never once complained.
Finally the guided tour proper got under way. The tour lasts for about 1 hour and is very informative though over all I felt the entrance fee is way too high compared with other similar properties. Much of the château and estate is not open to the public though this is not widely publicised. Never the less I managed a few photographs and learned a little more French history.
Places to go, sights to see, things to do - within 25km
|La Grande Forge de Buffon||Visit||2010-06-28||15.73 km|
|Le Prieuré de Vausse||Visit||2010-07-07||15.84 km|
|Burgundy Canal, Venarey-les-Laumes to Buffon||Cycle||2010-06-28||16.27 km|
|Abbaye de Fontenay||Visit||2005-08-17||22.65 km|
|Buffon, Santigny and Talcy||Visit||2005-08-17||23.03 km|
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