View of Ornans, Gustave Courbet
Gardens and Promenades
The Château d'Ancy-le-Franc is a Renaissance palace, set in the centre of a large park on the banks of the Burgundy canal. It is the masterpiece of the famous Italian architect Sébastiano Serlio, master of symmetry and of 16th century architecture, who was summoned to the French court by François I. A classified historic monument, it's rich decor is attributed to some of the most celebrated Italian, Flemish and Burgundy artists of the 16th and 17th century. The château interior holds a series of remarkable mural paintings which is the largest collection of Renaissance murals in all of France. The inner courtyard or Cour d'Honneur is of the most elegant in the country.
Château d'Ancy-le-Franc is set in the centre of a magnificent park of 123 acres and perfectly represents the Renaissance art of living'. Numerous streams and an immense pond offer a delicate charm in this space filled with greenery and relics of past times. The estate comprises immense stables, a farmhouse and various other constructions.
In 1684, the Marquis de Louvois acquired the château and set out to give it the character of a true Grand Siècle residence (referring to the Great Century in France, the XVII century). He ordered relics of it's medieval wall demolished to open the area for huge outbuildings arranged around two courtyards. To ensure it would be on par with other grand structures of the same era, Louvois had famous gardener Le Nôtre surround the château with an immense French-style garden that opened to the surrounding landscape. With magnificent garden beds, lawns, fountains and statues, Louvois turned Ancy-le-Franc into his own private Versailles.
In 1759, Marquis de Courtanvaux, the heir of Louvois, transformed the gardens into an English-style park. An artificial lake was dug and in it, he placed a tiny island on which he built a tiny pavilion, a shelter for his idyllic leisure activities. This pavilion, known as 'La Folie', is an elegant testimony of the time. It was the favourite spot of the XVIII century owners, a place to frolic and delight in a show of fireworks.
Middle Age Bridge near Le musee Courbet