The Castle Road in 17 stops
When our built heritage (whether private or public) opens its doors to residents in a spirit of sharing of transparency, the result is often quite spectacular. In Southern Burgundy, the Castle Road provides an apt illustration: this route has been divided into 17 stops, reflective of the styles of castles and medieval fortresses to be discovered far and wide, from Sully in the north to Pierreclos along the southern stretch.
The Southern Burgundy Castle Road offers the opportunity for a curious public to explore some exceptional sites and their highly motivated owners responsible for their restoration and sustained activity. With the "Pass" in hand, you'll benefit from discounted admissions at all participating estates.
To learn more: http://www.castlesinsouthernburgundy.com/UK/
Close-up on 4 of the castles you may encounter along the way…
- CASTLE OF MARGARET OF BURGUNDY IN COUCHES
Built in the 12th century, the Couches Castle is the ideal fortress for becoming immersed in the Medieval period at all structural levels (from the underground dungeons via the Chapel and Justice Tower).
You'll want to fully absorb this renowned Southern Burgundy tourist spot, whose surrounding grounds and topiary gardens are open to visit as well, and be sure not to miss the medieval theme entertainment staged for the entire family. For true aficionados, also note that tasting initiation sessions are proposed in the welcoming confines of a dedicated tasting cellar.
To learn more: www.chateaudecouches.com
- DIGOINE CASTLE IN PALINGES
If your passion is beautiful medieval castles combined with splendid French-style gardens, you won't want to pass up the opportunity to visit the Digoine Castle. Enter through the iron gate and stroll along the lane to the main building.
Once inside, you'll be overwhelmed by the massive staircase filling the entrance made of chequered marble; discover the tastefully appointed rooms maintained to such high standards. But this site is also revered for the quality of its exteriors: an "Anglo-Chinese" park whose lined paths feature many plant species and lead to a pond, heated greenhouse and natural watercourse. There's even a small Italian theatre on the grounds!
To learn more: http://chateaudedigoine.fr
- BRANCION CASTLE
Brancion's feudal castle overlooks the medieval village and the Grosne River Valley. The view provides an excellent motivation for making your way up the terraces to the one containing the dungeon (23 m high) and marvelling at the breath-taking panorama below.
From on top, the village shows the vestiges of its narrow Middle Age streets and Romanesque church with an architectural style of immense simplicity. Did you notice? Maybe not, you're not dreaming this visit: no car is allowed into the walled village. The discovery and appreciation of this site definitely merits a walking tour.
To learn more: https://www.chateau-de-brancion.fr/
- BERZÉLE-CHÂTEL'S CASTLE
An authentic Southern Burgundy historical gem, the castle at Berzé-le-Châtel is among the region's most impressive and best preserved medieval fortresses. The terraces of this landmark, unmistakable from the Greenways given its position at the base of the cycling path, offer a mesmerising panorama over the silhouettes of the Solutré and Vergisson escarpments as well as Lamartine's Valley.
Children will especially appreciate the monument visit accompanied by a guide dressed in period costume, including weaponry and armour. To be discovered as a family for the beauty of the site, built around 14 towers and 3 walled enclosures, plus the handsome Carolingian chapel, guardroom and armoury, not to mention the gardens.
To learn more: https://forteresse-de-berze.com