Commarin and Chateauneuf
The chateau at Commarin is really very special. It is now in the hands of the 26th generation, having escaped unscathed the destruction of historical buildings during the French revolution. The first document mentioning the Chateau is dated 1214, but there have been substantial later additions and changes. Some magnificent tapestries from the 16C remain in the house, which has been visited by royalty from around the world. Furnishings from the early 18C by Marie-Judith de Vienne, marquise de Damas d’Antigny, the grandmother of Talleyrand, remain much the same today.
Tours of the property take place every hour between April and early November.
A few kilometers away is the charming hill top village of Chateauneuf-en-Auxois, one of the most beautiful medieval villages in all of France. Perched on a hill, with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. There is a small chateau to visit, the original construction of which dates back to 1132 with later additions. It is now owned by the State, but previous owners include the de Vogüé family from Chateau Commarin. In the village are a couple of cafes, and otherwise just take in the atmosphere of the well preserved buildings and views.
At Bussiere-sur-Ouche is the restored medieval Abbey de la Bussiere, (now a Relais and Chateau Hotel, with a Michelin starred restaurant). The Abbey was founded in 1131 by Stephen Harding, an Englishman from Dorset and Abbey of the Cistercian Order at Citeaux. At its apogee at the end of the 13C the Abbey had some 300 monks in residence. More recent history has been one of decline and decay until acquired in 2005 by Clive Cummings an English Hotelier, who devoted great effort to successfully restoring its glorious medieval architecture and features. Lunch on the terrace overlooking the gardens is the perfect stop before continuing the days sight seeing.
Leaving Les Deux Chevres, and heading towards Dijon on the Route des Grands Crus, after the wine villages of Brochon, Fixin and Couchey, you arrive at Marsannay. Turn left on the D108, which winds its way over the top of the Cote, and after 10 km descends into the Ouche Valley arriving at Velars-sur-Ouche.
The Ouche valley is picturesque and unspoiled, with the Burgundy Canal alongside the river. Heading south on the A38, then take the D9 and D905 to Sombernon, and then the D977 to Commarin. The drive takes about 45 mins from Les Deux Chevres.
View from Chateauneuf
Abbey de la Bussiere
The Burgundy Canal