Abundant clay, forests, and the relative proximity of Nevers (great faience center since the XVIth century), decided Charles César Tellier de Louvois in 1765 to create a ceramic's manufacture in his castle of Ancy le Franc.
The local earthenware with decorations (flowered, geometrical, patriotic, animals...) was strongly influenced by what was produced in Tournai and became common in the area (also more specific blue patterns, called "Bleu d'Ancy").
Parallel to the ceramic's production some attempts at china's production were done but without great results.
During the Revolution, the activity stopped and begun again around 1800, near the Porte de Perreuse, but declined soon again to close in 1808.
Today, from the earlier factory, subsists only a building at the 57-59 Grande Rue (albeit very transformed) and another one, divided into dwellings on the 62 of the same street. But you can still see fine examples of the past production in a small museum located in the former factory's place (now hosting the local tourism office) .
Open every day from 9h to 12h and from 14h to 17h between november and march - 10h-13h and 14h-18h in summer.
Free entry (guided visits possible on request : 1€)
There are extensive grounds (said to be by Le Notre) including a Folly and an artificial cascade. There is also an antique car museum.
Primaticcio was engaged to do the interiors of the chateau. He and his disciples (Abbate and others) worked long and hard and the results are the equal of Fontainebleau. There are 25 rooms in all but we did not see them all. Unfortunately there is nothing to carry away except vague memories. While we were being collected for the tour in a coach house, there were a few of similar type in poor repair that could be reproduced and a 19C freize that was somewhat quaint. Does this suffice? (It is privately owned and I do not think they care in spite of pretensions; there must be a hidden tax-break somewhere).
Ancy-le-Franc doesn't have a railway station or a bus service.
The closest train stations are Tonnerre (18km) and Montbard (TGV - 21km).
From there, to reach Ancy you have to take a taxi or to rent a car (there is a SIXT agency in Montbard, none in Tonnerre).
For taxis :
TIVANT Gisèle - Perrigny sur Armançon - phone: 03 86 55 70 85
LAMBERT Willy - Ancy le Franc (Cusy) - phone: 03 86 75 04 56
SANTINI Joseph - Ravières - phone : 03 86 55 95 13
From Tonnerre :
Taxis Juillet : phone - 03 86 55 36 36
From Montbard :
Allo Taxi Jusufi - phone : 03 80 92 31 49
Ristat Jean-Louis - phone : 03 80 92 04 79
Another solution is to take a bicycle: the ride from Tonnerre to Ancy, along the Armançon is pretty (and flat) (you can also take the D905, a bit shorter but hilly).
By car : D905 from Tonnerre.
Among the Tonnerrois' region attractions are its washhouses; there even a washhouses tour (with Noyers, Argenteuil, Cuzy, Cry,...).
If you are at the Ancy's tourism office/ceramic museum, go up the street (perpendicular to the Grand rue), the washhouse (lavoir) is on the left.
It was built in 1830 and renovated in 2000.
The most interesting features are the 12 pillars and the impluvium type roof.
Ancy le Franc may be small but it is a touristic destination, and as such it has a tourism office :
Office du tourisme
59, Grande rue, 89160 ANCY-LE-FRANC
fax : 03.86.75.04.41
mail : email@example.com
website : http://www.tourisme.fr/office-de-tourisme/ancy-le-franc.htm
- from october to end march : from monday to friday from 9h00 to 12h330 and from 13h00 to 17h00
- in summer : 7/7 from 10h00 to 13h00 and from 14h00 to 18h00.
Fondest memory: There is nice small ceramics museum in the tourism office, a good complement to a visit to the renaissance castle