Attractions in this modest town on the banks of the Brenne River include an Ursuline convent that’s been converted into a Musée des Beaux-Arts and the lovely Parc Buffon. The gardens of the latter were planted on the site of an ancient château by Georges-Louis Leclerc de Buffon (the Count of Buffon), an important scientist and naturalist who influenced Charles Darwin. Just outside town, the work of another man—St. Bernard—draws visitors to the 12th-century Abbaye de Fontenay.
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It may be strange to find a textbook example of the Italian Renaissance in Ancy-le-Franc, but in mid-16th-century France the court had taken up this...
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