Montbard, a thriving industrial, cosmopolitan town on the Canal de Bourgogne, was home to the naturalist Georges-Louis Leclerc, Compte de Buffon, who created the town’s lovely Parc de Buffon in the mid-18th century. Nearby is the glorious Romanesque Abbaye de Fontenay. One of Europe’s oldest Cistercian monasteries, it was founded by St Bernard of Clairvaux in 1118 and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The buildings are remarkably preserved, and the gardens are equally beautiful.

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