Modern Living: Chateau Menagerie

Which of the following rates after the Eiffel Tower and Orly Airport as France's biggest tourist attraction?

A. The Louvre

B. Versailles

C. The Château de Thoiry

The correct answer is C, a fact that is sure to dumbfound anyone who visited the museum-like Château de Thoiry prior to 1967—or before the historic building became the center of what must be the most unusual animal farm in the Western world.

It all started as a save-a-castle plan. Built in the 16th century in the lush lowlands 30 miles west of Paris, the château has long claimed a treasury of priceless furniture, rare tapestries and a collection...

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