Château de Vincennes

Château de Vincennes is the tallest medieval fortification in all of Europe

Dusk settles over Château de Vincennes
Dusk settles over Château de Vincennes cc licensed photo by Panoramas

The Chateau de Vincennes started out life as a hunting lodge that was built for Louis VII in the forest of Vincennes. That was in 1150. It stayed that way until the 13th century when Philip Augustus and Louis IX extended the Chateau de Vincennes into a larger manor, more befitting of a king.

The Chateau was where both Philippe III and IV were married and three kings, namely Louis X, Philippe V and Charles IV, were born there. Henry V of England also passed away in the donjon tower in 1422. This really gave it a place in French history and made the chateau more than just a hunting lodge and sometime home for kings.

This impressive Chateau boasts the tallest medieval fortified structure in not only France, but in all of Europe. It is a donjon tower that was added by Philip VI in 1337. It was further fortified by the addition of a circuit of rectangular walls in the early 15th century.

The Chateau de Vincennes also boasts a tie to one of the more religious tourist attractions in France, the Sainte-Chapelle. The Chateau de Vincennes played host to the Crown of Thorns, one of the pieces of the Passion Relics, while the Chapelle was being readied to receive it.

It has not always had such glorious and royal patronage though. It was abandoned for some time and even served as a porcelain factory for a while as well as a state prison. It was severely damaged during the revolution, its total destruction was stopped only by the arrest of mob ringleaders by the Marquis de Lafayette.

Chateau de Vincennes was also the site where the duc d'Enghein and Mata-Hari were executed. It even saw some action when France was occupied by the Nazis. They murdered 30 hostages within its walls.

If you do not want to wander the halls of The Chateau de Vincennes on your own it is possible to join one of two guided tours that are offered on a daily basis. There is a shorter 45 min long tour and a longer 1 hour and 15 min tour available.

Nearby attraction: Bois de Vincinnes

Facts For Your Visit

Fee: Yes

Address: 75012 Paris, France

Château de Vincennes Reviews

Rated 4.1 out of 5 Star Rating

5 Star Rating Very beautiful castle. Absolutely worth visiting.
Coco Bn - 5 months ago

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4 Star Rating Very beautiful, majestic and full of history
Jm G - 5 months ago

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2 Star Rating The bus station is quite poorly lit and maintained. Unfortunately it is rather poorly attended in the evening, which is far from reassuring when waits are long.
Julien W - 4 years ago

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Metro / RER Line Nearest Station Walking Time
M1Château de Vincennes1 minute
RER-AVincennes7 minutes

How to get to Château de Vincennes by Metro / RER

By Metro: From Metro Line 1 exit at Château de Vincennes Station.

By RER-A: exit Vincennes Station to your right (east) then go right (south) on Rue de Montreuil, then left (east) on Avenue de Paris to the entrance of Château de Vincennes.

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