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

Official Website: Château de Vincennes

Fee: Yes

Some attractions may have reduced hours or be closed due to COVID-19. Please verify opening hours with the attraction before visiting.

Closed Now

Regular Hours:

  • Monday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Tuesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sunday: 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Category: Landmarks & Historical Buildings Castles

Address: Avenue de Paris
94300 Vincennes
France

Phone: +33 1 43 28 15 48

Reviews

Yelp Rating:
4 out of 5 4 Star Rating
Based on 37 Reviews.

See all reviews on Yelp

5 Star Rating Yeah, if you're from Europe, maybe castles are old hat. But I'm not from Europe, and castles are still just about the coolest thing to us, especially if you... Read More

Nick Z. Jun-05-2017

5 Star Rating If you're out in the Vincennes area, you owe it to yourself to visit the Chateau. The last real castle in Paris, it has a long history stretching back to... Read More

Brett S. Nov-26-2019

4 Star Rating I bought my little sister a scavenger hunt book for Paris and this was one of the locations she needed to visit. I would have never thought to come here.... Read More

Kimberly B. Aug-28-2017

Accommodations near Château de Vincennes:

Directions

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.

Map & Instant Route Finder

Click&Go Map and Route Finder with public transit, walking, driving or cycling directions. Get up-to-the-minute transit times for your route.

Load Interactive Map
Finding Your Route - Please Wait

Photo Gallery

Video


A video tour of the Château de Vincennes

View 60+ attractions FREE with The Paris Pass

Your Complete Paris Sightseeing Pass
Save Time - Skip the line with FAST TRACK admission to many of the busiest attractions.


Visiting Paris?
Here's why we use Booking.com for our hotel bookings.
Best Selection
Daily Deals
Price Matching
Pay at the Hotel
24/7 Support
Share on Pinterest
Share on Pinterest
Help us grow! Please Share
Thanks for Visiting!