Chateau de Vincennes
Chateau de Vincennes is a major French chateau built in the 14th and 17th century.
Originally a hunting lodge in the 12th Century the chateau was progessively enlarged and fortified by kings over the centuries. The chateau has an important part in French history. It is where King Louis IX left from for his last crusade (from which he did not return) and the site of several royal marriages and births.
The whole park area measures around 2km2/0.77sq mi and is filled with walking/running trails and there is also a fitness trail around the perimeter of the park.
The chateau is a great place for a quick afternoon visit from Paris to see something outside the main tourist route. The forest and green spaces around it make a great place for a picnic as well.
What to see
There are a number of interesting parts to the chateau.
The chateau is surrounded by a 1.2km wall which was built in the late 1300's. The walls are around 40 meters high and have a large dry moat surrounding it.
The main tower of the chateau is called a donjon. The donjon is 50m high and is the highest remaining donjon in Europe. The donjon is open to the public and there are a number of multi-media displays inside.
The chapel is very similar to the Saint-Chapelle that is part of the Palis du Justice in Paris. The chapel, which was built in 1379, was built to house relics of the passion. The chapel is less stunning than the Saint-Chapelle in Paris but is an amazing piece of archecture.
The former grand canal of the chateau has now been filled in, although is obvious from looking at the chateau on google maps. It is part of the Bois du Vincennes (Vincennes wood). See here for more information on the Bois de Vincennes.
Things to do
How to get there
Chateau du Vincennes is very easy to get to.
The easiest way to get to Chateau de Vincennes is by Metro.
Take the 1 line (the yellow line) from anywhere in Paris in the direction of Chateau de Vincennes. Take this metro to the end of the line, to the "Chateau de Vincennes" stop.
You can use the Paris Metro T+ ticket to get there.
Approximate Distance from Paris: 6.5km/4mi
Time to get there: about 15 minutes on the Metro 1 line.
Transport Method: Metro 1 line to 'Chateau de Vincennes'
Approximate Price: Entrance to the chateau is 8.50 Euro per person,
Metro is 1.70 Euro per person each way
Worth: 3 hours. A great place for a picnic lunch or dinner.
Website: http://www.chateau-vincennes.fr/ (available in English)
Closed on 1st January, 1st May, 1st November, 11th November, and 25th December.