The Château de Vincennes, today the largest château and the only remaining residence in France of a sovereign from the Middle Ages, dates essentially from the 14th century, with additions until the 19th century. It was at the heart of the French monarchy until 1682, when Louis XIV chose to settle in Versailles. The château is surrounded by a walled fortress, more than 1,000 meters long, flanked by six towers and pierced by three gates. The ensemble remains an exceptional testimony of the architecture and sculpture from 1360-1410. The keep, 50 meters high, built between 1361 and 1367 remains the highest of its kind in Europe and the six-story building is crowned by a terrace. It was used as a prison from the 16th to the 19th centuries: Fouquet, the Marquis de Sade and Mirabeau were held here. Under Napoleon it was transformed into a barracks and arsenal, and the fortress protected Paris during the 19th-century invasions. The Sainte Chapelle, whose construction began around 1390, was inaugurated in 1552. It was intended to house some of the relics of Christ. Bearing witness of the transition from Radiant Gothic to Flamboyant Gothic, it consists of a unique nave, choir and apse. Its stained glass windows were designed by Nicolas Beaurain. Fully restored in 2017, it is magnificient!
The Château de Vincennes now houses the historical services of the three branches of the French armed forces and belongs to le Centre des Monuments Nationaux. We will be welcomed by Pascal Monnet, administrator of the Château de Vincennes.
Meeting point: the ticket office inside the château, 50m to the right after the Village Tower which is the main entrance to the château
Métro : Château de Vincennes
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