The Château de Vincennes is located in Vincennes in the eastern suburbs of Paris, a remarkable architectural ensemble whose construction spans from the 14th century to 19th century.

History of Vincennes Castle

Attracted by its game-filled forest, the kings of France owned a hunting lodge here in the 12th century, which was succeeded by a stone manor during the reign of Philippe Auguste. Saint Louis was particulary fond of this residence which he embellished and enlarged. Recent excavations have uncovered the remains of this capetian manor. In the 14th century, Charles V completed the work on the keep and decided to build on enclosure with nine towers. A true fortified city, Vincennes was intended to be the symbol of a modern and powerful monarchy, a place of power according to the ideal model of Christine de Pisan. 

Charle V founded the Sainte-Chapelle in 1379, modeled on that of the Palais de la Cité (in Paris). Its construction was completed during the reign of Henri II, with the participation of Philibert Delorme. A refuge for sovereigns and the court during the wars of Religion and during the fronde, Vincennes underwent major transformations during the 17th century. Mazarin was governor of the castle from 1652 until his death in 1661. Concerned about the safety of the young Louis XIV and the preservation of his art collections, he entrusted the construction work of the new buildings to Louis Le Vau, the future architect of Versailles. 

True classical palaces, the Pavillon of the King and Queen are arrangedon either side of a vast courtyard closed by a colonnade. The wood tower, transformed into a triumphal arch,gives access to this royal court. Abandonded by the sovereigns, the Château de Vincennes housed a porcelain factory in the 18th century, the cradle of the royal factory of Sèvres. Threatened with destruction under Louis XVI and then during the revolution, it was transformed into barracks and an arsenal by Napoleon. Restored after serious domage suffered during the Second World War, the Château de Vincennes is now open to the public. In particular, it houses the Historical Services of the three Armies.

Serveral Types of tours are offered :

  • The short circuit lasts about 45 minutes;
    History of the castle + Sainte Chapelle
    From: 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
  • The long circuit: around 1h15
    History of the castle + walkway + moat + Sainte Chapelle
    From: 10:15 a.m.
  • The new tour circuit: approximately 1h15
    Enclosure of the keep + study of King Charle V + Sainte-Chapelle
    From: 11 a.m. – 2:15 p.m. – 3 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.* (*Winter)

Location

Avenue de Paris
94300 Vincennes

Tel : 01 43 28 15 48

To get there

Metro: line 1, Château de Vincennes station

From Paris: Porte de Vincennes and Avenue de Paris to the Castle.

Official website

https://www.chateau-de-vincennes.fr