Welcome To My New Castle! Vincennes Castle Feels Like Home In Paris! And It Was – To Louis XIV!

Welcome To My New Home!

You know the phrase: “a man’s home is his castle”…well, let’s update it to say:

“A Person’s Home Is Their Castle.”

And in this case, Vincennes Castle in Paris is something that anyone would want to call home – like Louis XIV did!

The Château de Vincennes is called a “witness to France’s history” for a reason – it’s a massive 14th and 17th century French royal fortress in the town of Vincennes, just east of Paris…in fact, it’s not far at all – just five subway stops from The Bastille!

Like other more famous châteaux, it had its origins in a hunting lodge, constructed for Louis VII about 1150 in the forest of Vincennes. A business associate from Paris told me about it, so of course I had to see it myself.

The entrance to the Castle is just steps from the Metro station, and in order to enter, you must of course cross this:

The Moat!

Yes, a very expansive Moat surrounds the Castle, and here are some more details on the shape and size of the Castle. It forms a rectangle whose perimeter is more than a kilometer in length. It has six towers and three gates, each originally 13 meters high, and is surrounded by a deep stone lined moat. Once inside, you pay a nominal fee and are allowed to explore all open areas of the Castle – with lots of signs to help you:

As you can see, the weather was dramatic the morning I was there in mid-May, making everything stand out even more spectacularly, like the Holy Chapel, which was founded by Charles V in 1379:

The Holy Chapel…

The interior of the chapel are gorgeous, and how about this: the relics of the Crown of Thorns were temporarily housed there while the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris was being readied to receive them. A fragment that remained behind received its own chapel!

In the courtyard is a well, no longer used, and then I saw the most impressive part of the castle:

Castle Keep!

This was truly an incredible tour, as I got to go inside “Castle Keep”…at 50m high, it’s the tallest in France…here is some more info to bring you up to speed:

Once inside, I headed up the steps to see the famous bell tower:

I happened to be staring up at the bell tower as it was “announcing the time”:

Finally, I climbed a tall narrow staircase to see the area where the soldiers kept watch for invaders:

Of course, no one was “storming the castle” on this day – and after a busy day at my castle, I worked up quite an appetite, so it was off to lunch, like the time my wife Alex and I made the trek to Chez L’Ami Jean for their legendary rice pudding!

This classic bistro serves incredibly inventive food, and if you want to see more, you can click on my story here:


Let me know what you think of my castle!

Categories: Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Paris, Politics, Pop Culture, Real Estate, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, Uncategorized

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18 replies

  1. Is it available for vacation rentals? (Though to be candid, I am unhappy with any travel lodging that is not adjacent to a Stuckey’s.) CHANDLER’S HELPFUL TRAVEL HINTS #314: Don’t forget, the next time you hang out over the battlements, always cry out: “Release the hounds!”

  2. My Uncle and Aunt took me here after we had a scrumptious lunch. I liked how quiet it was compared to the big palace.

  3. What a great looking castle, John. I really loved these photographs.

  4. Crikey, this place is impressive, inside and out! You have some incredible photos, John! x

  5. I loved visiting there last summer – they have done such a good job with the renovations. My first visit was in 1991, and back then it was a castle of crumbling walls. I will need to visit again in a few years when they have finished the renovations of the rooms.

  6. Very cool John and so close to Paris! I’ll have to add it to my list whenever I can get back there. 🙂

  7. Those French kings certainly knew how to live. And that was only his hunting lodge at the start!
    No wonder they had a revolution… 🙂
    Well done for climbing all the stairs, John. It has to be done!
    Best wishes, Pete.


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