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Chateau de Saint-Germain Castle Near Paris

Originally on the site of the present Chateau de Saint-Germain there was an old fort that dated from around the year 1238 and King Charles V constructed the old chateau in 1348 on the original foundations.

Then this castle was pulled down and rebuilt by Francois I, only leaving the Saint-Chapelle and the keep of the old castle, but by the 18th century this had also fallen into disrepair.  Yet Napoleon III had the chapel and chateau restored between the years of 1862 and 1867 and also set up a museum called the Musée des Antiquités Nationales.

Saint-Germain Castle

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Chateau de Saint-Germain Castle Near Paris

The chateau is one of the many royal residences in the Ile de France region and King Henry II and King Louis XIV were among the royalty born in the Chateau de Saint-Germain.

Situated in Saint-Germain-en-Laye in the Yvelines département, which was the birthplace of composer Claude Debussy, the Kings definitely left their marks on the town, and in fact, the coat of arms for Saint-Germain-en-Laye shows a cradle and the date of birth of King Louis XIV.

This town has become famous for its 2.4 kilometre long stone terrace that was built by André Le Notre in 1673 for King Louis XIV.  The chateau itself is situated on the Left Bank of the River Seine, which adjoins the Saint-Germain Forest and is situated next to the terrace, that provides a great view of the valley of the River Seine and the City of Paris in the distance.

André Le Notre who was also the incredible designer of the gardens at the Chateau Versailles and Chateau Chantilly also designed the magnificent park and gardens of the Saint-Germain Castle.

The Chateau de Saint-Germain was constructed before the Chateau de Versailles and situated only around 20km from Paris it was one of the main residences of the French Court before they moved to Versailles Castle.

Since 1862 under the instructions of Napoleon III, the chateau has been a museum and is home to the Musée des Antiquités Nationales, or in English known as the Museum of National Antiquities which has exhibits from prehistoric, Roman, Paleolithic and Celtic times, yet in 2005 was renamed
the Musée d'Archéologie Nationale.

The lighting and how the exhibits are displayed makes a visit to this castle and museum a real pleasure, but unfortunately, due to some modern panelling many of the original features of the Chateau are hidden.

You will be able to get to see the "Dame de Brassempouy", which was sculpted on a mammoth's ivory tusk around 23,000 years ago and this is the most famous exhibit in this French museum.

The museum is open every day of the week except for a Tuesday and opens at 10am and closes at 5.15pm.

From May through to September on a Saturday and Sunday, the museum opens at 10am and does not close until 6.15pm but all other days of the week remain the same times with closure at 5.15pm.

However, when it comes to holidays, then the opening times of this museum in France will vary and it is best to check first, prior to your arrival.

Address & Contact Details:

Musée d'Archéologie Nationale
Château de Saint-Germain
Place Charles de Gaulle
Ile de France

Telephone: 1 39 10 13 00

Chateau de Saint-Germain

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