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