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Construction of the Chateau de Vincennes

The Chateau de Vincennes originally dates back to the 12th century, which was even before the famous Louvre was built and is one of the few castles in France that has found itself at the centre of French History right through from the Middle Ages.

Started in 1361, the construction of the donjon, or castle keep and the enceinte, or inner ring of fortifications for the castle was without a doubt one of the largest building endeavours in Europe at the time.

Chateau de Vincennes

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Chateau de Vincennes

By 1372, the construction of the donjon was completed and rising about 50 metres above the ground of its courtyard this is now the highest remaining construction of its type in Europe after the Coucy donjon was unfortunately destroyed in 1914.

The enceinte was also completed at around the same time but King Charles V decided to extend the original project by ordering the construction of another vaster enceinte, which was aimed at protecting the manor, the Saint-Martin Chapel and various other buildings.

The construction took place from 1373 through to 1380 and required approximately 260,000 limestone blocks just for the external facing wall.

From then the Vincennes castle remained virtually the same until King Louis XIV, who wished to turn Vincennes into a grand palace residence, started an even more ambitious phase of work in 1656.

The main entrance was changed and transformed into an arch of triumph. The Queen's pavilion was built in perfect symmetry with the King's pavilion in the south-east corner of the enceinte and built between the times of the construction of Chateau Vaux-le-Vicomte and Chateau de Versailles, the two pavilions of Chateau de Vincennes define the classical style.

To the north of the pavilions, an arcade wall was built, which was to separate the royal courtyard from the rest of the chateau.

Although the French King and his court often stayed at the Vincennes castle where there were lots of hunting parties, performances and other festivities held, they decided to move residences to the Chateau de Versailles in around 1671.

The Chateau de Vincennes is open from 10am until noon then from 1pm through to 6pm from the start of May through to the end of August.  From the start of September through to the end of April this fabulous castle is open from 10am until noon, then from 1pm through to 5pm.

However it is closed on all national holidays and the new rates for 2010 are €8 for adults and €5 for concessions, but people under the age of 18 are allowed in free if accompanied by an adult.

We would also like to point out the Chateau de Vincennes is only partially accessible to those with reduced mobility. 

Address & Contact Details:

Chateau de Vincennes
Avenue de Paris

Telephone: 1 48 08 31 20 
Fax: 1 58 64 23 95

Construction of the Chateau de Vincennes

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