Vincennes castle

The Château de Vincennes is a must see in the Paris region.

Its history began in the 12th century, when Louis VII decided to build a hunting lodge in the forest of Vincennes. It was under Louis IX that the Château officially became a royal residence.

In the 14th century, the Château assumed the appearance we know today: King Charles V decided to build a vast wall, towers and an over 50-metre tall keep, today considered to be the tallest medieval fortified building in Europe. He also started construction work on the Sainte-Chapelle in 1379, which was not completed until 1552 under the reign of Henri II.

In the 17th century, the architect Le Vau built the King and Queen pavilions, in a classic style, for the young Louis XIV, his mother and Cardinal Mazarin. When Versailles was chosen for the court in 1682, Vincennes no longer had a role as a royal residence.

The keep, a prison since the 16th century, then gained in importance and housed famous prisoners such as Diderot, Latude, Mirabeau and the Marquis de Sade in the 18th century.

Various factories (porcelain, earthenware, weapons) succeeded one another within the building which was deteriorating more and more, until the Paris arsenal was installed there in 1796. This saved the château from ruin, but meant that the site was modified: the Saint-Louis manor disappeared, the towers were levelled, casemates were constructed... It then became one of the largest military garrisons in the Paris region.

Listed as an historic monument in 1913, the post-war château retains its dual purpose. The Ministry of Culture ensures the management of the Sainte-Chapelle and the Keep, through the Centre des Monuments Nationaux. These two areas are open to the public.

The Ministry of Defence manages the other areas in the Château, including the libraries and archives, which are accessible to the public, through the Historique de la Défense service.

Additional informations

>> Visite libre ou guidée du Donjon et de la Sainte-Chapelle.
Pour connaître les horaires des visites guidées, contactez l'accueil du Château le matin-même au 01 48 08 13 00.

>> La Boutique du Château est ouverte tous les jours en fonction des horaires d'ouverture du Château. Vous trouverez des objets souvenirs à l’effigie du Château, des livres historiques, des pots de miel du Château et de nombreuses idées cadeaux pour les enfants sur l'univers de la chevalerie.


  • Car park
  • Parking
  • Meeting room
  • Toilets


  • Educational visits
  • Room hire
  • Shop
  • Guided tours


  • From 21/05 to 22/09/2023
    Full price: 9.50 €.

    From 23/09/2023 to 20/05/2024
    Full price: 9.50 €.

    Free entry for children 20 people.

    Free for :
    -18-25 years old (European Union citizens and regular residents non-euopeans on European Union territory)
    - Disabled people and their attendant
    For all, every first sunday of the month from 1st of November to 31st of March

    Included in the Paris Museum Pass: free access.

Means of payment

Opening periods

From 21/05 to 22/09, daily between 10 AM and 6 PM.
From 23/09 to 20/05, daily between 10 AM and 5 PM.
Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

From 21/05 to 22/09, daily between 10.30 AM and 5.30 PM - closed from 1pm to 2pm
From 23/09 to 20/05, daily between 10.30 AM and 4.30 PM - closed from 1pm to 2pm
Between the 1st of April and the 20th May, on week ends and bank holidays : from 10.30 AM to 1PM and from 2PM to 5.30 PM

Closed exceptionally on January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.

Last entry on site : 45min before closing times

Free entry every 1st sunday of the month between November and March

The keep and the Holy Chapel are open on 1st and 11th of November.

Room rentals

Meeting Rooms

  • Sainte-Chapelle
    • Maximum capacity 300 people
    • Natural light No
    • Area 300 m²

    Capacity per arrangement :

    • Classroom room : 200 people
    • U-shape : 150 people
    • Banquet : 200 people
    • Cocktail : 300 people
  • Casemates
    • Maximum capacity 25 people
    • Natural light No
    • Area 50 m²

    Capacity per arrangement :

    • Classroom room : 25 people
    • U-shape : 20 people
    • Banquet : 20 people
    • Cocktail : 25 people
  • Donjon
    • Maximum capacity 80 people
    • Natural light No
    • Area 100 m²

    Capacity per arrangement :

    • Banquet : 50 people
    • Cocktail : 80 people

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