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

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.


Furniture

  • Toilets
  • Car park
  • Meeting room
  • Parking

Services

  • Educational visits
  • Room hire
  • Shop
  • Guided tours

Pricing

  • From 23/09/2019 to 20/05/2020
    Full price: 9.50 €.

    From 21/05 to 22/09/2020
    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.

Means of payment


Opening periods

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

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

Le donjon and the Sainte-Chapelle are open on 1st ans 11th of November.

Admission to the upper areas of the keep: guided tour.

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