Thursday, 11 April 2013

Paris Day 14 - Vincennes Castle

Terminal Castle. Maximum Mileage from a Metro Fare. The Tallest Keep in Europe.

 15 °C

There're a number of castles on my list of must-see (ok, like-to-see) remains by now. A number of them are quite a way out of Paris, Château de Vincennes is the closest. In fact, it could be reached by metro alone. And the metro is my favourite mode of public transport. I imagine it's the choice of public transport for many tourists due to its convenience, ease of use, and cost.

I stayed in Esplanade de la Defense, the 2nd metro station on Metro Line 1 while Château de Vincennes happens to be the terminus on that line. The Castle locates in Zone 3, and the fare for zone 3 is €1.30 (for a pack of 10, or €1.70 for a single ticket), which applies if I travel 1 station or all the way to the last station Château de Vincennes on Metro Line 1. On my last day in Paris, I finally got the maximum mileage out of a metro ticket.  Yay! Well, maximum - 1 stop.


Metro station exit of Château de Vincennes, Paris, France
Metro station exit of Château de Vincennes

Entering the ground of Château de Vincennes is free. There's nobody at the main entrance of the castle to collect tickets. However, you need to buy ticket to enter the 2 buildings in the castle - Le Donjon and Sainte Chappelle. You can get tickets at the bookshop/souvenir shop on your right soon after you get in.

There's really no point in visiting this place without going into these 2 buildings. So get tickets first before you're told about that, and save yourself a trip of walking back to get tickets.

Entrance, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
King's subject's view of castle entrance with draw bridge.
Ummm...I wonder what's behind the high wall.
Castle entrance, View towards town, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
King's view of town from castle entrance with draw bridge.
Makes me feel like a King. Ah...a couple of my subject are visiting me now...oui, oui

Model, Château de Vincennes, Paris, France
Model, Château de Vincennes

The concentration of tourist sights in Paris have drawn visitors away from this place. If you like a quiet place to visit in Paris, this is the closest thing. I first thought it was quiet because it's a weekday, But going back into Paris had confirmed that Paris is always crowded. I give this place an extra point for its relatively low tourist numbers.

After it was abandoned by the monarchs in the 18th century, it then served wih various different function, including a state prison, which housed the marquis de Sade, Diderot, and Mirabeau.

Like Le Mont Saint Michel, this place also has link to the Hundred Years War.

Le donjon, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Le donjon, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Le Donjon (the Keep)

Le donjon, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France


Its donjon tower (or the Keep) is some 50m tall, and stands - I believe still stands - as the tallest Medieval keep in Europe. It was erected by Philip VI of France around 1337. From the top, you're graced by a nice panoramic view of the surrounding.

Aerial view from the keep, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Aerial view from the keep

Aerial view from the keep, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Another aerial view from the keep
Bridge to donjon over a deep moat, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Bridge to donjon over a deep moat (now contains no water)

Bell Tower and the Keep, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Bell Tower and the Keep

The Saint-Chapelle (or Holy Chapel) is clearly built according to the design of the one located in Île de la Cité, right in the very heart of Paris.

Sainte Chapelle (Holy Chapel), Vincennes Castle, Paris, Europe, France
Sainte Chapelle

Shadow cast on the floor by light through stained glass window, Sainte Chapelle, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
Shadows cast on the floor by light through the stained glass windows in Sainte Chapelle

French Coat of Arms with crown and shield adorn with fleurs-de-lys, Sainte Chapelle, Vincennes Castle, Paris, France
French Coat of Arms with crown and shield adorn with fleurs-de-lys in Sainte Chapelle.
In ancient shield, there were many fleurs-de-lys; in modern times, since the First Republic,
there's only 3 fleurs-de-lys




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