Best Castles Near Paris
France is known for its historic castles, and Paris is no exception! With stunning architecture and enchanting stories, the castles near Paris take you back to the medieval and Renaissance eras of Europe.
Most of these castles were originally built as royal residences and have since transformed into museums, hotels, and tourist attractions that provide a glimpse into the rich French history.
In this blog post, we will take you on a journey of the five best castles near Paris that you must visit at least once in your lifetime.
Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is undoubtedly the most famous castle near Paris, located just 20kms away from the capital city.
Originally built as a hunting lodge in the 17th century, it was transformed into a sprawling royal palace by King Louis XIV. The palace has over 700 rooms and gardens that are so vast that they require trolleys to transport visitors around.
The palace is famous for its opulent galleries, such as the Hall of Mirrors, which has 357 beautiful mirrors, and the Royal Apartments, that have been restored and maintained in their original state.
Château de Chantilly
This castle is located just 40kms north of Paris and boasts of a unique architectural style, a blend of Renaissance and Gothic styles.
The Château de Chantilly has had a varied history, from being destroyed during the French Revolution to being reconstructed with opulent interiors by the famous art collector, Henri d’Orleans.
The castle houses some of the most significant artworks from the Renaissance era to the 19th century. Don’t miss the stables of Chantilly, known to be the largest horse stables in the world, which have been converted into a museum of horseracing.
Château de Fontainebleau
The Château de Fontainebleau was built in the 16th century by King Francis I and has been the residence of many French monarchs. The castle has various architectural styles, from the medieval towers to the Renaissance and Baroque facades.
The castle has several halls, such as the Grand Salon and the Ballroom, famous for their beautiful wall paintings and intricate designs. The castle also boasts of vast Bois de Fontainebleau forest with revelers who come here to hike, climb, and boulder.
Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte
The Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte is located just an hour’s drive from Paris and was built as a symbol of art and luxury in the 17th century. The castle was created by Nicolas Fouquet, a finance minister to the king, who fell into disfavor and was imprisoned by the king.
The castle is renowned for its beautiful gardens and the lush greenery that surrounds it. You can take an evening walk through the garden with over 2,000 torches lighting the way, a sight to behold!
Château de Pierrefonds
Located just 80kms from Paris, the Château de Pierrefonds is a fortified castle built during the 14th century as a defense against English invaders. The castle was later reconstructed in the 19th century as a grand residence.
It was also the shooting location for the popular BBC series “Merlin.” With its extensive fortifications, drawbridge, and towers, the castle is a great representation of maintaining the medieval architecture and is definitely worth a visit.
The castles near Paris are a testament to the rich French history and architecture. With great museums, artworks, and gardens to explore, they are a must-visit for anyone traveling to France.
From the luxurious Palace of Versailles to the fortified Château de Pierrefonds, these castles have stood the test of time and continue to mesmerize visitors from around the world.
So, don’t miss out on exploring these magnificent structures that will leave you in awe and fill you with French history.