Pierrefonds Castle - Chateau de Pierrefonds
The panorama view of the castle Pierrefonds looks like a fairy tale moment. This is one of the largest, beautiful and spectacular and castles in France. With its white stone walls and towers at several levels it is in fact a reminiscent of Cinderellas Castle.
Chateau de Pierrefonds is located at the southern end of the wooded area of Compiegne, strategically located 80 km northeast of Paris in the French department of Oise. There in the region of Compiegne there are no railway stations, so you will need to provide your own transportation if you want to visit the castle.
Built more than 600 years ago, Pierrefonds was radically changed to the romantic style in the mid 19th century, however, even after its renovation, the architecture of the palace now incorporates more military and defense characteristics of medieval palaces. Like most such castles that have kept the spirit of past times, this Palace has often been used for motion picture sites of many films and TV productions.
The first fortified building on the site was erected at this place in the 12th century as part of the county of Valois. In 1328 the throne of France was Philip VI (1293-1350), who was from that county and thus Pierrefonds Castle became part of the royal palace Fund.
In 1392 Charles VI (1368-1422) gave the fortification to his younger brother, Louis I of Valois (1372-1407), who was Duke of Orleans. It was under his direction that a new palace design for the palace was drawn up with his architect, Jean le Noir.
After 1617 Chateau de Pierrefonds entered a dark period with several military sieges and attacks bringing it down. Over the following two centuries it became totally damaged. In 1810 Napoleon bought the Palace at a ridiculously low price and then in the 19th century Pierrefonds acquired enormous popularity leading to increased interest its ruins.
Since 1848 the palace has been classified as part of national heritage by the French Ministry of Culture. In 1848 President Louis Napoleon Bonaparte visited the ruins of the fabulous medieval castle and seven years later a overhaul of the habitable parts were renovated while some are reserved by the picturesque ruins.
From October to March during the first Sunday in each of the month Pierrefonds Castle offers completely free access meaning you do not need to pay an entrance fee of 6 euros. The castle opens for visitors daily at 9:30am, for minors entrance is also free and tickets can be purchased 45 minutes before closing time.